Ducks Drop One To Cal
BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) - Amit Tamir told himself not to think about the 39 points he scored against Oregon last season.
He couldn't help it, though - things were going so well again.
Tamir scored 25 points and Joe Shipp added 22 points and eight rebounds to lead California to its third straight win, an 88-72 upset over the No. 12 Ducks on Thursday night.
'Somehow it just happens that I feel pretty comfortable against Oregon,' Tamir said.
Brian Wethers added 16 points for the Golden Bears (9-2, 2-0 Pac-10), who won at home for the 12th straight time.
'They just got on a roll and we kind of came out and played sloppy right off the bat. We didn't get a lot of rhythm shots. We rushed things.'
-- Luke Jackson
Luke Jackson had 17 points, eight assists and five rebounds for Oregon. The Pac-10's top scoring team had only 38 points with 14:54 left, and the Ducks have been averaging nearly 90 per game. They had been doing just about everything right coming into this game.
'They just got on a roll and we kind of came out and played sloppy right off the bat,' Jackson said. 'We didn't get a lot of rhythm shots. We rushed things.'
Oregon (10-3, 1-2) leads the conference in scoring, field-goal percentage and 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 the ball to fall behind early, and its top players struggled to score all game. The Ducks 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 the team's previous 12 games this season. The Ducks had three this game, with Luke Ridnour and Andre Joseph adding 14 and 12 points, respectively.
'They did a great job defensively knocking us out of sync for this game,' Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. 'We never had an opportunity to gain momentum.'
Cal built on its 10-point halftime lead with an impressive start in the second half. The Bears started the half with an 8-3 run and had an answer whenever the Ducks made a threat.
Tamir and Shipp combined to shoot 5-for-10 from 3-point range and Cal was 53 percent from the field to Oregon's 44 percent.
The Ducks will have to try to regroup and save their ranking Saturday at Stanford, which will surely be another tough game.
Cal and Oregon split their series last season, with both games being decided by four points. One of those was a 107-103 win in double-overtime, when Tamir scored 39. The Ducks haven't lost at home since - they're 7-0 this season and 12-0 overall at Haas Pavilion dating to Feb. 2, 2002.
The Bears are on a mission to win the Pac-10, despite the fact many people believe it's a two-team conference - Oregon and Arizona.
'We know there are lots of good teams in this league,' Cal coach Ben Braun said. 'We'd like to be one of them.'
The Ducks committed four turnovers in the first three minutes and started 1-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 11-0 run to tie the game at 27 at the 4:41 mark.
But Cal made two 3-pointers late in the half and shot 55 percent to take a 43-33 halftime lead. Ridnour let a shot fly from the far free-throw line just after the buzzer and it banked in.
Cal football coach Jeff Tedford and former basketball coaching great Pete Newell were in attendance and shown on the big screen as fans cheered madly.
It was much different for another celebrity. Nike co-founder Phil Knight's picture was never shown even though he was in a front-row seat. He's a huge Oregon supporter.