Oregon Outlasts Kansas

Dec. 7, 2002

AP Sports Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. - Luke Ridnour had 25 points, nine assists and sevenrebounds Saturday as No. 7 Oregon avenged last season's NCAA tournament losswith a 84-78 victory Saturday over No. 14 Kansas.

Fellow guard Luke Jackson had 26 points and nine rebounds for the Ducks, whofought off a second-half Kansas rally to make their record a perfect 5-0 thisseason.

Kirk Hinrich led the Jayhawks (3-3) with 24 points and Keith Langford added21 in the rematch between the two teams, played before 20,762 fans atPortland's Rose Garden Arena.

Last season, the teams met in the Midwest Regional final in Madison, Wis.,and Kansas emerged with a 104-86 victory and their first trip to the Final Foursince 1993.

The victory snapped Oregon's three-game losing streak against Kansas. TheDucks had not defeated the Jayhawks since beating them twice in the 1947-48season.

The Ducks, who led by just four at the half, stretched their lead to as manyas 11 points when Andre Joseph's free throws made it 72-61 with 8:40 left.

But the Jayhawks came back to tie it at 74-all on Langford's layup with 3:39left.

Speedy Oregon inched away, going on a 10-2 run that was punctuated byRidnour's 3-pointer and a foul shot that made it 84-76 with 49.6 seconds left.

Nick Collison, who gave the Ducks so much trouble with 25 points and 15rebounds last year in the tournament, got into early foul trouble early andplayed sporadically. He finished with seven points and four rebounds in 24minutes.

The Ducks built their lead to as many as 14 points in the first half whenRidnour's 3-pointer made it 39-25 with 5:26 left. After the shot, Ridnourraised his hands to the crowd, eliciting a rousing ovation.

But Kansas whittled away, cutting Oregon's lead to just 47-43 at the half.

Hinrich was back for the Jayhawks after sitting out their decisive 97-70victory over Central Missouri State Wednesday night.

But Kansas was already reeling from losses in the Preseason NIT to NorthCarolina and Florida.

The game was played as part of the fifth annual Pape Jam. The crowd wasestimated to be the largest ever to attend a college basketball game in thestate of Oregon.

It was the 99th career win for Ducks coach Ernie Kent.

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