Ducks seek a win in Portland

The Oregon Ducks (4-2) would like to get things right on Saturday when they travel to Portland for a 5 p.m. game with Illinois (8-0) at the Rose Garden in the eighth annual Papè Jam. Illinois is currently the 11th ranked team in the country and could prove to be the spoiler in the Ducks' seven-game win streak in the special game played outside of McArthur Court. The game will be carried nationally on Fox Sports Net.

The Oregon Women will play Prairie View A&M in the opening game with tip-off scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

The Ducks are coming off a disappointing loss to Georgetown, 71-57 last Saturday at Mac Court. Oregon appeared to be leg-weary and shot a frigid .400 from the field on a 20-of-50 night and were equally cold from the free throw line hitting only 7-of-17 (.411) free throws. The Ducks experienced a 9-minute stretch in the first half that they were unable to convert a field goal and the only score was a solitary free throw. To add more salt to the wound, Oregon was out rebounded, 37-20.

"We really let a good opportunity slip away, but Georgetown played well and shot well today," Oregon's head coach Ernie Kent said after the debacle last Saturday. "They really controlled the tempo after about the first eight minutes or so and controlled the game."

Sophomore forward Malik Hairston paced the Ducks against Georgetown with 17. Junior guard Aaron Brooks had 13 while sophomore guard Bryce Taylor added 12. Oregon lost an 8-point lead (12-4) after about six minutes of play and then hit the cold streak in the first half. The Ducks never seemed to find a rhythm allowed Georgetown to dictate the pace of the tempo, cutting down Oregon's chances at easy baskets.

"Offensively, we staggered a little today," said Brooks of the Georgetown game. "We had a good start but they took away our transition."

If things looked bad for the Ducks on Mac Court, the contest against Illinois will not be much brighter as the Illini are seeking their 9th win this season, after coming off a runner-up finish in the NCAA Tourney last March. Illinois is led by all-everything Dee Brown, the team's second leading scorer at 13.9 points per game and 5.0 assists per contest. Forward James Augustine is the leading scorer with 15.6 ppg, shooting .657 from the field and is also a tough rebounder with 8.9 boards per game. The two teams met last year at Illinois with the Illini prevailing 83-66 in a game that was played Dec. 11, 2004.

The Ducks have found the Rose Garden to be very friendly. Last year, Oregon beat Vanderbilt 90-70, and in fact the slightest margin of victory by an Oregon team was in 2002 when the Ducks beat Kansas 84-78. Kansas would go on in that season to place second in the NCAA Tourney the following March.

There are still tickets available for the Papè Jam. According to information provided by Oregon's Athletic Department, over 13,000 tickets have been sold for the event. The arena holds 18,333 and tickets will be sold at the door on the day of the game. Prices for seating range from $10 to $25 and are also sold at the Rose Garden box office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com and via telephone, 1-503-224-4400.

The game will be televised on Fox Sports Net with Steve Physioc and Marcus Johnson starting at 5 p.m. The Oregon Sports Network will carry the game on radio along the OSN radio network with Jerry Allen calling the play. The radio broadcast will begin 30 minutes prior to tip-off.

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