Lukes Lead Ducks Past Trojans
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer
EUGENE, Ore. - Luke Ridnour scored 23 points and Luke Jackson added 22as Oregon overcame a first-half deficit to beat Southern California 79-66Thursday.
Oregon (19-7, 9-6 Pacific-10), which was ranked as high as No. 6 this seasonbut then faltered when conference play began, trailed by as many as 12 pointsin the first half before leading by as many as 14 in the second.
The Trojans (10-14, 5-10), fighting for a Pac-10 Tournament berth with justthree games to go, have lost five straight.
Ridnour scored eight points in a 12-0 run that gave Oregon a 70-58 lead, andthe Ducks stretched it to 76-63 on Ridnour's long jumper with 3:37 left.
As former Oregon quarterback Joey Harrington looked on from a courtsideseat, the Trojans jumped out to a 12-8 lead on four straight 3-pointers byDesmon Farmer, who led USC with 15 points.
Southern California stretched its lead to 39-27 on Roydell Smiley's3-pointer, but Oregon took off on a 15-3 run capped by Ridnour's 3-pointer with1:04 left.
Freshman Brandon Lincoln briefly put Oregon ahead 43-42 with a free throw,before Derrick Craven hit a buzzer-beating layup to give the Trojans a 44-43lead at the half.
USC's early attack of the 3s momentarily quieted the crowd at McArthurCourt, who mercilessly teased Trojan coach Henry Bibby as payback fordisparaging comments he made about Oregon's home fans last season.
Southern California upset the Ducks earlier this season with a 91-76 victoryat the Sports Arena.
Oregon was without junior guard Andre Joseph, who was suspended for the gameby coach Ernie Kent.
Joseph refused to re-enter the game during Oregon's loss at Washington lastSaturday. He then argued with assistant coach John Cooper during a timeout.
Kent suspended Joseph for conduct detrimental to the team on Monday, aftertalking with the junior college transfer and his mother.
'The team rallied together through the adversity that they had this week,'Kent said after Thursday's win.
The Ducks finish the regular season next week at Arizona State and thenclose with Arizona.
Southern California wraps up its regular season at home next week againstWashington and Washington State.