Along with a solid offensive output, perhaps Oregon's key to victory was their defense. The Ducks held Oregon State (11-9, 4-7) to 30 percent shooting from the floor. Oregon State star player Phillip Ricci was also held to only nine points. The Beavers' offense tends to run through Ricci and tonight, the Ducks shut him down. For much of the game, the Ducks put a defender on Ricci fronting him and when the pass went over the top, help defense was right there. It seemed like whoever Oregon had out there was giving a great defensive effort.
"It was just a great team effort and a great defensive effort in this game," Oregon Coach Ernie Kent told OSN.
(PHOTO RIGHT) Oregon State's David Lucas shoots against Oregon's Ian Crosswhite (11) during the second half Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003, in Corvallis, Ore. Oregon defeated OSU 80-63. (AP Photo/Ryan Gardner)
Offensively, the Ducks found their touch in the first half, drilling three pointers all over the place. James Davis, Luke Jackson, Andre Joseph, Ian Crosswhite and Luke Ridnour all had three pointers for the Ducks in the first half barrage that rained 11 three-pointers down on Oregon State.
"When you get in that groove we got in during the first half, it's pretty impressive," Kent told OSN.
It was also big for the Ducks to have out rebounded the Beavers today. With Oregon State's front line of Brian Jackson, Phillip Ricci and a rotating third, the Beavers are a solid rebounding team. Tonight, the Ducks had the upper hand on the boards, 38-31. Luke Ridnour and Luke Jackson had six rebounds a piece.
Frustrating for the Ducks and especially Coach Ernie Kent was the foul and free throw situation tonight. Oregon was called for 26 personal fouls while the Beavers were tagged with only 14. At the line, Oregon State attempted 34 free throws while Oregon shot only seven, something that Kent was not happy about.
"It was 34 free throws to our seven and we were the team with the lead for the entire game," Kent told OSN. "It is ridiculous that happened. Through all that, we had a twenty point win, and that is pretty impressive. I just thought that was terrible."
Oregon stepped it up today in all parts of their game. It looked more like the team that beat Kansas than the team that lost to California and struggled with Washington State.
"This was not the same (Duck) team we played last time," Oregon State guard Chris Stephens said.
With 6:05 left in the game, Luke Ridnour set a Pac-10 record tonight. He stepped to the line and coolly hit a free throw, just like he had done the 49 previous times. As the Oregon fans in attendance chanted "Pac-10 Record!" Ridnour nailed the second free throw, putting his record at 51 free throws and counting.
With the amount of Oregon fans that were in attendance tonight, it felt much like one of the old Blazers vs. Sonics games at the Tacoma Dome when thousands of Blazer fans would make the trip to the Sound to cheer on Rick Adelman's team. Tonight, looking around Gill Coliseum, patches of green and yellow were seen throughout the arena and when the Ducks would score, many may have wondered who the home team was.
(PHOTO RIGHT)Oregon's Andre Joseph, left, drives to the basket against Oregon State's Floyd North III during the second half Saturday, Feb. 15, 2003, at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. (AP Photo/Ryan Gardner)
The Beavers were led by Brian Jackson in the scoring column tonight. The senior had 15 points and eight rebounds in 30 minutes. David Lucas, son of former Portland Trailblazer Maurice Lucas scored 11.
Oregon's Luke Ridnour once again led the charge. Tonight he had 18 points and nine assists in 39 minutes. James Davis and Andre Joseph both added 16 points and were on fire from beyond the arc.
Next week, the Oregon schools will travel to Washington for battles with the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars. Thursday, Oregon will be in Pullman to face the Cougars as they try to carry this momentum through the road trip. Tip off for that game will be at 6:00 on FSNW.
Stats from www.goducks.com.