Ridnour, Ducks Get Hot To Beat Beavers

Jan 18, 2003

AP Sports Writer

EUGENE, Ore. - Early in the second half against Oregon State, Oregon's two Lukes exchanged a few words as they sprinted down court.

'We said, `Let's get this thing going. Let's keep our team in this one',' Luke Jackson said.

After their talk, Jackson and guard Luke Ridnour led a second-half surge that gave No. 22 Oregon a 79-68 victory Saturday.

The Ducks (12-4, 2-3 Pac-10) struggled in the first half, but led by as many as 12 points in the second. Ridnour had 28 points, 19 in the second half, and a career-high 11 assists. Jackson finished with 19 points.

'The fact is that we are a good basketball team. We just need to get back into sync, and back in rhythm. And there was no better place to do it than Mac Court against Oregon State in the Civil War.'
-- Oregon coach Ernie Kent

'Both of us were pretty determined to get this team back on the right track,' Jackson said.

Oregon State (7-7, 0-5) has lost five straight under first-year coach Jay John. The Beavers were paced by Philip Ricci with 24 points and 11 rebounds.

'It's frustrating, but it's encouraging that we're hanging with these teams,' Ricci said.

It was the 317th meeting between the teams in a series that dates to the 1902-03 season. Oregon State leads the overall series 176-141.

The Ducks have won 18 of the last 19 meetings, including eight in a row. The Beavers have not beaten the Ducks since the 1998-99 season, when they won the basketball edition of the Civil War 48-45 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

Oregon State jumped out to a 16-9 lead after padding a 7-0 run that put them up 11-5.

But the Ducks closed within 18-16 on Ian Crosswhite's layup and foul shot, then went ahead on Andre Joseph's 3-pointer with 9:26 left in the half. Ridnour added a layup to extend the lead.

Oregon State pulling into a 29-29 tie on Ricci's rebound shot with 2:26 to go. But the Beavers couldn't reclaim the lead, and Oregon led 34-31 at halftime.

The Beavers maintained the pressure in the second half, with Ricci tying it at 42 with 16:59 left.

The Ducks started to pull away midway though the half, taking a 55-48 lead on Ridnour's driving layup. The Ducks widened the margin when Ridnour fed a perfect pass to Jackson on a fast break with 10:07 to go.

Jackson said he and Ridnour agreed that 'sometimes we need to take over a little bit.'

Robert Johnson gave Oregon its widest margin with a jumper that made it 75-63 with 1:03 left.

John said he was thinking of just one strategy as the clock wound down: 'If there was a way for me to get the ball out of Luke Ridnour's hands.'

'He's a great player and we weren't able to take him out,' John said.

The Ducks were struggling going into Saturday's game. Ranked as high as No. 5 last month, Oregon dropped in the polls with three losses in five games.

Luke Jackson goes up for two of his 19 points during the Ducks' victory.

The Lukes were obviously concerned.

'We're tired of losing. We know we have a good team,' Ridnour said. 'I think you'll see the mood of this team change in the next couple of weeks.'

Oregon coach Ernie Kent agreed.

'The fact is that we are a good basketball team. We just need to get back into sync, and back in rhythm,' he said. 'And there was no better place to do it than Mac Court against Oregon State in the Civil War.'

Ridnour has scored in double figures in all 16 games this season. He was 9-for-9 against the Beavers at the free-throw line, and tied his career high for points.

His previous career high for assists was 10, which he had against Kansas earlier this season.

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