Oregon Makes Pilots Lose Course

Although missing one regular starter tonight, the number seven University of Oregon Ducks didn't miss a beat tonight as they rolled to an easy 96-66 victory over their in-state rival the University of Portland Pilots in McArthur Court.

Without starting center Brian Helquist, who sprained his shoulder in practice on Monday, the Ducks started redshirt freshman Ian Crosswhite who stepped it up tonight. Crosswhite was big on both ends of the floor, throwing crisp passes, making many Pilots change their shots while in the air, and providing some hustle plays as well.

The Ducks opened up the game on a 16-3 run with Robert Johnson and Luke Jackson each scoring six points during that stretch. The Pilots then went on a run of their own, cutting the Ducks lead to 18-11 with 10:50 to go in the first half. At this point, it was almost as though the men from Oregon simply decided that they didn't want another close game and steadily pulled away, finally leading the Pilots 50-30 at the half.

Oregon started the second half on a 22-8 run that put the Pilots away for good. The home team simply had to coast to the finish from that point and get ready for Kansas.

Leading the way for the Portland Pilots tonight were Donald Wilson and Karl Aaker who both scored 13 points. Aaker also added six rebounds to the Pilots' cause. The shock of the night on the Portland side was the lack of points from Casey Frandsen. Normally a solid shooter, Frandsen has been averaging 19 points per game in the Pilots first three games this season. He was only 3-15 from the floor tonight with six points.

"One of the focal points of the game was to shut him down. We're going to (see) a player, (Kirk) Hinrich (for Kansas), on Saturday that plays similar," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent told OSN. "We really wanted to limit (Frandsen's) touches tonight."

Oregon had another solid offensive night, putting five players into double figures. Luke Jackson led all scorers with 21 points. He also pulled down 12 boards. Luke Ridnour added 17 points, Ian Crosswhite and Andre Joseph both scored 16 and Robert Johnson had 10 points in 20 minutes.

The Ducks won the battle of the boards for the second time this year tonight. They out rebounded the Pilots 45-29. Coach Kent believes that rebounding will be one of the keys on Saturday.

"(Kansas) has lost two pretty good players," Coach Kent said. "Drew Gooden is one, and he dominated us last year (on the boards). For us, the biggest key will be to step up and do a better job defensively and to keep them off the glass. It was the major difference in the game, getting out rebounded 62-34 last time we played them."

The Pilots will face another in-state rival on Saturday as the Oregon State Beavers make the trek up I-5 to the Chiles Center. Portland will try to improve to 3-1 against in-state teams, already beating Pacific (Forest Grove) and Portland State.

Next up for the Ducks is the Pape` Jam and Kansas. This will be a rematch of last year's Elite Eight showdown. Also playing on Saturday in the Pape` Jam will be the Oregon women, taking on Brigham Young. The men's game will start at 12:30pm and will be on CBS. The women will follow at 3:00. Both games will be played in the Rose Garden in Portland.

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