Oh To Be 16 Again!

Today's second round NCAA Tournament game pitted the seven seed Wake Forest against the number two seed Oregon and showed what March Madness is all about. The pace was fast and the threes fell even faster as the Oregon Ducks pulled out a 92-87 victory over the Demon Deacons at Arco Arena in Sacramento, California.

The game started out fairly even as both sides were firing on all cylinders. Following a Luke Ridnour three point play, Wake Forest jumped out to a 36-25 lead on a 14-0 run with 7:34 to go in the half. Oregon then clawed their way back into it, finishing the first half down only two, 48-46.

Wake Forest was on fire from all parts of the floor in the first period, shooting 57% on field goals, and 75% from beyond the arc. The Ducks also shot well in the opening half, posting a 48.5% mark from the floor.

The second half was a typical nip and tuck type of game with one team going ahead and the other fighting back. Momentum was in neither team's favor until Freddie Jones' monstrous tip-in dunk that brought the Ducks to within one, 72-71 with 10:08 to go in the game.

Adding to Wake Forest's loose grip on the control of the game, leading scorer Craig Dawson had to leave the game with 7:45 to go. It was revealed that he popped his left shoulder out of its socket and would not return to the game.

After Wake's money man left the game, Oregon immediately went on a 9-0 run, taking an 82-78 lead with 5:15 to go. Wake regained the lead with 3:47 to go on a Jamaal Levy jumper, 83-82, but it was all Oregon from then on out.

The game then turned to the free throw line, where Oregon was 22-24 on the day. Tough defense on one end and great free throw shooting on the other sealed the game for the Ducks.

"At the end of the game, we played great defense and got our free throws," Oregon Assistant Coach Fred Litzenberger told OSN after the game.

Leading the way for Wake was Dawson who finished with 20 points, 5-8 from three point land. Senior, Darius Songaila had 19 points, 12 of which in the first half and 13 rebounds. Antwan Scott, Taron Downey and Jamaal Levy also scored in double figures with 13, 11 and 10 points respectively.

The Ducks shut down Songaila in the second half, allowing him only six points. Much of that could be attributed to great defense from Luke Jackson and Robert Johnson.

Once again, it was The Big Three for Oregon who led the team in scoring, combining for 81 points. Luke Jackson tied a career high with 29 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jackson also went 10-10 from the free throw line. Luke Ridnour had 28 points and was 7-11 on three's. Freddie Jones finished with 24 points along with six rebounds and five assists. Robert Johnson also added seven rebounds.

Twelve three pointers by Oregon allowed them to set a new PAC-10 record for treys in a season. Their 287 three's on the year surpasses the record of 280 set by Arizona in 1994.

Oregon's next opponent is yet to be determined as the Ducks will have to wait on the Texas vs. Mississippi State game tomorrow. The Sweet Sixteen game will be played Friday in Madison, Wisconsin at a time yet to be determined.

The Duck team will arrive at the Cas Center by bus tonight with a 9:30-10:00 expected arrival time.

Stats from www.goducks.com.

eDuck Top Stories