Trojans Come Up Short In Pac-10 Championship Game
March 10, 2007
LOS ANGELES (AP) -Bryce Taylor scored a career-high 32 points, making every shot he took, and No. 16 Oregon routed Southern California 81-57 Saturday to win the Pac-10 tournament title.
The Ducks (26-7) head into the NCAA tournament on a six-game winning streak. They haven't been there since 2003, also the last time they won the conference tourney.
Taylor went 11-for-11 from the field, 7-for-7 from 3-point range and 3-for-3 from the line - before being removed with 6 1/2 minutes left and the Ducks ahead by 40 points.
Taylor electrified the crowd with each shot he made. The sophomore from nearby Encino broke the tourney field-goal percentage game record of .917 set by Arizona's Anthony Cook in 1989.
His seven 3-pointers tied the mark set by Arizona's Salim Stoudamire in 2005, and Taylor tied the 3-point percentage record shared by several others.
Taj Porter added 16 points and Aaron Brooks 15 for the Ducks, who shot 54 percent for the game.
USC erased some of its 40-point deficit only after Oregon went to its bench. The Trojans would have set a record for the largest title-game loss in the tourney's 10-year history, but a late scoring spurt saved them the embarrassment by two points.
The Trojans (23-11) were the only Pac-10 team to sweep the Ducks this season, shooting 57 percent in both games.
They never came close Saturday.
USC shot 38 percent for the game. Except for a five-point lead early, the Trojans played catchup the rest of the way.
Taylor dominated the start of the second half, scoring the Ducks' first eight points on two 3-pointers sandwiched around a jumper that extended their lead to 45-24.
During one stretch, the Ducks hit six consecutive 3-pointers, including three by Taylor and two by Brooks.
Taylor put on a clinic, hitting from everywhere on a variety of shots, including a runner after slipping by USC's Daniel Hackett and a fast-break dunk.
In the first half, USC drew within six on six unanswered points before Oregon closed the first half on a 16-9 run that produced a 37-24 lead. The Ducks shot 52 percent, with Taylor getting 11 points.
The Trojans' jumpers repeatedly came up short, leaving them 10-of-31 from the floor in the half. Oregon's man-to-man defense frustrated them, too, with the Ducks contesting most shots by getting a hand in shooters' faces.