Road Woes Continue

Last season, for much of the year, the Oregon Ducks were dubbed as not being a team that could win on the road. Late in the season they won a few key road games, proving that they were able to win in a hostile environment. This year, the Ducks will need to prove that they can win on the road, something they have not been able to do yet.

On a neutral court against Cincinnati, at California and now at Stanford, the Ducks went in with high expectations and were smoked. The only road win for Oregon so far this season was the 105-90 thriller at Pepperdine.

Tonight, the No. 10 Oregon Ducks showed that without a total effort from every player any team can jump up and bite them. This time is was the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford beat the Ducks in Maples Pavilion today 81-57 in front of 7,034.

For the first seven minutes of the game Oregon was right in it. With 13:12 to go in the half Luke Jackson nailed a three pointer bringing the Ducks to within five points at 14-9.

Josh Childress made his second three pointer of the game for Stanford with 12:22 to go and Oregon would never be close to the lead again. Childress' three pointer was his second in two minutes and both of them came off the same play. A screen was set in the lane, Childress would swing around it and wind up in the coffin corner right side to have a wide open three pointer. Oregon's defense didn't switch or do anything to stick with him. His two shots really sparked Stanford.

By halftime the Ducks were struggling to box out and giving up a lot of easy hoops. Oregon made one run near the end of the first half that brought them to within four points after a Matt Short dunk, but then Stanford strung together eight straight points putting them up 12 at halftime, 41-29.

After eight straight points to end the first half, Stanford scored 11 straight to start the second half putting the Ducks away for good. After that any energy that Oregon had was gone. Luke Ridnour continued to play hard, trying to take the game into his hands and bring the team back, but Stanford shot the ball much too well today.

The Cardinal was 11-19 from three point land today, and it seemed like whenever Oregon would make a hoop or two that Stanford would come down and hit a three. Junior guard Matt Lottich was 5-7 from long range, making all of his points on long bombs.

Even when Stanford was drilling three pointers, Oregon left them open for these shots that were killing the Ducks. Coach Ernie Kent was not pleased with the team's effort on defense or anywhere else on the floor today or in practice.

"We've had a team that has turned us off a little bit and stopped listening a bit," Kent told OSN. "Maybe (they've) started listening a little bit more to what's (said) in the community about how great they are. It's a team that has not had that intensity level that we've needed to have on a day to day basis."

While Stanford had it going from long range, the Ducks struggled going only 5-18 on three pointers. When a team can't score from the outside normally they will take it inside either on the drive or by feeding the post. Neither worked for the Ducks today as few players tried to penetrate and post play was nearly non-existent.

"We didn't get a lot of production in the low post with the exception of Matt (Short)," Kent said. "When you're not scoring in the low post, teams will really lock up our guards."

Stanford spread their scoring around well today putting four players into double figures. Julius Barnes had 17 points, Matt Lottich had 15, Josh Childress put up 14 points and sophomore Nick Robinson had 13 points and 11 rebounds.

The Ducks were stymied by Stanford's defense today with only Luke Ridnour scoring more than eight points. Ridnour had 19 points and with a basket with 8:51 to go in the first half put himself in the 1,000 point club.

Matt Short received his first start tonight for the Ducks and scored eight points before fouling out. Short looked solid in the paint on both offense and defense. With experience he will only get better. Andre Joseph also started today and also scored eight points but grabbed seven rebounds. Brandon Lincoln received plenty of playing time tonight off of the bench and showed some promise. Ian Crosswhite saw limited action and only attempted one shot.

One of Oregon's trademarks all season has been moving the ball and creating a lot of assists. Today it was a different story. The Ducks made 19 baskets and only had seven assists.

The Ducks who are now 1-3 in Pac10 play, will go to Portland for the second time this season, this time facing the Portland State Vikings. PSU is 3-11 with wins over Sacramento State, Linfield (McMinnville, OR) and Cal-State Northridge. Jeb Ivey is leading the Vikings in scoring with 14.8 points per game. The senior guard from San Jose, California was All-Big Sky Conference Honorable Mention last season. Oregon and Portland State will tip off on Wednseday at 6:00pm and will be broadcast on OSN

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