Ducks Leave First Place in San Francisco

The University of California quite possibly hosted the Pac-10 game of the year Saturday night as the unranked Bears from Berkeley upset the #15 Oregon Ducks 107-103 in double overtime.

A hot shooting first half from the Ducks led to an early fifteen point lead and 48-35 mark going into the half. In particular, seven threes from the Oregon Ducks and one from Cal told the story of the game's first twenty minutes.

The second half however was another game in itself. Cal followed Oregon's first half lead and caught fire from beyond the arc and finished the game with an unbelievable 64.7 shooting percentage from three-land.

One player in particular who benefited from the California three-point barrage was freshman Amit Tamir who had a career night with 39 points. Tamir missed only five of his nineteen shots and two of his eight free throws en route to his game high.

For Oregon, Luke Jackson topped the scoring column with a new career high of 29 points. Jackson added four rebounds and five assists. Freddie Jones had 23 points to compliment Jackson and the other Luke, Ridnour, was the other Duck to reach double figures with 15 points.

In what Ernie Kent described to OSN as "an unbelievable college basketball game" Oregon's head coach pointed to the change of pace in the second half as the crucial difference in the loss, "the game changed completely and slowed us down."

Oregon was unable to get out and run in the second half while the Pac-10's best defensive team executed to a tee. The closing twenty minutes featured seven lead changes and seven ties resulting in a deadlocked score of 82 apiece heading into OT.

In the first extra period, Oregon took the lead on a Luke Jackson three-pointer followed by a Freddie Jones jumper. Cal then closed the gap and went ahead on a Forehan-Kelly three putting the score at 89-88. Freddie Jones then hit one free-throw to tie up the game and a missed a three-pointer at the buzzer to send it to another overtime.

In the second OT, Cal pulled away quickly by scoring the first eight points of the period, including a Shantay Legans three. Legans finished with 22 points. Oregon came close to forcing another OT but failed to convert its opportunities at the bucket. In the end, Cal's shots fell when they needed them and Oregon's did not.

It is always said that it's not how you start but how you finish and Cal finished with a57.1 shooting percentage form the field. Oregon was not far behind with a 55.7% mark, yet it came down to when the shots fell. Oregon seemingly hit everything in the first half while Cal threw bricks and in the second half, the roles reversed. Coach Kent commented on this after the game, "The ball and the calls didn't go our way." "We needed a perfect game."

This loss puts Oregon at 9-4 in conference play and second place behind Arizona. Next week Oregon will take on in state rival Oregon State. Following that, the Ducks fly south to battle the schools from Southern California in what Erie Kent expressed to OSN as "two games that may be for the conference championship."

Stats from www.goducks.com.


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