10:30 PM ET, January 29, 2004
McArthur Court, Eugene, Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Just when it seemed Oregon was letting a sure victory slip away, Luke Jackson stepped in for the save.Jackson scored six of his 17 points in the final three minutes -- after the Golden Bears had trimmed a 23-point deficit to six -- as the Ducks held off California 68-56 on Thursday.Ian Crosswhite added 16 points for Oregon and James Davis had 13 points and five assists.The win was the Ducks' eighth straight at McArthur Court and their 36th in their last 38 games there. The Ducks improved to 10-5 on the season and 5-3 in the Pacific-10.California (8-9, 4-4) was led by freshman forward Marquise Kately, whose 17 points were one short of a season-high. Fellow freshman Leon Powe had 12 points."We did an excellent job in the first half executing our game plan," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "We did exactly what we wanted to do offensively and defensively."The Ducks led 46-23 a few minutes into the second half. But Cal followed with a 16-3 run to close within to 10 with 13:08 to play.Oregon rebuilt its lead to 58-43, but the Bears responded again, this time with a 10-1 run to close the gap to 59-53 with under three minutes to play.That was as close as they would get, however, as Jackson scored on a layup and the Ducks made 7-of-8 free throws to put the game away."We dug ourselves a big hole in the first half," Cal head coach Ben Braun said. "This was a result of lack of patience and lack of poise."Oregon took the lead for good early in the first half, when Jay Anderson scored on consecutive possessions and Jackson finished a fast break with a dunk to cap a 6-0 run for an 11-6 advantage at the 13:34 mark.Three-pointers by Brandon Lincoln, Davis and Anderson built the Ducks' lead to 32-17, and Jackson made it 37-17 after making 3-of-4 free throws late in the first half.Oregon's 37-20 advantage at the break was its largest halftime lead of the season.The Ducks were able shut down Cal center Amit Tamir and guard Richard Midgley, holding the two starters to a combined 0-for-15 from the field and six points overall. They entered the game averaging 11.4 and 9.2 points, respectively.Tamir had a reputation for scorching the Ducks. In his four previous games, the senior had averaged 25.3 points and shot 61.2 percent."That was the best job we have ever done against Tamir," Kent said.Oregon, which came into the game shooting a national-best 42.1 percent from the 3-point line and Pac-10-best 49.2 percent from the field, played to form.The Ducks shot 48.9 overall and made 6-of-11 3-pointers. They also outrebounded the Bears 33-26 and held them to just seven offensive boards.
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