Ducks Make Highlanders See Plaid

Coming into today's game, the UC Riverside Highlanders had about as much of a chance at winning as a 98 pound weakling does at tossing the caber. The No. 9 University of Oregon Ducks danced all over the Highlanders today, winning going away, 108-67.

Today's game was all about getting one more tune up for Arizona. It worked out just that way. After Riverside tied the game at 11 on a Jake Wessel lay up with under 16 minutes to go in the first half, Oregon went on a 21-8 run, pulling away and not looking back. Jay Anderson, Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson were all key during that run. Oregon also entered a trap and then full court press defense, forcing a couple Riverside turnovers and forcing junior guard Mark Peters to call a time out when Oregon's defense left him no other options.

After that run, Oregon continued to push the ball and look to score. James Davis and Brandon Lincoln made back to back three pointers that gave Oregon a 20 point lead with 1:27 to go in the half.

"I watched some games on TV today and some teams had trouble getting their legs back after Christmas break," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent told OSN. "We did well running the floor, especially in the second half."

Oregon did a great job on the boards in the first half, and a lot of that was due to Robert Johnson. Johnson had nine first half rebounds along with six points.


Photo right: Oregon's Luke Ridnour drives the basket against UC Riverside defenders, including Jake Wessel (2), in Eugene, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 28, 2002. Oregon won 108-67. (AP Photo/Thomas Boyd)

The second half was much more of the same with Oregon opening up even bigger leads. Many of the younger guys got in, with only one Oregon player playing less than 12 minutes. Each Oregon player also scored in today's contest.

Kevin Butler and Nate Carter, who each had 14 points, led UC Riverside on the scoreboard today. Aaron Hands added 11 rebounds.

Oregon was led by Ridnour's 25 points and eight assists. Jackson had 20 points today. Johnson, Lincoln and Davis all added 12 points each. It was a career high for Lincoln, who played high school ball at Portland's Jefferson High School. Johnson also added 12 rebounds, giving him another double-double.

"I think that James Davis had a really solid game," Kent told OSN.

Brian Helquist was held out of today's lineup to rest his shoulder for the Arizona game next Thursday, so Ian Crosswhite took his starting spot. Crosswhite only played 17 minutes though and scored nine points.

Today's win not only moves Oregon to 9-1 overall, but it gives them their record tying 23rd win in a row at Mac Court. The previous record was set between the 1937, '38 and '39 seasons.

Both teams' next games will be on Jan 2nd with Riverside playing at Santa Barbara and Oregon hosting the No. 4 Arizona Wildcats. Oregon and Arizona will tipoff at 9 p.m. in Mac Court. The game will be televised on OSN.

eDuck Top Stories