Oregon Hosts California, No. 14 Stanford
Jan. 8, 2002
WHAT'S ON TAP . . . Oregon tries to remain perfect at home when it hosts California on Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7:00 p.m. and No. 14 Stanford on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 3:00 p.m. The Ducks are 8-0 at McArthur Court this season. The Oregon-California game will be carried live on the Oregon Sports Network, while Fox Sports Net will broadcast the Oregon-Stanford game live nationally.
TENTATIVE OREGON STARTERS
F 3 Robert Johnson 6-8 235 Jr. 8.7 ppg, 7.9 rpg, .549 FG Pct.F 33 Luke Jackson 6-7 215 So. 15.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 3.5 apgC 25 Chris Christoffersen 7-2 300 Sr. 9.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg, .571 FG Pct.G 13 Luke Ridnour 6-2 165 So. 14.6 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 5.2 apgG 20 Frederick Jones 6-4 209 Sr. 15.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.5 apg
QUICK HITS...A brief look at what to watch for this weekend:
High Octane. The Ducks are averaging a Pac-10 best 88.1 points per game.
Eight is Enough. Oregon's current eight-game home winning streak is the longest in the same season since 1986-87 when Oregon had a nine-game streak at Mac under Don Monson. Overall, the Ducks' eight-game streak is their longest at Mac Court since the 1999-00 team won its last three and the 2000-01 squad won its first six for a nine-game streak.
Defense. The Ducks continue to be a much-improved defensive team. Through its first 14 games, Oregon is surrendering just 67.9 points per game, compared to 75.8 ppg at the same point a year ago.
Continued contributions from the bench. In losses to UMass and Portland, the bench players struggled, scoring just three points against the Minutemen and 12 against the Pilots. The 'hustle team' got back on track with 26 points in the loss to Minnesota and had 33 in the win over Pepperdine (though 21 of those points came from Jones, who did not start for the first time this season). With Jones' help again, the bench was big with 36 in the win over Northern Arizona. The reserves came up with 19 against Arizona State, 28 against Arizona, 36 versus Morris Brown, 22 at Arizona and 21 at ASU.
Senior guard Frederick Jones is now the only player ranked among the UO career top six in assists, steals, blocked shots and three-pointers. He's fourth in steals (111), fifth in blocked shots (62), sixth in threes (105) and tied for sixth in assists (291).
Jones scored 12 points at Arizona to climb to 12th in UO career scoring and now shows 1,211 points. He needs 23 more points for 11th.
Jones moved into fourth in UO career steals during the Minnesota game and now has 111. He needs three more for third place.
Jones moved into the UO career top five in blocked shots against Alabama State, and enters the California game with 62, needing one more for fourth place.
JC transfer Robert Johnson is making a tremendous impact up front. Johnson has four 10-rebound games in his first 14 outings as a Duck and leads the team at 7.9 boards per game. Johnson debuted with a double-double -- 14 points and 10 rebounds -- against Alabama State and was named to the America's Youth Classic all-tournament team. He recorded his second double-double -- 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds -- at ASU.
Senior guard Anthony Lever entered the UO career top 10 in three-point field goals at ASU and now has 83. He'll move into ninth with four more.
Jones, who became the 22nd 1,000-point scorer at UO in the season opener, has two MVP awards already this season (America's Youth Classic and the Pape Jam).
Century Club. Against Arizona State and Arizona in Eugene, Oregon scored 100-plus points in back-to-back conference games for the first time in school history, it was also only the third time overall in school history that the Ducks had gone over 100 points in back-to-back games. Both were the most points Oregon has ever scored against the Arizona schools, while the 30-point win over the Wildcats was the Ducks' widest margin of victory in the series.
When Jones (28 points) and sophomore guard Luke Jackson (27 points) combined for 55 points Dec. 20 against Arizona State, it marked the most points scored in a game by two Oregon players since Orlando Williams (40 points) and Darryl Parker (16 points) combined for 56 Feb. 19, 1994 at Washington State. Jones' 28 points was the second-best effort of his career, topped only by the 36-point game he had last season against the Sun Devils in Tempe.
Jackson had a career-best effort in scoring with 28 points at Portland. But his best all-around game was his triple-double (14 pts, 11 reb, 10 ast) last year at Washington.
Senior center Chris Christoffersen notched his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds at Massachusetts.
Christoffersen climbed to eighth in UO career blocks against Arizona and now has 48, he'll move into seventh with five more.
UNDER THE RADAR . . . Some things you might have overlooked in the first 14 games:
Coming off the bench, senior guard Anthony Lever is shooting 52.6 percent (20-of-38) from three-point range.
The Arizona State game in Tempe marked just the second time this season that Oregon had been outrebounded (Northern Arizona was the other). The Ducks still have a wide rebound margin of 38.4 to 30.9.
HEAD COACH ERNIE KENT . . . Ernie Kent (Oregon '77) is in his fifth year at Oregon. He has a 78-53 ledger with the Ducks and an 11-year career record of 168-133. He was an assistant coach for the 2001 USA Basketball 21-and-Under team that won the gold medal at the summer games in Japan. He also holds posts on the NCAA Basketball Issues Committee and is a member of the NABC's Board of Directors.
Kent won his 150th game as a collegiate head coach Dec. 12, 2000, versus Illinois-Chicago (110-87). He won more games in his first four seasons as Oregon's head coach (68) than any other Oregon mentor since Howard Hobson (93) from 1935-36 through 1938-39. The former six-year Saint Mary's (Calif.) coach led the Ducks to the NCAA Tournament in 1999-00 and accomplished some pretty impressive feats along the way: 22 wins was the school's most in 55 years, 13 Pac-10 wins was the most in school history, the first road triumph over a Top 25 opponent since 1977 (67-66 neutral-court win over Wake Forest), a win over the highest-ranked foe since 1995 with the 86-81 upset of No. 3 Arizona. In 1998-99, Kent took the Ducks to a 19-13 mark and a trip to New York City for the NIT Final Four. Prior to St. Mary's, he served two-year tenures as an assistant at Stanford (1990-91) and Colorado State (1988-89).
COACHING STAFF . . . Assistant Greg Graham is in his fifth season, while Scott Duncan is in his second season. Fred Litzenberger is in his first season after spending the last six years with the Oregon women. Mark Hudson is in his fifth year with the program, but is in his first as director of basketball operations.
KENT CLIMBS COACHING LADDER . . . With 10 wins this season, Ernie Kent has moved up to seventh in Oregon career coaching victories. He moved past his predecessor, Jerry Green, when the Ducks defeated Pepperdine.
Coach (years) W L1. Howard Hobson (1936-47) 212 1242. W.J. Reinhart (1924-35) 180 1003. Steve Belko (1957-71) 179 2114. Don Monson (1984-92) 116 1455. Dick Harter (1972-78) 112 826. John Warren (1945-51) 87 767. Ernie Kent (1998-02) 78 538. Jerry Green (1993-97) 72 709. Bill Borcher (1952-56) 70 67
PAC-10 PACERS . . . The Ducks lead the Pac-10 in scoring at 88.1 points per game. Other categories where Oregon ranks high include scoring margin (1st, plus-20.2), field goal percentage (1st, .499), three-point field goal percentage (1st, .430), free throw percentage (1st, .788), assists (1st, 18.1 per game), three-pointers (1st, 8.1 per game), three-point field goal percentage defense (2nd, .308) and rebound margin (2nd, plus-7.5). In fact, there are only two categories where the Ducks don't rank in the top five of the league: blocked shots (6th, 3.2 per game) and offensive rebounds (9th, 11.3 per game).
MAC COURT MAGIC . . . Oregon has been down right dominant at home. The Ducks have won their eight home games by an average margin of 32.7 points per game. In fact only one game (Arizona State, 13 points) has been decided by less than 24 points. Oregon has six wins of 30 or more points, and three by more than 40 points. Numbers that bear out the Ducks' domination at Mac:
Mac Court Oregon OpponentsPoints 94.8 62.1Field Goal Percentage .534 .3743 Field Goal Percentage .481 .284Free Throw Percentage .802 .652Rebounds 38.4 29.9Assists 19.9 8.9Turnovers 12.9 18.4Steals 8.5 6.1
DUCKS SNAP ARIZONA STREAK . . . Here's a quick run down of the noteworthy information from last Friday's 90-80 defeat of No. 15 Arizona:
It marked Oregon's first season sweep of Arizona since 1981-82 when the Ducks won 63-57 (ot) in Eugene and 86-84 at Tucson.
It was Oregon's first win in Tucson since Feb. 21, 1985 (43-40), breaking a span of 16 consecutive Wildcat victories.
It was Oregon's first road win over a ranked opponent since Feb. 23, 1995, when the Ducks upset No. 15 Arizona State 73-72 in Tempe.
The 90 points tied the most Oregon has ever scored at the McKale Center (1980).
It was Oregon's first road win of the season.
Luke Ridnour had career highs with 23 points and 10 assists for his first career double-double.
Brian Helquist matched a career high with nine rebounds.
REMEMBER THE 90s? . . . Twice this season, the Ducks have reached 90 points in four consecutive games, most recently Arizona State (103), Arizona (105), Morris Brown (96) and Arizona (90). Oregon started 2001-02 with 90 or more points in four straight games -- 92 against Alabama State, 91 against Western Michigan, 97 against Long Beach State and 90 against Louisville. Prior to this season, the only other time that the Ducks had scored 90-plus points in four straight games was 32 years ago when Steve Belko's 1969-70 squad posted 98 points against California, 92 versus Stanford, 121 against Portland and 92 against USC from Feb. 13-20.
AFTER RID-NIGHT . . . Luke Ridnour became the first player in Oregon history to be named Pac-10 freshman of the year. He averaged 7.4 points, 2.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. 'Rid' was the first true freshman to start at the point for Oregon since Kenya Wilkins in 1993-94 and posted an impressive assist-to-turnover ratio of 106-to-67.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA . . . California (10-2, 1-1) split with then-No. 12 Stanford last week, losing by 20 in Maples Pavilion, but upsetting the Cardinal 68-54 Sunday in Berkeley. Cal is the toughest defensive team in the league, allowing just 61.4 points per game. One reason for the defensive dominance is blocked shots. Cal has 60 blocks on the season (5.0 per game), which is just six shy of their total for all of last year. The Golden Bears have only played two games away from Haas Pavilion, losing each by 20 (South Florida and Stanford). Junior forward Joe Shipp leads Cal at 14.4 points per game, while senior center Solomon Hughes is at 11.4 points per game. Hughes missed the Stanford games with a strained right knee and is listed as questionable for Thursday's game. Freshman forward Amit Tamir started in Hughes' place and scored 10 points in Sunday's win.
TENTATIVE CALIFORNIA STARTERS
F 24 Amit Tamir 6-10 250 Fr. 8.5 ppg, 4.8 rpgF 34 Joe Shipp 6-5 220 Jr. 14.4 ppg, 4.9 rpgC 31 Jamal Sampson 6-11 235 Fr. 7.6 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.9 bpgG 12 Shantay Legans 5-10 175 Jr. 7.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 3.8 apgG 51 Dennis Gates 6-3 195 Sr. 6.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 3.8 apg
LAST YEAR VS. CALIFORNIA . . . EUGENE: Sean Lampley had 17 points and 10 rebounds as California recovered from a poor first half to defeat Oregon 65-56 Feb. 10. Cal closed the game on a 16-7 run to beat Oregon at McArthur Court for the first time in four years. Bryan Bracey had 13 points and eight rebounds off the bench for the Ducks. Cal shot just 26 percent in the first half (5-of-19), but trailed only 26-22 because the Ducks shot 36 percent. The lead changed hands 13 times in the second half, and there were seven ties. Cal took its first lead of the game on two free throws by Brian Wethers with 18:18 to go. The game stayed close until Cal scored six straight points to make it 57-50. Oregon led 11-5 after four minutes as Julius Hicks, starting at forward instead of Bracey, found success inside with six straight points. The Ducks pushed the lead to 19-8 on Anthony Norwood's 3-pointer, but went cold in the final 10 minutes. Cal outscored Oregon 14-7, capped by a 3-pointer from Ryan Forehan-Kelly. Joe Shipp added 12 points for Cal. Hicks had 11 for the Ducks, while Luke Jackson added 10. Frederick Jones just missed a double-double with 10 rebounds and nine points. BERKELEY: Lampley had 23 points and 10 rebounds as California beat Oregon 78-62 Jan. 13 in Berkeley to snap the Ducks' four-game winning streak. Nick Vander Laan added 14 points and seven rebounds for Cal in their Pacific-10 Conference home opener. Oregon was led by Jackson with 12 points, and leading scorer Bracey was held to 10. The Ducks led by as many as five points several times in the first half. But Cal went on a 13-3 run with four minutes left to take a 38-33 lead into the break. The Bears held the Ducks to just 26 points and 26.5 percent shooting in the second half.
ABOUT STANFORD . . . Stanford (8-3, 1-1) is ranked No. 14 in this week's Associated Press poll and No. 11 by the coaches. Junior forward Casey Jacobsen leads the Cardinal in scoring at 19.3 points per game. Junior center Curtis Borchardt is next at 14.7, while junior guard Julius Barnes is also in double figures at 11.4. Stanford leads the Pac-10 in rebounding at 42.7 per game and is out-rebounding its opponents by more than 10 boards a game. Borchardt is the leading rebounder in the Pac-10 at 10.5 per game.
TENTATIVE STANFORD STARTERS
F 22 Justin Davis 6-8 230 So. 6.7 ppg, 4.5 rpgF 23 Casey Jacobsen 6-6 215 Jr. 19.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.5 apgC 2 Curtis Borchardt 7-0 230 Jr. 14.7 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 2.7 bpgG 24 Julius Barnes 6-1 180 Jr. 11.4 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 2.8 apgG 25 Tony Giovacchini 6-2 180 Sr. 4.3 ppg, 3.1 rpg, 3.2 apg
LAST YEAR VS. STANFORD. . . EUGENE: Jason Collins had 19 points and 11 rebounds as No. 2 Stanford used a 20-6 run during the final 5 1/2 minutes to hold off Oregon 69-62 Feb. 8 at Mac Court. Casey Jacobsen added 13 points for the Cardinal, which narrowly avoided its second straight upset loss. Bryan Bracey scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half to lead the Ducks. Stanford entered leading the conference in virtually every statistical category, including free-throw shooting at 74 percent. But the Cardinal shot just 21-of-37 against the Ducks. Conversely, Oregon had only seven free throw attempts the entire night. Collins was 4-of-9, and his twin brother Jarron was 6-of-14. That was a big reason why Stanford found itself trailing 56-49 after Bracey made a 3-pointer with 6:06 remaining. Oregon went the next 4:19 without a point, however, and Stanford slowly came back. Jarron Collins hit two free throws, Jason Collins converted a layup and Ryan Mendez hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 56. A left-handed layup by Jacobsen pushed the Cardinal's lead to 62-56 with just over two minutes to go. Oregon twice cut the lead to three, but Mendez made six straight free throws in the last 34.2 seconds to seal the victory. Oregon had success inside but couldn't keep its big men in the game. Backup center Julius Hicks fouled out with 8:35 to go, and third-stringer Chris Christoffersen followed him to the bench with 5:21 left. The Ducks' other frontline players, Bracey and Flo Hartenstein, played the final six minutes with four fouls. STANFORD: Jason Collins' brawn, Jacobsen's bombs and some tough defense propelled Stanford to a victory befitting the nation's top-ranked team. Jason Collins had a career-high 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Jacobsen hit four 3-pointers and had 20 points as Stanford beat Oregon 100-76 Jan. 13 at Maples Pavilion. A 16-3 run midway through the second half gave Stanford a 26-point lead which briefly stretched to 29. Jarron Collins cored all 13 of his points in the second half, while reserve center Curtis Borchardt had 11 points and Mendez nine. Anthony Norwood had 14 for the Ducks, who met the nation's No. 1 team for the first time in six years, while Luke Jackson added 10 points and seven rebounds.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS . . . A trio of Ducks -- Frederick Jones, Chris Christoffersen and Anthony Lever -- currently find themselves on the UO career top lists. Jones is now ranked in the career top six in four categories: three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. He also has 1,211 career points, which ranks 12th in UO annals. Jones jumped one spot at Arizona, passing Dick Wilkins (1,186/1944-48). Next up is former teammate A.D. Smith (1,234/1995-00). Jones had one assist against Arizona State to tie former teammate Darius Wright (291/1998-00) for sixth. Next up is Anthony Taylor (300/1984-88). Jones had his 100th career steal against Pepperdine and currently ranks fourth with 111, needing three to catch current Minnesota Timberwolf Terrell Brandon (114/1989-91). He is fifth in blocks with 62 for his career, one back of No. 4 Brett Coffey (63/1987-89). He passed former teammate Alex Scales (104/1998-00) for sixth in three-point field goals with two against Arizona in Eugene, Jones now shows 105 treys. Christoffersen tied Keith Balderston (48/1984-88) for eighth in career blocks with in last Friday's win over Arizona. Next up is Mike Carson (53/1994-99). Anthony Lever entered the career top 10 in three-pointers with at pair at ASU, he passed Jordy Lyden (83/1990-95) and now has 83. Frank Johnson (87/1987-89) is next.
BASKETBALL JONES . . . Senior guard Frederick Jones is the only player in school history ranked among Oregon's career top six in three-point field goals, assists, blocks and steals. A preseason all-Pac-10 pick by ESPN.com (along with Casey Jacobsen of Stanford, Jason Kapono of UCLA, Sam Clancy of USC and Jason Gardner of Arizona), Jones became the 22nd member of Oregon's 1,000-point club in the season opener against Alabama State. Jones was an all-Pac-10 honorable mention selection a year ago after averaging 14.8 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
ADD JONES . . . Joe Dwyer of FOXSports.com has tabbed Jones and Marist's Sean Kennedy as the two vastly underrated players that he will keep track of in a weekly watch.
CH-CH-CH-CHANGES...Anthony Lever, formerly Anthony Norwood, changed his last name to that of his natural father, former Arizona State and NBA star Lafayette 'Fat' Lever, during the summer. Walk-on redshirt senior guard Kristian Christensen will be wearing No. 21 -- the same number he wore as a freshman -- after donning No. 12 the last two years.
STATISTICALLY SPEAKING . . . Here's a look at Oregon's returning leaders from 2000-01 in each statistical category:
Points Frederick Jones 14.8Rebounds Frederick Jones 5.6Assists Luke Ridnour 3.8Blocked Shots Chris Christoffersen 0.7Steals Frederick Jones 1.1FG Pct. Frederick Jones .4723FG Pct. Ben Lindquist .381FT Pct. Ben Lindquist .850Minutes Frederick Jones 31.9
RAG TAG . . . Here's a look at where several preseason magazines and other services rank the Ducks in the Pac-10, and in the nation:
Source Pac-10 NationalThe Sporting News 8 66Basketball News 8 --Lindy's 7 --ESPN.com 7 --Street & Smith's 7 --Athlon 7 NIT
ALABAMA STATE RECAP . . . The Ducks won their tenth straight season opener by defeating Alabama State 92-52 Thursday. That streak is second in the Pac-10 to Stanford's 13. James Davis scored a career-high 18 points off the bench, while Robert Johnson impressed in his Duck debut with a double-double: 14 points and 10 rebounds. Five Ducks were in double figures and all but one who played scored at least two points. Oregon held the Hornets to just 52 points, that was the lowest total allowed in a season-opener by Oregon in 19 years (UC San Diego, 63-46 to open the 1982-83 season).
WESTERN MICHIGAN RECAP . . . Oregon's defense continued to shine, allowing the Broncos to score just 48 points -- matching the lowest total given up in coach Ernie Kent's five years at his alma mater -- in a 91-48 victory. Chris Christoffersen scored a career-high 18 points on seven-of-10 shooting from the floor. Anthony Lever came off the bench to add 15 points, including four-of-five three-pointers, while Luke Ridnour scored 12 points and Frederick Jones added 11 points and six assists. Robert Johnson just missed his second straight double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, while another newcomer, Brian Helquist neared a double-double as well with eight points and nine rebounds. The Ducks held the Broncos to just 30 percent from the floor (18-of-60) and out-rebounded the smaller Broncos 46-26.
LONG BEACH STATE RECAP . . . Luke Ridnour had a career-high 18 points and seven assists as Oregon remained undefeated this season with a 97-67 win against Long Beach State in the America's Youth Classic. Tournament MVP Frederick Jones added a season-high 16 points, Chris Christoffersen 11 and Luke Jackson 10 points and eight rebounds. For the third straight game, the Ducks held the rebound advantage (35-33) and made more than half their field-goal attempts (35-65) en route to their highest point total of the young season. Oregon had scoring runs of 9-0 and 18-0 to start the game as it took an early 27-5 lead. James Davis came off the bench to score eight of the final 10 points in the last run, while the 49ers countered with only two field goals in the first 13 minutes of the game. Long Beach State fought its way back into the game, however, scoring 22 points in the final seven minutes, including nine from James Williams, who led the 49ers with 17 overall. But Oregon still maintained a 44-27 advantage at the break, and took little time extending it once the second half started, taking a 30-point lead on a three-pointer by Anthony Lever that made it 69-39 at the 11:25 mark and the teams played evenly until the end. Joining Jones on the all-tournament team were Oregon's Robert Johnson, the 49ers' Williams, Joey Ball of Alabama State and Steve Reynolds of Western Michigan.
LOUISVILLE RECAP . . . Frederick Jones scored 20 points, and Oregon got some unusually strong play from its big men to dominate Rick Pitino's Louisville team 90-63. Robert Johnson added 10 rebounds for the Ducks, who have won their games by a combined 140 points but needed to face a good opponent like Louisville to show how much they've improved over last season's 14-14 team. Erik Brown scored 20 points and Ellis Myles had 15 points and 13 rebounds to lead Louisville. Center Chris Christoffersen, a 7-foot-2, 300-pound Dane who's still learning the game, had 13 points, including six during a quick 8-2 run to start the second half, when the Ducks expanded their lead to 24. Christoffersen, who averaged just 3.3 points and 9.0 minutes last season, put a spin move on Myles along the baseline for a layup and a free throw that made it 68-43 with 9:52 left. Oregon actually started pulling away midway through the first half, when Louisville was within 17-16. Luke Jackson made a 3-pointer, and reserve forward Brian Helquist had three inside baskets to keep the run going. Two free throws and a 3-pointer by Luke Ridnour ended a 22-9 surge that put Oregon ahead 48-30 at halftime. Helquist, a 6-foot-9 transfer from Florida Community College in Jacksonville, had 10 points. The 6-8 Johnson, who came from Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College, had only eight points, but his and Helquist's play freed up the outside shooters. Luke Ridnour had 13 points.
MASSACHUSETTS RECAP . . . Micah Brand sank a turn-around basket with 1:15 remaining and followed with a pair of free throws in the final minute to lead Massachusetts past previously unbeaten Oregon 62-58, Nov. 27 in Springfield, Mass. Oregon led 58-57 with two minutes remaining, but Brand's basket with 1:15 remaining put the Minutemen ahead for good. He added two free throws after the teams traded turnovers in the final minute. Shannon Crooks led UMass with 13 points. Frederick Jones led Oregon with 13 points. Robert Johnson, Luke Jackson and Chris Christoffersen had 12 each for the Ducks, who shot 35.8 percent from the field and were just 3-of-14 on 3-point attempts. Oregon opened up 11-point leads twice in the first half at 19-8 and 21-10. The Minutemen got back into the game with a string of 3-pointers and took their first lead at 27-26 on a driving basket by Anthony Anderson. The teams traded baskets before Christoffersen's layup put Oregon ahead 32-31 at halftime. Christoffersen had his first career double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
PORTLAND RECAP . . . Coky Rochin hit 1-of-2 free throws with 12 seconds left to hand Portland a 79-78 victory over Oregon, Dec. 2 at the Chiles Center for Portland's first victory over Oregon since 1964. Adam Quick had a team-high 20 points, including a 3-pointer that tied the game at 78-78 with 12 seconds left. Sophomore forward Luke Jackson scored a career-high 28 points for Oregon, while point guard Luke Ridnour had 17 points and 7 assists. Rochin's winning free throw was set up when he intercepted a pass intended for Anthony Lever at the Ducks' foul line. Lever then fouled Rochin in an effort to prevent the turnover. Rochin had previously missed 3-of-6 attempts down the stretch. This time, he missed the first of two shots, but hit the second to put the Pilots ahead by one. The Ducks had a chance to win the game at the buzzer, but James Davis shot a leaning 3-pointer that bounced off the rim.
MINNESOTA RECAP . . . Freshman Rick Rickert had 28 points and nine rebounds to lead Minnesota to a 75-72 victory over Oregon Dec. 10 in Minneapolis. Rickert, a McDonald's All-American recruit from Duluth, was 11-for-17 from the field. He had 18 points in the second half, including a key dunk that capped a Gophers rally. Kerwin Fleming added 14 points for the Gophers, who snapped a two-game non-conference losing streak. James Davis, Luke Ridnour, Frederick Jones and Chris Christoffersen each scored 11 points for Oregon, which has lost three games by a combined eight points. The Ducks ran off eight straight points early in the second half to take a 42-35 lead, but the Gophers quickly rallied, tying the game at 46-46 on a 3-pointer by Rickert with 15:23 left. Ridnour scored five straight points to ignite a 12-3 run that put the Ducks ahead 58-49 with 10:56 left. Rickert again led the Gophers back, scoring five points in an 11-2 run, including a dunk off a baseline drive that gave the Gophers a 60-59 lead with 7:20 to play. Davis hit a 3-pointer to put the Ducks back in front, but Tavarus Bennett's three-point play with 3:13 left put the Gophers ahead to stay at 63-62. Rickert hit two free throws and Fleming went 3-for-4 from the line down the stretch. Minnesota scored the first 12 points of the game, with two baskets by Rickert sparking the run. Oregon's bench led the Ducks back into the game, and a driving leaner by Davis gave the Ducks a 34-33 halftime lead.
PEPPERDINE RECAP . . . Frederick Jones came off the bench to score a career-high 21 points and Luke Ridnour had a career-high 20 points as Oregon snapped a three-game losing streak by beating Pepperdine 88-64 Dec. 14 at McArthur Court. Jones also had a season-high in rebounds with nine and matched a season-high in assists with six as he climbed from 19th to 16th in UO career scoring with 1,101 career points. The Ducks out-rebounded their opponents for the eighth straight game, posting a 54-28 edge over the Waves. Oregon held Pepperdine to just 31.7 percent from the field (20-of-63) and just 20 percent (four-of-20) from three-point range. Luke Jackson added 12 points and nine rebounds for Oregon, While Robert Johnson had 11 points and eight rebounds. Jimmy Miggins led Pepperdine with 17 points, while Portland native Craig Lewis added 12. Jones, who had his 100th career three-pointer and his 100th career steal during the game, did not start for the first time since Jan. 20, 2001, against Washington State. Senior Ben Lindquist got the starting nod instead, scoring four points with four rebounds in his first starting assignment since Jan. 4, 2000, against St. Martin's.
NORTHERN ARIZONA RECAP . . . - Frederick Jones, Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson each scored 15 points as Oregon shot 55 percent to easily beat Northern Arizona 86-51 Dec. 16 at McArthur Court. Robert Johnson added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks, who won their second straight. Brian McHugh scored 12 points for the Lumberjacks, who made just 2-of-19 3-pointers and trailed by 20 at halftime. Jones scored his 15 points in only 19 minutes, shooting 7-of-13 from the field. Jackson was 6-of-8 and Ridnour 5-of-7. Northern Arizona missed eight of its first 10 shots to start the game but trailed only 14-8 before the Ducks put the game away with a 23-5 run. Oregon shot 61 percent in the half. Northern Arizona committed five quick turnovers in the opening minutes of the second half, and the Ducks used a 9-0 run to go ahead 53-24. Ridnour and Jackson made consecutive 3-pointers to extend the lead to 32.
ARIZONA STATE RECAP . . . Frederick Jones scored 28 and Luke Jackson had 27 as Oregon opened the Pacific-10 Conference season with a 103-90 rout of Arizona State Dec. 20 in Eugene. Tommy Smith scored 16 to pace the Sun Devils, who had their four-game winning streak ended, and Curtis Millage added 15 points. Luke Ridnour and James Davis also had 12 points each for the Ducks and Robert Johnson had 10 points and nine rebounds. Jones, who returned to the starting lineup after two games spent in a reserve role, kept Oregon in the game early with 15 first-half points, while Jackson scored 18 of his points in the second half as the Ducks blew open a game that was tied 52-52 after the first two minutes of the half. A jump shot by Jackson at 17:42 gave Oregon the lead for good at 54-52 and sent the Ducks on a 14-0 run that ended with a 3-pointer by Jackson for a 68-52 advantage. As a team, Oregon made 57 percent of its shots from the field and 35-of-39 free throw attempts, including a perfect 14-for-14 by Jones. The Ducks also and outrebounded Arizona State 31-24. The 103 points was the most Oregon has ever scored against Arizona State.
ARIZONA RECAP . . . Oregon tied a McArthur Court record with 13 3-pointers to rout No. 11 Arizona 105-75 on Dec. 22. It was the Wildcats worst loss since a 111-58 drubbing at UCLA in 1983, the season before Lute Olson became coach. The 30-point margin of victory was the Ducks biggest in the 48-game series. The previous high was a 17-point win in 1980. Luke Jackson, who led the Ducks with 28 points, had 16 points in a first half that saw the Ducks go on a 40-14 spree that turned a 17-9 deficit into a 49-31 lead. Frederick Jones added 21 points for the Ducks, and Luke Ridnour had 18 points and six assists. For the game, the Ducks made 13-of-22 (59 percent) from beyond the arc. They made 54 percent of their shots overall and were 24-of-27 from the line. Jason Gardner led Arizona with 19 points, while Channing Frye had 18 points and nine rebounds. Luke Walton, playing in the state where his father won an NBA championship, shot 3-for-15 amid taunts from the raucous crowd. Jackson's last basket put the Ducks over the century mark, the first time they've scored more than 100 points in consecutive Pac-10 games.
MORRIS BROWN RECAP . . . Frederick Jones scored 19 points to lead five Oregon players in double figures and the Ducks beat Morris Brown 96-50 Dec. 27 at Mac Court. Luke Ridnour added 13 points, Chris Christoffersen 12, and Luke Jackson and James Davis had 11 each for the Ducks, who shot 55 percent from the field. Joseph Dunn scored 12 points to lead the Wolverines, who are in their first season in Division I. The Ducks were 7-of-11 from 3-point range in the first half and 17-of-19 from the free throw line. The Wolverines, meanwhile, shot just 36 percent from the field and had 25 turnovers. The Ducks broke a 9-9 tie with a 23-0 run as they scored on 10 straight possessions while Morris Brown countered with seven turnovers and two missed shots. Jones scored 11 points in the run, which Jackson and Ridnour started with consecutive 3-pointers. Ridnour's half-court 3-pointer at the buzzer gave Oregon a 56-20 lead. The Ducks opened the second half with a 14-2 run to go up 70-22 with 15 minutes left.
ARIZONA RECAP . . . This was supposed to be Arizona's revenge. Instead, it was another Duck drubbing of the Wildcats. Thirteen days after handing Arizona its most one-sided loss of coach Lute Olson's 19 seasons at the school, Oregon beat the 15th-ranked Wildcats again 90-80 Jan. 4 in Tucson. Luke Ridnour set career highs with six 3-pointers, 23 points and 10 assists as the Ducks won at McKale Center for the first time since 1985, a span of 16 consecutive losses. Oregon swept Arizona for the first time since the 1982-83 season. Oregon, which made 13-of-22 3-pointers in its 105-75 rout of Arizona in Eugene on Dec. 22, hit 10-of-17 3s this time. 'They are a very, very good basketball team,' Olson said. 'They have four or five perimeter guys that can all shoot and handle the ball. Their inside guys know their roles. They are just better than we are. That is pretty obvious.' Luke Jackson added 21 points, 14 in the first half, and Frederick Jones scored 12 for the Ducks, who led by as many a 17 in the first half and 22 in the second. James Davis scored all 10 of his points in the second half for Oregon. A year ago, the Ducks lost at Arizona 104-65. Jason Gardner scored 22 points, but was just 7-for-19 from the field, 3-for-11 on 3-pointers, for the Wildcats. Salim Stoudamire added 16 points, Bynum 15 and Rick Anderson 11 for Arizona. The Ducks, frustrating the Wildcats with a tight man-to-man defense, made it 30-17 on Ridnour's fourth 3-pointer - in four attempts - with 10:01 to play. Ridnour made five 3s before he missed one and finished 6-for-8. Another 6-0 run put Oregon up 45-28 with 2:57 to play in the half on Jackson's breakaway stuff 2:57 before the break.
ARIZONA STATE RECAP . . . Chad Prewitt scored 18 of his career-high 27 points in the second half, and Arizona State denied Oregon its first sweep of Pac-10 games in the desert by beating the Ducks 95-88 Jan. 6 in Tempe. Prewitt, who also had a career-high 12 rebounds, elevated for a one-handed 14-footer with 1:23 left that proved to be the winning basket, opening an 89-86 lead. Curtis Millage finished with 17 points and Kenny Crandall scored 14 for Arizona State, hitting all five shots and his only free throw. Oregon's Luke Jackson had 19 points, Luke Ridnour 17, Frederick Jones 15 and Anthony Lever 14. Robert Johnson had 12 points and a career-high 13 rebounds for the Ducks. The Sun Devils led by three points at halftime and never let the Ducks ahead. Oregon came within one point four times, the last on two free throws by Jackson with 1:08 to go. But with 36 seconds to go, Prewitt's missed 3-pointer went out of bounds off Ridnour, and Arizona State kept the ball.