Cal Shocks No. 12 Oregon
Jan 10, 2003
Brian Wethers added 16 points for the Golden Bears (9-2, 2-0 Pac-10), whowon at home for the 12th straight time.
Luke Jackson had 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Oregon. ThePac-10's top scoring team had only 38 points with 14:54 left, and the Duckshave been averaging nearly 90 per game. They had been doing just abouteverything right coming into this game.
Oregon (10-3, 1-2) leads the conference in scoring, field-goal percentageand 3-point percentage, as well as free-throw percentage, steals and assists.Even assist-to-turnover ratio.
But the Ducks never got in sync against the aggressive and up-tempo Bears,who couldn't seem to miss when it mattered most. Oregon was sloppy with theball to fall behind early, and its top players struggled to score all game. TheDucks often rushed their shots as the 35-second clock was winding down.
At least four players had scored in double figures in all but two of theteam's previous 12 games this season. The Ducks had three this game, with LukeRidnour and Andre Joseph adding 14 and 12 points, respectively.
Cal built on its 10-point halftime lead with an impressive start in thesecond half. The Bears started the half with an 8-3 run and had an answerwhenever the Ducks made a threat.
Tamir and Shipp combined to shoot 5-for-10 from 3-point range and Cal was 53percent from the field to Oregon's 44 percent.
The Ducks will have to try to regroup and save their ranking Saturday atStanford, which will surely be another tough game.
Cal and Oregon split their series last season, with both games being decidedby four points. One of those was a 107-103 win in double-overtime. The Duckshaven't lost at home since - they're 7-0 this season and 12-0 overall at HaasPavilion dating back to Feb. 2, 2002.
The Ducks committed four turnovers in the first three minutes and started1-for-4 from the field to fall behind 9-2.
They trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, but went on an 9-0 to tiethe game at 27 at the 4:41 mark.
But Cal made two 3-pointers late in the half and shot 55 percent to take a43-33 halftime lead. Ridnour let a shot fly from the far free-throw line justafter the buzzer and it banked in.
Cal football coach Jeff Tedford and former basketball coaching great PeteNewell were in attendance and shown on the big screen as fans cheered madly. Itwas much different for another celebrity. Nike co-founder Phil Knight's picturewas never shown even though he was in a front-row seat. He's a huge Oregonsupporter.
Cal head coach Ben Braun quotes -
We came out strong in the beginning of the game and took a 9-2 lead. We held Oregon's offense down for a little bit. They are so good offensively and we respect that, but we held them down. We did an effective job on them.
Our guards did a good job playing solid defense on them. We got quick help on the Lukes (Ridnour and Jackson) and that was a key to our success. When we play good defense, we're a better team. Everyone on this team is stepping up and playing great defense.
A really telling sign of the night was the first possession of the second half. We came out with a 10-point lead; we used the shot clock and made Oregon play defense. We also had nice patience tonight offensively. If we don't stay patient, we get in a track meet of exchanging baskets.
When we get to the free throw line, we are successful and when we don't, we're not successful. We kept them from getting to the line until the end of the game. This was a big key in us winning the game.
Our team maintained the edge and intensity in the second half. You have to do that against Oregon or they'll sting you. We've had leads in the second halves of games and not maintained them, but we stayed with the game plan and executed well. You have to do that against good teams like Oregon. There are no gimmies or easy wins in this league. The Pac-10 is a great league and we've got to be ready to play.
Amit Tamir was great at both ends of the floor tonight. I told him before the game that he would have to make passes and do some of the other things besides scoring. They worked him hard, but to his credit he worked just as hard and had an incredible game. He's always played well against teams with big guys. Tamir is one of the more skilled post players in the league and with his size, he uses it to his advantage. If he continues to play at this pace, we'll be very productive.