Ducks Finish Off UNLV To Advance To Elite-8

The Oregon Ducks advanced to the Elite-8 for the second time in Ernie Kent's tenure by beat the UNLV Running Rebels, 76-72. Led by Tujaun Porter's 33 points, the Ducks controlled the game after halftime even though the Rebels made an exhaustive comeback to cut the lead to two points with less than a second to play in the game.

(PHOTO) Oregon's Tajuan Porter brings the ball up during the second half of an NCAA men's Midwest Regional basketball semifinal against UNLV in St. Louis, Friday, March 23, 2007. (AP Photo/Ed Reinke)

Porter was 9-for-17 in field goal shooting including a record tying 8-for-12 in 3-point shooting. Porter came out on fire in the game and swayed the St. Louis crowd with his outside sharp shooting.

"He's a terrific, little ballplayer -- a special, unique player," Kent told the Portland Tribune. "Whatever liability he is on the defensive end, you have to come down and guard him. He's really improved defensively."

The Ducks built as much as an 18 point lead in the second half (58-40) with 11:35 left in the game but after that UNLV made a move to cut the lead. Oregon helped UNLV along the way with some sloppy play but in the end it was too much of a lead to cut for Rebels.

"We're not a ball control team, and we got tentative and careless at the end," observed Bryce Taylor in a post-game interview with the Portland Tribune. "We need to make sure we step up in the crunch time situations."

Malik Hairston was the game's leading rebounder for the game hauling down 11 boards while also adding 14 points. Maarty Leunen played a solid game with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Michael Umeh and Kevin Kruger paced UNLV, both with 15 points.

For the game the Ducks shot 47.9 percent on 23-of-48 including 13-for-23 in 3-point shooting. UNLV shot 37.8 percent on 28-for-73 and only 9-for-33 outside the 3-point line.

With the win the Ducks now advance to play No. 1 Florida on Sunday for a chance to go to Atlanta for the Final-4.

For Jason Vondersmith's complete story in the Portland Tribune click Porter's house: Oregon guard makes eight 3s, scores 33 points in the dome as Ducks reach Elite Eight

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