Oregon Sluggish In Loss To Cal

In a game where one team comes to play and one team does not, a blowout is bound to happen. Thursday night in Berkley, the No. 10 University of Oregon Ducks did not come to play and were beaten by the California Golden Bears 88-72.

When the Ducks have lost this season, field goal shooting and defense was where they struggled. The story was no different tonight as the Ducks shot only 44 percent from the field while giving up a 54 percent mark for the Bears. Too many times California center Amit Tamir was open for jumpers and too many times he hit them, killing Oregon momentum many times.

Oregon turned the ball over six times in the first four minutes of the game that gave Cal a chance to run out to a 9-2 lead. Andre Joseph came into the game for the Ducks and hit two straight three point bombs, but then Cal pushed their lead back out to 11 with just over 7:00 to go in the half. Turnover after turnover gave Cal chances to score.

"I don't think we started with a sense of urgency," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent told OSN. "We turned the ball over too much and got them in a rhythm."

An 11-0 Duck run tied the game at 27 shortly thereafter but Tamir scored five straight points and Joe Shipp added a couple of key hoops to give Cal a 43-33 lead at the half.

The second half was much of the same as Tamir continued to kill the Ducks with his hot shooting. Shipp also hit a few shots which put the Ducks down by as much as 19 points at times.

Although Oregon has been a solid three point shooting team this year, they tried to go to it too much when they were behind tonight and not attacking the rim. This hurt them in the long run by giving up long rebounds and letting Cal pad their lead. Oregon finished 8-27 on the long ball, with Luke Ridnour going 2-9, and James Davis going 2-6 leading the Ducks in attempts.

"When they took us out of our system a little bit we lost our composure," Kent said.

Leading the way for Cal tonight was Tamir who went 8-13 from the floor for 25 points in 38 minutes. Shipp added 22 points and eight rebounds. Brian Wethers scored 16 points for the Bears.

The Ducks got 17 points from Luke Jackson tonight although he only took five shots from the floor. He finished 2-5 on field goals, 1-3 on three pointers but 12-14 from the line. Ridnour added 14 points on 4-14 shooting. Joseph once again gave a solid effort off the bench with 12 points.

California is now 9-2 with a 2-0 Pac10 record. They face Oregon State on Saturday at 7:00.

Oregon goes next to Maples Pavilion to play at Stanford, a place Oregon has not won at since the 1984-85 season. The Ducks will look to improve their 10-3 record and get back to .500 in Pac10 play with a win. Currently Oregon is 1-2 in conference play.

Stats from www.goducks.com.

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