Broncos Tamed

After the crushing 10-point loss at Kansas on Saturday, the Oregon Ducks needed to bounce back. Santa Clara, a team that beat Fresno State earlier in the season but has struggled in other games, was just what the doctor ordered. The Ducks handled the Santa Clara Broncos 94-71 in Oregon's last home game for nearly a month. <br><br>(PHOTO LEFT) Santa Clara's Brandon Rohe, right, attempts to guard Oregon's Jordan Kent's drive to the basket. Oregon won 94-71. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Throughout the first half, it was a very back and forth game. Oregon (4-1) held leads of up to 11 points, but Santa Clara (6-3) fought back every step of the way. Santa Clara guard Doron Perkins kept the Broncos in the game late in the half scoring seven of his team high 20 points in the last 1:39 to make it a five point game at the half.

A number of Duck players wound up in foul trouble in the first half, which forced the Ducks to do some interesting things with their lineups. At one point Adam Zahn was placed at the center spot and Luke Jackson was moved to the four.

"We had to play Luke Jackson out of position in the first half for a little bit and that got us out of rhythm," Oregon Head Coach, Ernie Kent, told OSN.

Although Oregon seemed in control throughout the half, Santa Clara was only a couple of stops and jumpers away from looking like they could win this game.

(PHOTO RIGHT) Santa Clara's J.R. Patrick, left, guards Oregon's Luke Jackson as Jackson drives to the basket during the second half Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, in Eugene, Ore. Jackson scored 23 points as Oregon won, 94-71.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

A James Davis three pointer with just over 14 minutes to go in the game put Oregon up 61-45 and the Broncos never made much of a dent in that lead. Behind Oregon forward Luke Jackson's leadership, shooting and defense, the Ducks overpowered Santa Clara in the second period. Jackson finished with game high 23 points on 8-16 shooting and six rebounds.

This was yet another game for the Ducks where nobody played more than 30 minutes. Only five players played more than 20 minutes. Oregon, once again, showed their depth in having ten players who can contribute.

"We're deep so we can wear out the teams we play," Oregon guard Aaron Brooks told OSN. "By the second half you can tell they are tired." Brooks finished with career high 13 points on 3-4 shooting in 28 minutes. Kent was also pleased with the output of the bench.

"We certainly were able to go as deep as we needed to go on the bench," Kent told OSN. "We got production out of every guy we went to."

Oregon forward Jay Anderson, who started in place of the injured Mitch Platt, had a very solid game. In 25 minutes Anderson scored career high 11 points on 4-5 shooting and grabbed five boards, which ties a career high.

Anderson also played some great help defense, shutting down a number of Bronco drives.

Andre Joseph, the slashing Oregon guard from Houston, Texas, came up with some important jumpers when the Ducks needed them. He wound up with 15 points on 5-7 shooting.

(PHOTO LEFT) Santa Clara's Travis Nieson (41) is fouled as he drives to the basket by Oregon's Jay Anderson (55) during the first quarter Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The only Oregon starter to not finish in double figures was Matt Short, who started in place of Ian Crosswhite. Short, still recovering from an injury, finished with four points in 11 minutes. Crosswhite played well offensively off the bench and scored 10 points, also in 11 minutes.

Early in the second half, Oregon fans saw the first basket made by a player named Kent in over 25 years. Jordan Kent, Coach Ernie Kent's son and a 6-5 freshman guard, took an unorthodox jump shot from the free throw line and drilled it. The crowd exploded and the elder Kent looked up to his wife, Dianna, about seven rows behind him in the crowd.

"His mom has been on my tail about getting him a bucket," Coach Kent told OSN. "I looked up to say, ‘Will you leave me alone? I finally got him a bucket!'"

The younger Kent finished with three points and three rebounds in 14 minutes of play.

Santa Clara has a very Oregon feel to them this season. Four of their players have ties to the state of Oregon. Doron Perkins, the team's leading scorer tonight, played two years at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Coos Bay. The former Laker was the NWAACC Southern Region Player of the Year in both of his years at SWOCC. Scott Dougherty, a 6-4 redshirt freshman guard went to Portland's Jesuit High School. Dougherty played 15 minutes and did not score. Jim Howell, a former Newport High School star who played prep ball against Luke Jackson, had four points in 17 minutes. Graham Neuburger, a Santa Clara walk-on guard from Portland's Central Catholic High School, played in the game's final minute and did not score.

Next up for the Ducks will be the Alabama Crimson Tide in the Las Vegas Shootout at the Thomas and Mack Center on Saturday, December 20th. Oregon and Alabama have never met, but Coach Kent is excited about the game.

(PHOTO RIGHT) Santa Clara's Donon Perkins, left, shots against Oregon's Aaron Brooks during the first quarter Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, in Eugene, Ore. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The only Oregon starter to not finish in double figures was Matt Short, who started in place of Ian Crosswhite. Short, still recovering from an injury, finished with four points in 11 minutes. Crosswhite played well offensively off the bench and scored 10 points, also in 11 minutes.

"It's a great neutral court because it's a great venue to play in," Kent told OSN. "We have an opportunity to play a team, who last year at one point, was the number one team in the nation. It's going to be a great matchup."

The Alabama game will mark the start of a five game road stint that will end at Oregon State on January 10th. Oregon's next home game will be against the University of Washington on January 15th.

"This team has to go on the road, and grow, and come together," Kent told OSN.


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