Ducks Right Ship, Beat 9th Ranked WSU 64-59

Eugene, OR – Freshmen TaJuan Porter led Oregon to a crucial Pac-10 victory against 9th ranked Washington State (22-5, 11-4) 64-59 with 21 points to lead all scorers, 19 of which came in the second half. The victory snapped a three game losing streak for the Ducks who had lost five of their previous six games.

It was a much needed boost of confidence for Oregon (21-7, 9-7) as they head down the home stretch of the Pac-10 schedule.

The Ducks got off to a quick 8-2 lead before the Cougars responded with a 17-0 run to take a 19-8 lead midway through the first half. Washington State maintained a double digit lead for much of the rest of the half before a critical spurt got Oregon to within 30-25 at intermission.

With the Cougars leading 30-20 with under a minute left in the half, Aaron Brooks who scored 16 points, made a lay-up with 33 seconds left. Washington State had an opportunity to take the final shot of the half and lead by no fewer than eight points at the break.

However, Derek Lowe took an ill-advised three pointer with 13 seconds left in the half. Malik Hairston grabbed the rebound and fed Brooks who found Maarty Leunen open in the corner for a three pointer with less than a second left in the half.

It was Leunen's third three pointer of the half and gave Oregon momentum going into halftime, trailing by only five points.

The momentum carried over into the second half. After Kyle Weaver, who had 14 points, opened the half with a three pointer for the Cougars, Oregon answered back with an 8-0 run to tie the score at 33. Brooks started the spurt with a three point play and Porter followed with a jumper and a three pointer to even the contest.

It was a tight contest the rest of the way. The Cougars took a 52-46 advantage after a three pointer by Daven Harmeling who kept Washington State in the game by scoring all 15 of his points in the second half.

Oregon got within 55-53 after a three pointer by Porter and took the lead a short time later at 56-55 after another three by Porter who had four three pointers in the second half. Porter was also fouled on another second half attempt and converted all three free throws.

Leunen's tip-in with 49 seconds left gave Oregon a three point advantage at 60-57. The Cougars answered right back with a lay-up at the 40 second mark which set the stage for Brooks.

Brooks milked the shot clock, drove right and hit a tough runner with 12 seconds remaining giving Oregon a three point cushion. With a chance to tie the game with a three, Weaver lost the ball for the Cougars and Chamberlain Oguchi iced the game with two free throws providing Oregon with its final margin of victory.

The Ducks did an outstanding defensive job on Washington State's star point guard Derrick Low. Low, who scored 37 points including nine three pointers against Oregon earlier this season, was limited to six points on 3 of 11 shooting from the field.

Oregon only shot 40 percent from the field for the game, but the Ducks were 11 of 26 from three point range which was the difference in the game.

Notes: Porter needs just four more three pointers this year to tie the Pac-10 freshmen single season mark, currently held by UCLA alum, Jason Kapono.

Washington State outrebounded Oregon 28-25 and shot 52 percent from the field on the night.

Oregon's next game is Saturday at McArthur Court against the University of Washington.

The victory gives Oregon three wins in the same season against top ten teams for the first time in school history (UCLA, Arizona, WSU). The Ducks are also 5-2 against teams in the top 25.

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