Hot Shooting Propels Ducks

The University of Oregon Ducks opened the 2002-2003 men's basketball season, continuing on last year's theme of records. Oregon set a new single game point total record tonight beating up on the Australia Institute of Sport 135-86.

Tonight's game started out with the Australians actually taking an early 5-2 lead on a Andrew Bogut three pointer, but that was the only lead that they would hold all night. From then on Oregon was the up and down, high flying show that fans were used to from last year's team. Oregon outran and out quicked the Australians for the entire first period which allowed the Ducks to score a record 79 points in the half and to lead 79-37.

In that amazing first half, Oregon shot 70% from the floor and 77% from beyond the arc. They also dished out 21 assists compared to only eight turnovers.

"Every single shot seemed to go down in the first half," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent told the Oregon Sports Network after the game.

Although the score was very impressive, the real story of the first half was the debuts of redshirt freshmen Ian Crosswhite, and Matt Short, JC transfer Andre Joseph and true freshmen Brandon Lincoln and Tyler York. Crosswhite, the 6-11 forward from Australia, playing against his former team, started his University of Oregon career off by drilling a long range three pointer, a sign of things to come for Crosswhite on this night.

In the second half, the pace of the game slowed, as it looked as though both teams just wanted to finish the game without any injuries. With 12:31 to go in the game and Oregon leading 103-58. Oregon guard Luke Ridnour put this in doubt as he went flying for a block on an Australian fast break. Aussie guard Steve Markovic drove for a lay-up while Ridnour rose up for a block. Ridnour swatted the ball away, but in the process fell flat on his back, quieting the Mac Court crowd of 8,206 while Ridnour lay motionless momentarily on the floor. The crowd came to its feet as Ridnour did however, giving praise for his effort.

For the game, the Australian effort was led by Andrew Bogut. The 6-11, 17 year old forward finished the night with 25 points and 10 rebounds in 35 minutes. Brad Newley and Matthew Knight were the only other Australian players in double figures with 17 and 12 points respectively.

Oregon put five players in double figures for the night. Junior forward Luke Jackson led the charge with 32 points and nine rebounds. Ian Crosswhite scorched his former mates for 19 points on 6-8 shooting and 3-3 from three-point land. Transfer guard Andre Joseph also had a big night. The 6-3 guard from Houston scored 19 points in 27 minutes off the bench. Luke Ridnour notched a double-double tonight, with 18 points and 13 assists. The only man that was perfect from the floor tonight was guard James Davis. Davis finished 6-6 from the field and 5-5 from downtown, scoring 17 points.

The Ducks' other newcomers also had solid performances. Matt Short, the 7-0 center from Yreaka added six points and four rebounds in 11 minutes. Portland's Jefferson High School's Brandon Lincoln looked strong in his first college basketball game scoring six points in sixteen minutes. Tyler York, a Grants Pass High School graduate and tonight's other rookie scored two points in five minutes off the bench.

Oregon finished up the night shooting 57% from the floor and an amazing 62% from beyond the arc. They also continued last season's trend of solid free throw shooting, making 92% of their shots from the charity stripe.

A light moment also found its way into tonight's program. After the two squads were introduced, stadium announcer Don Essig asked the crowd to please rise for the Australian National Anthem. After a few moments, it seemed clear that the anthem wasn't going to be played. So, after the urging of a few members of the crowd and by Don Essig himself, the Australian team went to the microphone to sing it themselves. They finished to a standing ovation.

Next up for the Ducks are the EA Sports All-Stars. Coach Kent says that they will be more of a test than the Australian Institute of Sport. "These guys will have just been cut by NBA teams. They will be much stronger and quicker." The Ducks will play the All-Stars on Thursday, November 14th at 7:00 in McArthur Court.

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