Ducks Drop Regular-Season Finale

March 8, 2003

By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

TUCSON, Ariz. - Jason Gardner, in the final home game of hisoutstanding college career, scored a season-high 27 points, 21 in the secondhalf, and No. 1 Arizona pulled away to beat Oregon 88-80 on Saturday.

The Wildcats (25-2, 17-1 Pac-10) trailed much of the game, but finally tookcontrol with a 17-2 run that put them up 66-56 with 6:39 to play on SalimStoudamire's 16-footer.

Stoudamire, benched in the second half against Oregon State on Thursdaynight because coach Lute Olson didn't like his attitude, had 19 points, 17 inthe second half.

Stoudamire's consecutive 3-pointers put Arizona ahead 72-60 with 5:35 to go.Channing Frye scored 13, six in the decisive run.

Luke Ridnour had 26 points and seven assists for the Ducks (20-9, 10-8), whowere swept on their Arizona trip. Their NCAA tournament hopes could hinge ontheir play in next week's Pac-10 tournament.

Ridnour broke Oregon's season assist record with 188, surpassing the mark of184 set by Ron Lee in 1975-76. Luke Jackson added 12 points and 14 rebounds,while James Davis scored 11 points and Ian Crosswhite had 10.

Gardner, a four-year starter at point guard, was 6-of-9 in the second half,4-for-6 from 3-point range.

Luke Walton and Rick Anderson also played their final home game. Walton hadeight points, six assists and three steals but shot just 2-of-11. Anderson hadfour points and eight rebounds.

Arizona shot 34 percent, 0-for-7 from 3-point range, and missed eight freethrows in the first half, and the Ducks led 38-35 at halftime. The Wildcatsshot 55 percent in the second half, including 6-for-8 on 3-pointers. Arizonahad 13 steals as Oregon committed 20 turnovers, five each by Ridnour andJackson.

Ridnour hit a 3-pointer and scored on a drive in a 7-0 spurt that put Oregonup 27-20 on Jackson's inside basket with 7:52 to go in the half.

Gardner scored eight points, including two 3-pointers, took a charge andforced a jump ball as Arizona outscored the Ducks 10-2 to start the secondhalf. His layup put the Wildcats ahead 45-40 with 16:48 to play.

But after a timeout, Ridnour hit a 3-pointer and an 18-footer, then Waltonwas called for an intentional foul. Jay Anderson's two free throws put Oregonback on top 47-45 with 15:26 remaining.

Matt Short's inside basket gave the Ducks a 54-49 lead with 12:57 left.Andre Iguodala's inside shot started Arizona on its big run. Gardner followedwith a 3-pointer, Frye scored inside and Adams had a one-handed dunk onGardner's lob and the Wildcats were up for good, 58-56 with 9:16 to go.

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