Ducks even season with win over ASU

Attributing the win to slowing down, Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent believes his team has carried through on some things that were figured out a week ago in a trip to the Bay Area. On Thursday night the Oregon Ducks (8-8, 2-2) played a much smoother game with fewer errors in a 67-53 win over the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-8, 0-5) at McArthur Court in Eugene.

(PHOTO) Oregon forward Aaron Brooks, left, goes to the hoop against Arizona State's Antwi Atuahene during first-half Pac-10 college basketball action in Eugene, Ore., Thursday, Jan. 12, 2006.(AP Photo/Don Ryan)

The Ducks, who have struggled all season with poor shooting, poor free throw shooting and turnovers were much better against ASU, shooting 45.3 percent on a 24-for-53 field goal night, 84.24 percent on 16-for-19 free throws and only committing seven turnovers for the game. Four Ducks scored in double figures led by Aaron Brooks' 19, while Malik Hairston contributed 16 with Bryce Taylor chipping in 14 and Adam Zahn had 12.

"Tonight was just a continuation of things we have been doing the last couple weeks, we looked solid out there on both ends of the court," Kent said of the contest.

Kent attributes the success with some things learned from last week's trip to the Bay Area when the Ducks stayed competitive against California and nearly took Stanford at Palo Alto. Kent believes that by slowing the pace down, the Ducks can conserve energy and that pays off on both the offensive and defensive ends. On offense the Ducks were able to operate more smoothly in the half-court game and maintained a comfortable cushion lead for most of the contest.

"We just needed to slow ourselves down and play with better energy and start to play within the half-court offense," said Kent.

Defensively the Ducks held ASU to 39.64 percent field goal shooting on 19-for-48 field goals and Oregon out rebounded ASU 32 to 29. Antwi Atuahene's 21 points paced ASU while Kevin Kruger had 13. Kent thought that Taylor did a good job on Kruger, ASU's leading scorer for the year.

"We had a tremendous defensive effort," said Kent. "Bryce (Taylor) did a great job shutting down Kevin Kruger."

With the win, the Ducks move into a five-way tie for fourth place in Pac-10 standings. Oregon will take on Arizona on Saturday. Arizona lost to Oregon State at Corvallis75-65 on Thursday.

Kent also mentioned that forward Maarty Leunen's status for a sprained ankle is day to day. Matt Short was cleared to play on Thursday but did not make an appearance. Kent also mentioned that Ivan Johnson might be available for Saturday's game.

Official Box Score from

eDuck Top Stories