Ducks Wake Up, Blow Out Huskies

After trailing nearly the entire first half and trailing by seven points at the intermission, the No. 9 Oregon Ducks came out strong in the second half, beating the Washington Huskies 86-64 in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.

Oregon trailed by as many as 13 points in the first period, as Washington's Doug Wrenn led the way with 12 first half points. His three pointer with 5:44 to go in the half put Washington up 31-18.

"Washington was playing very well," Oregon center Mark Michaelis told the Oregon Sports Network. "We were sluggish and we fought through that."

In the second half, it seemed to be a different Oregon ball club on the court, totally shutting down any offense from the Huskies. While the defense was firing on all cylinders, the offense kicked into gear as well, allowing Oregon to quickly pull away from the lethargic Huskies. A Freddie Jones steal and dunk put Oregon up 47-45 with 13:59 to go in the game. It looked as though it might be a back and forth second half as Washington came right back to tie the game, but a Luke Jackson three pointer put the Ducks ahead for good 35 seconds later.

"In the second half we really stepped off and held Washington to 22 points," Coach Ernie Kent said.

Leading the way for the Ducks was Jackson with 27 points and eight rebounds. Freddie Jones, who had a 102-degree temperature before the game, also added 15 points and two blocked shots. Guard Luke Ridnour finished with 11 points and six assists. Key off the bench for Oregon were Anthony Lever and Mark Michaelis. Lever wound up with eight points while Michaelis, filling in for an injured Brian Helquist, had seven points and three rebounds in 15 minutes.

Washington was led by Doug Wrenn's 14 points and seven rebounds. Center David Dixon had 12 points and six rebounds in his final collegiate basketball game. Errol Knight also had 10 points.

The only scare for the Ducks in the second half was a hard fall by Luke Jackson after a dunk with 5:00 to go. Jackson was out on a fast break when he went up for a two handed jam. After making the dunk, his hands slipped off the rim, causing him to fall flat on his tailbone.

"Luke told me in the locker room that his pride was hurt more than anything," Kent told OSN.

The Huskies season finished Thursday in Southern California, as they finish up with an 11-18 record overall, 5-14 in Pac-10 play.

Oregon improves their record to 23-7, 15-4 in conference games. Those 23 wins are the most for the Ducks since 1945. Next up for Oregon will be the winner of the USC vs. Stanford game. The second round game will start at 6:30 on Friday.


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