St. Mary's Hands Ducks 78-73 Defeat at Home

The St. Mary's Gaels (8-1), behind 22 points from leading scorer Patrick Mills, defeated the Oregon Ducks (4-6) 78-73 on Wednesday night at McArthur Court in Eugene. Mills, the only Gael in the starting lineup who is not a senior, won the WCC Newcomer of the Year award during his freshmen season last year. "Patrick Mills is a great, great player" commented Oregon Head Coach Ernie Kent.

"St. Mary's is a very well coached team" continued Kent. They are a "very good veteran team" that has the capability to be a "NCAA tournament team."

Mills scored the first four points of the game for St. Mary's in helping the Gaels storm out to a 9-1 lead after the first minute and a half of play. The Ducks responded well and rallied to take a 23-21 lead on a TaJuan Porter jumper. The lead would not hold as Carlin Hughes hit consecutive three pointers for St.Mary's who would take a 42-35 halftime lead into intermission.

After a 7-2 run by St. Mary's to start the second half, the Gaels held their big lead of the night at 49-37. Omar Samhan, the 6-11 center for St. Mary's, who averages 15.5 points and 9 rebounds a game, got the spurt started with a dunk while Hughes hit another three pointer.

Again the inexperienced Ducks fought all the way back to tie the game at 55 after two Joevan Catron free throws with 9:54 left in the game. Catron also added two field goals and a three pointer during the Ducks run.

Oregon would never regain the lead however. After a Porter jumper brought the Ducks to within 65-62 at the 3:38 mark, Mills took the game over.

Mills hit a three pointer to give St. Mary's some breathing room and then iced the game by hitting 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch. During the summer, Mills participated in the 2008 Beijing Olympics by competing on the Australian National Team.

Kent liked his teams effort saying that his young team "battled them hard." He also took note of the Ducks effort on defense and pointed out that Oregon held St. Mary's to 39% shooting from the field.

Oregon was led by Porter who scored 16 points. Reserve point guard Kamyron Brown added 15 on 5-10 shooting from the field. Catron had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Diamon Simpson, the Gaels leading rebounder, was a thorn in the Ducks side all night and contributed 16 points and 18 rebounds. Samhan finished the game with 15 points and 13 rebounds while Hughes added 14 points.

Oregon's next game is at home against the University of Portland on Saturday December 20th.

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