Strange…But True

In the six previous games played in the series between Oregon and Portland State, four have been decided by 11 points or less. Tonight was no different in terms of score as the Oregon Ducks won 62-55.<br><br> (PHOTO LEFT) Oregon's Ian Crosswhite (11) pulls down a rebound in front of Portland State's Blake Walker during the first half Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2003, at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Brian Davies)

However, tonight was a little different in terms of sloppy play, clock problems and scorebook issues.

The first sign that this game was not going to be smooth happened before the opening tipoff. While most fans looked on in confusion, Oregon forward Luke Jackson stepped to the free throw line to shoot two technical fouls shots. Jackson hit the second of the two shots as Public Address Announcer, Don Essig, explained that the Portland State Vikings had not delivered their lineup to the official scorer at the appropriate time thus resulting in a technical foul. Later in the game both the shot clock and the game clock malfunctioned repeatedly at key moments.

"I told Coach Kent that hopefully the new arena you build would have a clock that works," Portland State Coach Heath Schroyer said. "He assured me that it will. It was pretty funny."

If the malfunctioning clocks and incorrect scorebook could ever be an indication for how the game went, then this was the game for it. Both teams played a very sloppy game that featured a total of 36 turnovers between the two squads. Oregon had 20 of those miscues.

"Most of it was that we were forcing too much stuff," Oregon forward Jay Anderson said. "We were trying to make too many plays rather than letting the game come to us."

Oregon, though, played through all that and showed that they could win even when most things weren't going their way. The Ducks found a big inside threat in Ian Crosswhite early and late in the game. The 6-11 center from Australia actually scored six of Oregon's first ten points in the second half. All of those buckets came from the inside as Crosswhite demonstrated some solid inside moves.

Crosswhite finished the game with 14 points on 7-10 shooting from the floor. He also added five points in 32 minutes.

"We could just get the ball inside to Ian or whoever really," Jackson said. "We were trying to exploit them down low."

Oregon's defense, especially the match-up zone, held Portland State's offensive output to a minimum. Entering this game, the Vikings were hitting nearly 48 percent of their shots. Tonight PSU hit only 39 percent from the floor. At one point in the first half, the Viks went 13 minutes without a field goal.

Luke Jackson also played a major role in tonight's game. As the great players do, he found a way to score even when he wasn't getting as many shots up as he would have wanted; he got to the foul line where he was 10-13. Jackson finished the night with 22 points and eight rebounds.

One of the more exciting things to see in this game was the play of Oregon point guard Brandon Lincoln. The former Jefferson High School Democrat showed his poise while running the show for much of the game. Lincoln scored nine of his 12 points in the first half and was 2-2 from long range. His twelve points tie his career high set last year against UC Riverside at Mac Court.

"I thought Brandon (Lincoln) had a good game," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent said. "He was one of the bright spots on the floor. He is playing with a lot of confidence and composure."

The Ducks finished the night shooting only 4-12 from three-point land. Part of the reason for this might have been the absence of sharp shooter James Davis. According to a University of Oregon press release, Davis was suspended for the Portland State game for "failing to meet the academic responsibilities that are expected of each player within the University of Oregon basketball program."

Even in such a sloppy game, Schroyer was complimentary of Ernie Kent and the Oregon Ducks.

"I think the world of Coach Kent and his staff," he said. "I don't think Ernie gets enough credit across America for the job that he does and what he stands for. He's basically put together a blueprint for how to build a program."

Next up for the Ducks is the annual Papè Jam in Portland, Oregon on Saturday. At 3:30pm, the Oregon women will take on the Colorado State Rams while at 6:00pm, the Duck men will face the Marshall Thundering Herd. Both games will be in the Rose Garden.

Bev Smith's squad is currently 5-0 and has won big games against LSU and North Carolina State. Cathrine Kraayeveld has been impressive once again this season, leading the team with 17.2 points per game and over eight boards in each contest. Colorado State is 3-1 with their only loss coming to Boston College.

The Duck men's draw the Thundering Herd, recently lost a close game against Kentucky on the road and have shown the ability to shoot the ball well.

"Marshall is a tough team and they've played some teams really tough on the road," Jackson said. "We're not taking anything for granted. We're going to go into that game really hungry."

Official Box Score from GoDucks.com

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