Ducks blow lead and lose

With under a minute it looked like the Oregon Ducks (10-12, 4-6 Pac-10) was ready to snap an 18-game losing streak to the Stanford Cardinal (11-7, 7-3). However with just 13 seconds on the game clock, Stanford's Chris Hernandez hit a 3-point shot that spelled the difference in a 57-56 win over the Ducks. Oregon had played well enough to build as much as a 12 point lead, but in the final seconds of the game, Ducks could do no more than turn the all over.

(PHOTO) Stanford's Chris Hernandez, left, shoots the game-winning 3-pointer over Oregon's Brandon Lincoln (14) as Adam Zahn watches, right, in the closing seconds of their game Thursday, Feb. 2, 2006, in Eugene, Ore. Stanford won the game 57-56. (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)

"We just made too many mistakes in the last minute and a half," said Oregon's head coach Ernie Kent of the game. "It is unfortunate that we couldn't close out the game."

For the most part the Ducks controlled the tempo of the game and it looked early on that Oregon might pull away and eradicate the ghosts that an 18-game losing streak can create. The Ducks actually lead Stanford 22-10 in the first half, but Sanford kept cool despite an icy shooting touch (37.5 percent for the game) and eventually cut Oregon's lead to 30-29 at halftime.

The game was tied three times during the contest and the lead changed five times.

The Ducks shot somewhat better for the game (39.7 percent) but as has been the case in so many games this season failed to take advantage of free throws only hitting 5-of-10 in free throw attempts. While Stanford's free throw percentage wasn't much better (57.9 percent to 50 percent) the Cardinal made 11-of-19 free throws.

Only three players in total scored in double figures. Stanford's Matt Haryasz had 24 and Hernandez chipped in 20. Malik Hairston led Oregon with 23. Haryazs also pulled down 14 rebounds.

Even though Hernandez put down the 3-pointer with 13 seconds left in the game, Oregon had a chance to bring the ball back up court to retake the lead. Instead, the Ducks inbound the ball and moved into the front court. Without taking a timeout to set a play, Oregon looked confused and with just 3 seconds left on the game clock, turned the ball over. Haryasz got the ball into his hands and he was immediately fouled but he missed the first free throw of a 1-and-1 free throw opportunity. The Ducks rebounded and called timeout with 2.4 seconds showing on the clock. However, Oregon was unable to set up and inbound play that could give them a reasonable opportunity to shoot and the perhaps fittingly, Oregon turned the ball over to end the game.

"Chris [Hernandez] did what he's able to do," said Stanford head coach Trent Johnson. "He knocked down a clutch shot at a clutch time."

While Haryasz had a big night rebounding, Oregon actually controlled the boards 41-35 and scored 11 points to Stanford's 6 on second chance opportunities.

The Ducks will take on California on Saturday with tip-off scheduled for 5 p.m.

Box Score from www.goducks.com

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