Ducks win in the desert!

Oregon defeated Arizona for the second time this season, 90-80. The sweep of the perennial Pac-10 power marks the first time since the early 1980s that Ducks could master the Wildcats. Luke Ridnour led Oregon with 23 points, 10 assists and three rebounds. Four Ducks ended up in double figures in a game that was not as close as the score would indicate.

Oregon defeated Arizona at home just three weeks ago in a blow out 105-75. With the holiday break the Ducks seemed as prepared for the Wildcats as a certain quarterback was prepared for Colorado a few days ago.

"It was three weeks of preparation for us," Head Coach Ernie Kent told the Oregon Sports Network after the game.

The Ducks took advantage of the time and they were nearly flawless in their performance with only 10 turnovers in the contest. Oregon also had a 39-24 rebounding edge over Arizona. Chris Chrisoffersen and Brian Helquist were dominating the inside play not allowing the Arizona big men any chances at offensive rebounds. Every time Arizona made any kind of run Oregon responded and quickly quieted the McKale Arena crowd. The Ducks were very fluid in their offensive flow and shot 49% for the game on 32 for 66. Defensively, The Wildcats were unable to drive to the basket because of the play of Chrisoffersen and Helquist and were forced to settle for outside jumpers. Arizona ended up shooting 33% on 30 for 70.

"Everything we did we did right," said Kent.

Oregon came out strong and seemed to flow with ease at McKale Center, a place at which the Ducks have had much success. Ridnour had a rhythm for the game from the tip off and at one point pulled for a successful 25-footer without hesitation.

"He (Ridnour) was just phenomenal tonight," remarked Kent.

The win propels the Ducks into a position they most want, undefeated and taking on a team at Arizona State that the Ducks beat 103-90 in Eugene on December 20. The Ducks improved their season record to 10-3, 3-0 in the Pac-10 race and the win over Arizona is the seventh straight win.

"There is a lot of confidence in the locker room," said Kent.

Luke Jackson contributed 21 points and had seven assists and five rebounds. Frederick Jones started off slowly but ended the game with 12 points, five rebounds and two blocked shots. Instant offense came in with James Davis who had 10 points. Jason Gardner led Arizona with 22 points and Salim Stoudamire who is from Lake Oswego High School, had 16 points for the Wildcats.

The Ducks play Arizona State tomorrow night with tip off scheduled for 5:30 PM Pacific Standard Time and the game will be televised on the Oregon Sports Network.


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