Ducks Snap Skid with 81-73 Victory

The Oregon Ducks(9-3) defeated Mount St. Mary's of Maryland 81-73 at McArthur Court on Friday evening snapping a two game losing streak. The Mountaineers (6-6) of the Northeast Conference did not go away quietly and battled Oregon hard for the first 30 minutes of the game.

Mount St. Mary's led Oregon 50-48 with less than 15 minutes left in the game before the Ducks went on a 21-4 run to put the game out of reach at 69-54. Malik Hairston scored seven points during the Ducks decisive run including a three-pointer while Tajuan Porter added a field goal and a deep three.

Hairston had 24 points on the night but the game belonged to senior center Maarty Leunen who recorded his eighth double-double on the year with 26 points and 12 rebounds.

Oregon shot a season high 63 percent from the field for the game making 31-of-49 attempts. Leunen was perfect on all eight of his attempts while Hairston was an efficient 9-of-11. Despite the impressive shooting performance, Oregon struggled to put away the Mountaineers due to 20 turnovers on the night, also a season high.

Turnovers have been a problem for Oregon during the last three games prompting Head Coach Ernie Kent to say "yes I'm concerned" about the Ducks sloppiness with the ball of late. Kent stressed that it is very important for Oregon to "take care of the ball" as they embark on a road trip to Arizona next week to open Pac-10 conference play.

Oregon reserve Frantz Dorsainvil played a season high 18 minutes off the bench and contributed 10 points while only missing one shot. Dorsainvil was filling in for an injured Joevan Catron and said that he "had to step up big today" to help offset the loss of Catron. Catron has an injured right foot and will undergo a MRI tomorrow.

Mount St. Mary's was led by sophomore wing Will Holland who had 22 points including six three pointers. Senior guard Chris Vann contributed 20 points for the Mountaineers.

Oregon shot 70 percent from the field in the first half, yet led by only five points, 41-36, after turning the ball over 12 times before the break. Leunen had 15 points and five boards to lead Oregon in the first half.

Kent said that Oregon needs to "get sharper" as they head into Pac-10 play. He is hoping that taking the Ducks on the road for six of their 12 non-conference games will help them deal with the adversity they will face in league play.

Kent is especially concerned with the defensive side of the ball saying we are "not where we need to be." He specifically mentioned that Oregon needs to work on its defense "at the point of attack" where breakdowns have been occurring frequently forcing Oregon into rotations and mismatches. Kent said that he is not "satisfied" with where the team currently is at with a "tough, tough Pac-10 race" looming ahead.

Several Ducks reached career milestones tonight. Leunen moved past Charlie Warren and into 8th place all-time on the Oregon career rebounding list with 736 rebounds. Hairston moved into 12th place on the career scoring list with 1,333 points, surpassing Jim Barnett's total of 1,325 and Bryce Taylor moved into 17th place on the scoring list just ahead of Bob Hamilton and Dick Wilkins.

Oregon's next game and Pac-10 conference opener is Thursday Jan. 3rd in Tempe against the Arizona State Sun Devils.

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