Ducks Go South and Lose Big

For almost 30 minutes the Oregon-Stanford basketball match up was a tightly contested game with multiple lead changes and then, suddenly the bottom fell out for the Ducks and in the next 11 minutes the Ducks lost their cool and the game 88-69. The problem for Oregon was that for over six minutes no Duck could score.

With 9:34 left in the contest Aaron Brooks scored a field goal to make the game 59-56 and from that point on, nothing went in for Oregon and nearly everything fell for the Cardinal. Stanford went on a 15-to-3 run led by Brook Lopez's 9 to put the game virtually out of reach for a shell-shocked Oregon team. Lopez finished the game with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting and 6-of-7 from the free throw line. Lopez also grabbed a game high 10 rebounds along with blocking two shots and caused Duck fans to wonder if the early success Oregon had enjoyed was just a fluke. Four other Cardinal finished in double-figures as Lawrence Hill had 15 and four blocked shots, Mitch Johnson and Fred Washington ended up with 12 and Kenny Brown had 11. For the game Stanford shot 51.9 percent from the field including 7-of-16 outside the 3-point mark. The Cardinal also held a 38-29 rebounding advantage over Oregon.

How the Ducks could suddenly go so cold and appear to be intimidated by the Cardinal is a mystery. Even though Oregon trailed 40-34 at halftime, Ernie Kent's charges came back after the break and actually took a 50-49 lead just a couple of minutes (12:57 remaining) before the bottom dropped out. During the devastating cold streak Oregon couldn't find the basket and couldn't find anyone that could even find a good shot to take.

Over the last eight games, Oregon has had cold stints but this one really hurt. Aaron Brooks was as cold as anyone during the second half but did manage to shake off some of the frost in the final few minutes and ended up with 25 points. Tajuan Porter was the only other Duck in double-figures with 20, but 16 of those points came in the first half. Noticeably missing in scoring and rebounding production was Malik Hairston (9 points, 5 rebounds) Bryce Taylor (9 points, 2 rebounds) and Maarty Leunen (6 points, 2 rebounds).

For the game the Ducks shot 41.3 percent on 26-of-63 shooting including 8-for-27 in 3-pointers.

With the loss Oregon drops to 20-7 for the year and 8-7 in Pac-10 play. Meanwhile Stanford avenges a 66-59 loss at McArthur Court on January 18th and improves its record to 17-8 for the year and 9-5 in Pac-10 play. The 19-point deficit is the worst loss margin this season for the Ducks. Oregon will play host to Washington State and Washington next week with the Cougars tipping off at 8 p.m. next Thursday night.

Official Box Score from www.goducks.com.

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