USC upsets Oregon 84-82 Ending Win Streak

Eugene, Ore. - The USC Trojans (11-4, 2-1) upset the 16th ranked Oregon Ducks (13-1, 1-1) at McArthur Court 84-82 on Thursday evening. The loss prevented Oregon from tying the best start in school history and ended their hopes of a battle of unbeatens with No.1 ranked UCLA on Saturday.

Both teams got off to sluggish starts offensively with Oregon going a chilly 1-11 from the field to open the game. USC jumped to a 6-2 lead with 15:00 minutes left in the first half in what seemed destined to be a low scoring affair.

However, Oregon quickly regained their shooting stroke and surged ahead of USC 41-35 at the break, closing the half by outscoring the Trojans 13-6. The Ducks were led by the electric play of senior point guard Aaron Brooks who scored 14 points in the half to lead all scorers. Adam Zahn had a very active half and contributed 10 points and five rebounds.

Brooks helped Oregon control the tempo and the basketball as the Ducks didn't commit a single turnover in the first 20 minutes. After falling behind the Trojans 25-17, Oregon went on a 9-0 run to take the lead. Brooks started the run with a three point field-goal and Zahn finished it with consecutive thundering jams to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd.

The Trojans rallied to start the second half and claimed the lead at 56-55 with 14:00 minutes remaining in the game. USC was led by the stellar play of junior guard and leading scorer Nick Young and talented freshman forward Taj Gibson out of Brooklyn.

Gibson repeatedly hurt the Ducks inside and tallied 18 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocked shots for the game. Guards Lodrick Stewart and Gabe Pruitt gave Oregon fits on the perimeter with six three point buckets combined.

USC held a 77-70 lead late in the game but the Ducks rallied to tie the game behind two critical three pointers from Chamberlain Oguchi. Young hit the go-ahead bucket for the Trojans with 22 seconds left and led USC with 19 points.

Oregon had a chance to tie or take the lead but Maarty Leunen committed a charging violation on the Duck's next possession. Oregon was forced to foul and USC made one of two free throws for a three point margin with 5.1 seconds remaining.

Brooks was then fouled while attempting a three point basket with 1.4 seconds remaining and had a chance to tie it from the free-throw line. However, after making the first, Brooks missed the second. Brooks then intentionally missed the third free throw but the Ducks were unable to rebound the miss. Brooks had this to say about the potential game-tying free throws, "they were just routine free throws and I needed to hit all three to tie it up. The second one felt good but it just hit the back of the rim."

Brooks led the Ducks with 31 points while Leunen finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season.

Trojan coach Tim Floyd, former coach of the Chicago Bulls, was gracious in victory saying "We're very fortunate to win this game against a great basketball team. I can see why they (Oregon) are undefeated, and they are going to have a great chance to win this league."

Oregon coach Ernie Kent was pleased with his teams performance on offense noting that Oregon only turned the ball over four times but was disappointed in the Ducks defensive effort commenting "we've got to get back to playing tougher defense because everyone at this level in the Pac-10 is a good team. We need to deny their star players the ball and make someone else beat us. They have three kids that are great players and the freshman [Taj Gibson] is going to be a great player as well."

Notes: Oregon was again without Malik Hairston who missed his third consecutive game with a bruised heel.

USC shot 55 percent from the field in the ballgame.

Tip-off for Saturday's game against #1 ranked UCLA is set for 11:00 AM.

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