Salim roasts the Ducks

It was a shoot-out between two of the Pac-10's best shooters. Thanks to a career high 37 points from Salim Stoudamire, the Wildcats survived a 42-point effort from Luke Jackson and beat the Ducks 100-87.

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Oregon tried to run with the Wildcats, but could not keep pace with the red hot Wildcats, especially Salim Stoudamire and Hassan Adams who scored 36 of the Wildcats' 46 second half points.

Stoudamire was the story. Just one game after establishing a career high with 34 against UCLA, the junior eclipsed that with 37 points. He hit his first five three-point attempts, scoring 22 first half points as the Wildcats built a 16-point cushion that they would never see trimmed to less than seven.

"Salim had an unbelievable shooting night," Lute Olson said after the game.

Adams' performance was even more impressive. The sophomore did not get the start, but came off the bench to give the Cats a spark. He had 26 points and 14 rebounds.

"He went up hard on the glass," Olson said, "He had a really good practice on Tuesday."

Adams was particularly effective on the baseline, taking advantage of the Ducks' spread out defense. With the Wildcats shooting so well from behind the arc, the Ducks extended the defense and that allowed Adams to sneak around the baseline and get a number of good looks.

Luke Jackson paced the Ducks, but he had little left at the end. Jackson scored a career high 42 points, but did not score in the final 7:02 when the Wildcats changed their defensive philosophy. Jackson could not miss in the early stages, exploiting whoever was trying to guard him one-on-one. "He competes on every possession," Olson said of Jackson. "Game in and game out he's the best player in the league."

Jackson was 6-9 from three-point range, but the Cats began to double-team him in the late stages, daring another Oregon guard to beat them from the outside. Fortunately for the Wildcats, no other Duck was hot.

"We went at him and doubled right away," Olson said of the late game strategy. "We made it difficult for him to get a shot."

Other than Andre Joseph, no other Oregon perimeter player could do any damage. Joseph had 12 points, but James Davis, Brandon Lincoln, Aaron Brooks and Jordan Kent combined for just eight points and did nothing to help the Ducks late when the Cats bottled up Jackson.

It was another great offensive performance for the nation's top scoring team. For the fifth straight game the Wildcats shot over 50%, hitting 34-of-63 shots. Even more impressive was the 62.5% shooting from beyond the arc.

"We hit the shots we needed to hit," Olson said. "Again tonight we're 54% from the field."

Arizona got out early, building a 17-5 lead in the opening minutes. The Ducks started the contest going 0–4 from the field and committed five turnovers.

The turnover situation never really improved as the Ducks lost the ball 18 times. Seven of the turnovers came from Ian Crossewhite. The center traveled three times. When he wasn't losing the ball he was very effective, making 6-7 shots.

The Cats never blew the game open. Three-point shooting, primarily from Jackson, kept the game within reach for the pesky Ducks. A 9-3 run allowed the Ducks to trim the lead to 38-31, but OU got no closer until the late stages of the second half.

The second half became a battle between Adams and Stoudamire versus Jackson. The two Wildcats kept pace with the white-hot senior forward. The two teams were nearly even the rest of the way. After Oregon outscored the Cats 11-5 to open the half, things went back and forth. The Cats never led by more than 12 or less than seven after taking a 16-point into the second half.

What was particularly impressive for the Cats was the fact that they survived with both Channing Frye and Andre Iguodala saddled with foul trouble. Iguodala fouled out with 4:55 to play, but the Cats did not fold.


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