Ducks Tame Tigers

After yet another slow first half, the No. 9 Oregon Ducks opened up the second half with a 25-6 run and kept their foot on the gas pedal for the rest of the game, beating the University of the Pacific Tigers 88-69 in Eugene on Saturday.

The start of the second half was nearly all Oregon as the offense and especially the defense really got going. To start the half, the Ducks stopped Pacific on eight of nine possessions while in their matchup zone.

"We did very well in the match-up zone tonight and that's where many of our stops came from," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent told OSN.

Oregon's big run in the final period featured hoops by many different Duck ballplayers. James Davis opened the scoring with a long-range bomb off of a pass with Luke Ridnour. Brian Helquist then scored a tip-in on Oregon's next possession, and Ian Crosswhite nailed a three-pointer on the following possession to open up a 47-33 lead.

Luke Ridnour and Jay Anderson also scored key baskets later in the run, but the highlight of the run was provided by guard Andre Joseph. Joseph spotted up in the coffin corner on the right side and drilled a three-pointer while being fouled. He coolly stepped to the line and nailed his free throw for a four-point play and a 70-43 Oregon lead.

The first half was a little different story, as the scrappy Pacific Tigers managed to stay within six points at halftime. Pacific was very active on the boards and in their offense, which allowed them to stick with the Ducks.

Pacific's defense just wasn't good enough to allow them to stay close in the second half. The Tigers struggled with Oregon's screens and gave up a lot of open shots to the Ducks. Oregon also rebounded well in the second half, limiting the amount of opportunities the Tigers got on the offensive end.

The Tigers were led by junior guard, Myree Bowden who scored 20 points on 8-13 shooting. Demetrius Jackson and Miah Davis scored 14 and 12 points respectively.

Luke Ridnour once again led the Ducks in the scoring column, accounting for 24 of Oregon's points and notching up seven assists. Andre Joseph and James Davis both added 14 points and Ian Crosswhite scored a career high 12.

Joseph was one Duck who had a particularly solid ballgame. Although he was only 5-11 from the floor, he nailed two three pointers and showed the ability to get to the rim very quickly. He also scored his 14 points in only 20 minutes of play.

Ian Crosswhite also showed some solid inside moves while scoring his 12 points. A number of times he drove inside and went up in traffic, converting on lay-ups and short pops.

Even though he only scored eight points and struggled from the floor going 2-13, Oregon forward Luke Jackson made his presence known, grabbing 12 rebounds and adding five steals.

In the last few minutes of the game, the Ducks put different units on the floor, something Coach Kent was very happy about. "We could have put more points on the board, but this wasn't about putting points on the board, it was about getting a lot of people in," he told OSN.

One of the only negatives on the night was Oregon losing the rebounding battle again. Pacific out rebounded the Ducks 36-34. Pacific gained a large advantage in the first half on the offensive glass, a problem that Oregon seemed to fix in the second half.

Oregon gets one more chance to work on their rebounding in an actual game before the rematch with Kansas, and that's Wednesday against the University of Portland Pilots. Last season the Pilots shocked the Ducks at the Chiles Center in Portland, upsetting the Ducks 79-78. The Ducks will have their chance for revenge, though, as the Pilots come into hostile territory on Wednesday. Portland will be looking to stay undefeated when the two teams tip off at 7:00 in McArthur Court.

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