Ducks Ride Waves To Victory

In a game that started out with unconscious shooting from both teams, it was the No. 5 University of Oregon Ducks that came out with the win over the Pepperdine Waves 105-90 at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, California.<BR><BR> Oregon's Brian Helquist shoots over Pepperdine's Glen McGowan at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2002. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Tonight's first half opened up with absolutely amazing shooting from both Pepperdine and Oregon. It went back and forth with Pepperdine hitting a huge shot at their end and then Oregon coming back down and hitting one at their end. Pepperdine's Alex Acker hit a number of key shots in this stretch that ended at the 15:05 to go in the first half with Pepperdine leading 19-18.

"I've never seen a game where two teams came out that on fire," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent told OSN after the game.

The feverish pace then slowed slightly and Pepperdne held the lead for nearly the next ten minutes. After a technical foul on Pepperdine's David Patten, Oregon went on a 15-2 run, highlighted by an Andre Joseph 3 pointer and a Luke Jackson steal and thunderous dunk which left the Ducks leading 41-35 with 4:17 to go in the first half. Pepperdine then powered back and cut the Oregon lead to 52-50 at the half.

"They are a tough team to play because they came out so energized. We were just blown away with what they did at the beginning," Robert Johnson told OSN.

Pepperdine seemed to have the most defensive success in both 1-3-1 and 2-3 zones in the first half. However after some success in the zone, they would switch back to the man to man, which allowed Oregon many chances to score.

Glen McGowan, one of Pepperdine's key players committed his third foul in the middle of the first half. Pepperdine Coach Paul Westphal left McGowan in the ballgame and he wound up committing his fourth foul near the end of the first half. McGowan then started the second half and committed his fifth foul on a charge, ramming into Luke Jackson with 17:35 to go in the game.

(Image right) Oregon's Luke Jackson dunks during the first half against Pepperdine at Firestone Fieldhouse in Malibu, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2002. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Jackson was injured on the play and had to leave the game - limping to the sideline favoring his hip. He nearly collapsed on the sideline in front of the bench but then entered the game again with 16:37 to go, only a minute after he left.

Oregon simply outplayed Pepperdine in the second half. The Ducks outscored the Waves 53-40 in the second half, with Ian Crosswhite, Luke Jackson and Johnson coming up huge.

The Ducks opened up a 92-79 lead, their largest of the game on a Crosswhite basket and free throw with 4:48 to go. Crosswhite started on the right side of the key, leapt into the air, flying under the basket, flipping it up towards the hoop on a reverse lay-up, and having it carom off the glass and in. It was a move that 6-11 guys rarely make.

Jimmy Miggins who had 24 points on 11-22 shooting led Pepperdine. Alex Acker had 16 points in 36 minutes. Terrance Johnson and Larry "Boomer" Brazzle, a Portland native, added 14 a piece.

Johnson played a very important role for the Ducks tonight. Johnson ended up with 19 points and 10 rebounds on 6-8 shooting. Not only did he get yet another double double, but also his hustle and defensive work tonight were amazing. Many times Johnson's man was bringing the ball up the court and he had to guard him in one on one situations.

Jackson led the Ducks in scoring with 27 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Crosswhite set a new career high with 19 points in 21 minutes off the bench. Luke Ridnour added 15 points and James Davis had 12.

Next up for the Ducks will be the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Jimmy V Classic on Tuesday at 6:00pm on ESPN. The Ducks, currently ranked number five, will be one of the top ranked teams in the Jimmy V Classic.

"It's hard to grasp the idea of being a number five team," Johnson said. "We're just Oregon. We're just a bunch of guys that love hoopin'."

Stats from UO Official Site.

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