And Still Undefeated...

The Ducks came up just short of joining the other eight unranked teams who knocked off Top 25 squads today, but Oregon's would have been the biggest of them all. No. 2 Stanford came to a ruckus Mac Court sporting an undefeated record and nearly lost it in an 83-80 win over the Ducks that went down to the wire.

Oregon (10-6, 5-4) had led by as many as 19 points in the second half but slowly let Stanford claw their way back in the game.

"In the second half, we dropped down at about the ten minute mark to about 70 percent productivity and they stayed at 85 to 90 percent and that was the difference in the game," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent said.

Momentum really swung in the game when Oregon's James Davis was called for an illegal screen with 7:42 left in the game. The call was made after the teams came out of a timeout and right after the officials had made a tough call against Stanford. Davis, who finished with 19 points, was one of Oregon's main offensive threats, but the call gave him his fourth foul and Kent had to pull him out of the game.

"I think that was a questionable call," Davis said. "I jump stopped into the screen. I didn't even move and the (player) ran me over. It was a questionable call but the call was made."

It took Stanford (18-0, 9-0) over 11 minutes, but at the 4:32 mark in the second half, a Chris Hernandez hoop and harm tied the game at 67. It was the game's first tie since the teams were knotted at two. Hernandez's three point play capped a 10-3 Cardinal run since the Davis foul.

"All the sudden we had a nice little stretch where we got even and our confidence went up," Stanford Coach Mike Montgomery said.

The Ducks were not out of the game yet. They were far from it. Oregon was still hitting their shots; all they needed was a stop or two.

Oregon almost got that stop with just over two minutes left in the game. Oregon was leading by one and was close to forcing a shot clock violation on the Cardinal. But Matt Lottich saw the clock running down and with two seconds left, threw up a desperation three pointer that banked in and gave Stanford a 75-73 lead.

"It takes a two seconds on the shot clock banker from 35 feet out that puts the ballgame in a different perspective," Kent said.

The Ducks never saw the lead again.

Stanford was able to use the clock and then force Oregon to take some ill advised three pointers. The Ducks did sniff the win again with just over a second left. After Hernandez, who finished with 22 points, only made one of his two free throws, James Davis drilled a three pointer that cut the Stanford lead to one. However, there were only 1.3 seconds left.

Stanford inbounded the ball to Hernandez and Oregon's Brandon Lincoln ran over to foul him. The officials refused to call a foul until 0.2 seconds remained on the clock, and when Hernandez hit both free throws, the game was over.

Oregon had really dominated Stanford in the first half, holding a 39-24 lead at the intermission. James Davis and Andre Joseph both had 11 points to lead the Ducks and Oregon held the Cardinal to just over 27 percent shooting from the field.

The Ducks were able to pound the ball inside after Stanford had to sit Rob Little down with three first half fouls. The other starting big man for Stanford, Justin Davis, was out with an injury so Mitch Platt and Ian Crosswhite found their scoring touch in the paint.

"Mitch Platt did a great job inside," Montgomery said. Platt finished with 13 points and 10 boards, his first career double-double.

Unfortunately for the Ducks, the man who came in for Little, Matt Haryasz, found his shooting touch as well. The sophomore was averaging just over seven points per game entering this contest and exploded for 19 points in 33 minutes tonight.

Luke Jackson, finished with 25 points for the Ducks, but did not have a typical Luke Jackson game from the free throw line. The senior All-American candidate was 7-10 from the line and missed a very key free throw with 16 seconds left.

He wasn't the only player to struggle from the line. As a team the Ducks shot just over 54 percent for the game.

Jackson, though, was impressive in the second half. After going 1-6 from the floor in the first half with only three points, he went 6-8 in the second half and poured in 22.

"Jackson is the real deal," Montgomery said. "He had the ball in every crucial situation and we had a hard time guarding him."

Jackson's 25 points give him 1,668 career tallies, moving him past Frederick Jones and Stan Love into fourth place on the all-time scoring list.

Even after today's loss, Kent was still positive about Mac Court and the atmosphere in the building today.

"I think this is one of the greatest jobs in the country. When you can bring that type of energy in this building, I don't know where it gets any better than this," Kent said.

Next up for Oregon will be the Civil War and the Oregon State Beavers. This game is a must win for the Ducks if they want to continue to stay in the upper echelon of Pac-10 teams. The Ducks and Beavers will face off at 4:00 on Saturday, February 7th in Mac Court.

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