No. 22 Men's Basketball Pushes Past Portland St., 69-63

Jan 15, 2003

Associated Press Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - No. 22 Oregon has a glaring weakness, and when a bottom-feeding Big Sky team can exploit it for a near upset, it's a full-fledged problem.

Luke Jackson scored 21 points and Ian Crosswhite added 17 as the struggling Ducks survived a scare from Portland State for a 69-63 victory Wednesday night at Memorial Coliseum.

Luke Ridnour had 15 points for the Ducks (11-4), who again struggled with their interior defense. Oregon lost three of its first four Pac-10 Conference games.

'We came out in the second half and played sloppy,' Jackson said. 'PSU had a good game plan, they utilized their post moves and battled hard.'

Said Oregon coach Ernie Kent: '(Jackson) needs to shoot the ball well, and he did tonight. We told him to start taking his jumper and he did.'

Kent declined to criticize his team's defensive effort, instead focusing on positive aspects of the game.

We're trying to get back in sync. It feels good to get a win on the road.

Seth Scott led the Vikings (3-13) with a career-high 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Kevin Briggs added 13 points and Brandon Haughton had 11.

Portland State scored 36 points in the paint - 32 in the first 25 minutes of the game - and got within 42-41 before the Ducks went to a two-center lineup of Crosswhite and Jay Anderson to clog up the middle.

'We're trying to get back in sync,' Crosswhite said. 'It feels good to get a win on the road. Portland State played tough and Scott played well against us. I give them a lot of credit.'

Bringing in the two centers coincided with a 12-2 Oregon run to put some distance between the teams.

'Our kids had a lot of heart and fought tonight,' Vikings coach Heath Schroyer said. 'I told them at every timeout we can play with this team if we follow our game plan.'

The scrappy Vikings fought back with a 7-1 run down the stretch keyed by seven points from Scott over the final 3:37 that kept the crowd in the game.

'The word potential has been thrown around Seth a lot,' Schroyer said. 'Tonight he realized some of that. He's really been picking up the mental part of the game. I'm really proud of the way he played.'

Ridnour knifed through the lane for a running scoop shot high off the glass with 54 seconds left to put the game out of reach.

'We feel like we're comfortable but we need to work at getting better in our halfcourt offense,' Jackson said. 'We worked on the little things tonight.'

The Vikings were able to make a game of it in the first half despite falling behind big early.

A 13-2 run gave Oregon a 22-10 lead with 9:47 left in the half, and the Ducks would lead by as many as 14 before Portland State put together an 11-2 run to get back into contention.

The Vikings closed within five points twice and trailed 40-33 at halftime.

Oregon had 11 turnovers in the first half and was only ahead by seven because it shot 65.2 percent.

'It's tough playing in-state rivals that you're supposed to beat,' Kent said. 'If you look across the country, most teams don't do that.'

The second half was a reversal of the first for Oregon, as the Ducks turned the ball over just four times but shot 38.5 percent.

Portland State fell to 2-32 versus Pac-10 teams. The Vikings beat Oregon in 1997 and Arizona State last season.

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