Ducks Escape ASU with 60-55 Win

The Oregon Ducks (15-1, 3-1), ranked 15th in the nation, beat the ASU Sun Devils (6-10, 0-5) 60-55 on Thursday night in Tempe, Arizona. The Ducks opened a 15 point lead at 50-35 to cap a 12-0 run midway through the second half but had to hang on for the narrow victory. Oregon matched the school's best start since the 1936-37 Ducks also started the season 15-1.

Arizona State controlled the tempo from the start in the low scoring game and led for much of the first half. The Sun Devils however never led by more than four points.

Oregon took the lead at 24-23 on Aaron Brooks difficult driving bank shot and would never relinquish it.

Oregon led 29-26 at the halftime break on 50 percent shooting from the field. Bryce Taylor led the Ducks with 10 points in the first half and had 16 points and five assists for the game.

Oregon started the second half by outscoring the Sun Devils 7-2 to lead 36-28. Five of the points came from Malik Hairston, who had 13 points and led the Ducks with eight rebounds on the night.

It was Haiston's first game back after missing the previous five with a bruised heel, and he provided a big boost on the boards and a steadying influence on offense.

Tajuan Porter scored seven points in the game, all in the second half, including a three that gave Oregon the 50-35 advantage.

Arizona State answered back with a 11-2 run to get within 52-46 as Oregon went four minutes without a field goal. The Sun Devils made it a one possession game at 56-53 before Porter hit a big shot at the 1:27 mark to give the Ducks a five point lead.

Arizona State again got to within three at 58-55 after a follow bucket and had the ball and a chance to tie with under 20 seconds left and the shot clock off.

However, the Sun Devils final play was slow and sloppy in developing and ended when ASU lost the ball out of bounds in front of their bench.

Brooks, who had 16 on the night, was then fouled and hit two free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining to seal the win.

Oregon earned their second highly coveted conference road win and are undefeated on the road in conference play at 2-0.

Arizona State, yet to win a conference game, was led by sophomore forward Jeff Pendergraph with 18 points and nine rebounds.

Notes: Both teams had 28 rebounds for the game.

Oregon was 20-45 from the field while ASU was 20-46.

This week Brooks was named the Pac-10 player of the week and Dick Vitale's national player of the week after averaging 28 points per game against USC and UCLA.

Oregon plays Arizona at 5:00 PM Sunday evening on FSN.

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