Ducks destroy Cats

The Wildcats' pre-Christmas blues continue. The team that is so dominant in November has really struggled before the holidays. In the last eleven years the Cats are a measly 2-9 in the games immediately preceding the Christmas holiday break. The Wildcats' 105-75 loss to Oregon continued that trend.

The Wildcats' 30-point loss was not only the worst loss to Oregon, but it was the club's worst loss under coach Lute Olson. The game eclipsed the 86-60 loss to LSU during the 1999-2000 season.

Although the Ducks dominated the Wildcats in nearly every facet of the game, it was their shooting that spelled doom in the upset over the eleventh ranked Wildcats. The Duck shot 54% from the field and connected on an amazing 59% of their three point attempts. The Ducks' 13 three-pointers were the key component in killing the Wildcats.

Luke Jackson led the way for Oregon with 28 points, including 16 during the first half. Reserve guard James Davis hit 4-of-5 three pointers on his way to 14 points.

"They were on fire," said Olson. "Just take a look at the three-point shooting. Their guards totally destroyed our guards."

The lone bright spot for the Wildcats was the play of freshman center Channing Frye. Frye, who had a breakout game against Oregon State two nights before, continued to flourish in Pac-10 play with 18 points and nine rebounds.

The Cats started out strong, holding a brief lead until the Ducks put together a 9-2 run to get within one. After a few minutes of trading buckets the Ducks took the lead and never looked back. The hometown team canned 8-of-12 threes in the half, building up their lead.

"It seemed like any time they got a good look they knocked it down," Olson said.

Oregon extended their lead to 18 with 1:30 left in the half before the Cats went on an 8-0 run to go to the locker room trailing 49-39.

The Cats could not continue the momentum as the Ducks scored the first five points of the second half. A Davis three with 16:34 left in the game put Oregon up 61-46.

The Ducks flat out outplayed the Cats in the second half, seemingly answering every Wildcat charge and then adding points of their own. By the 10:00 mark they lead 79-60, outplaying the Cats in every facet of the game. They kept up the torrid shooting, while forcing the Wildcats into bad decision and forced shots. The Ducks were able to attack the basket and draw fouls on the Arizona defenders, while also getting offensive rebounds.

The Ducks led by as many as 32 and coasted down the stretch for the impressive win.


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