"With the format of the tournament we've taken the last four days of practice and really kept from running up and down the court because we've got these two games back to back," Ernie Kent told OSN after the game. "We wanted to keep from running our legs out in practice and we knew it would take a half to get going."
The second half showed that the Tigers were no match for the Ducks as Oregon was able to stop Grambling on the offensive end and get out and run. Magic Johnson style passes were thrown on the fast break by Luke Ridnour, Luke Jackson, James Davis, and even big man Ian Crosswhite got in on the action, leading a break in the middle of the second period.
Grambling was led on the night by William McDonald who had 17 points and nine rebounds in forty minutes of play. Brion Rush added fifteen points.
The Ducks leading scorer honors were shared by the two starting guards. Luke Ridnour finished with 21 points and nine assists. James Davis also had 21 points and added seven rebounds. Luke Jackson and Ian Crosswhite posted 14 and 11 points respectively.
James Davis' 21 points came off of seven of twelve shooting from downtown. Coach Ernie Kent was pleased with his shot selection.
"I think he only took one bad shot out there," Coach Kent said. "James Davis stays balanced and takes very good shots."
Also impressive was the fact that point guard Luke Ridnour finished the game with no turnovers. That's quite a feat for a player who handles the ball for nearly the entire game and finished with nine assists.
Oregon was only out performed in one area tonight, and that was rebounding. The Tigers out rebounded the normally solid Ducks 46-44. "If there's a negative it's that we could have blocked out and rebounded better in the first half," Kent said. "I think we did a better job of it in the second half." Next up for Grambling are the Jacksonville Dolphins who lost to Oregon's next opponent, the Cal State Northridge Matadors 67-55 in the first game of tonight's tournament. The Dolphins and Tigers will tip off at 5:00 on Monday at Mac Court in the Consolation Game. The Ducks will meet the Matadors at 7:30 in the Championship of the John Thompson Basketball Challenge on Monday night. A couple of familiar faces will be seen by Duck fans on the Matadors bench. Former Oregon assistant coach Bobby Braswell is the head coach of the Matadors, and former Duck point guard Kenya Wilkins is an assistant under Braswell. "(Northridge is) very athletic and (has) great size," Kent said. "They remind me of Kansas in their system and how they play. It's a great opportunity for us to get a look at a system that we'll see later."