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Ducks give unbeaten Stanford a scare

1/31/2004

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Though Chris Hernandez doesn't consider
himself a shooter, his second-half baskets saved Stanford's perfect
season.

Hernandez scored all of his 22 points after halftime and led No.
2 Stanford back from a 19-point deficit to beat Oregon 83-80
Saturday.

Stanford (18-0, 9-0 Pac-10) remains one of just two undefeated
Division I teams in the nation. The other, No. 3 Saint Joseph's,
beat Temple 83-71 earlier Saturday.

"Our regular people who normally hit shots weren't hitting
shots, so I started driving to the basket. We were down by (nearly)
20 points -- so I figured I might as well take some shots,"
Hernandez said.

It was Oregon's first loss at McArthur Court this season and
third home loss in 39 games.

Oregon (10-6, 5-4) went up 45-26 early in the second half, but
Stanford whittled away until Josh Childress gave the Cardinal its
first lead since the opening basket with a 3-pointer that made it
70-69 with 3:50 left.

The teams traded the lead back and forth, but Hernandez hit a
pair of free throws with 1:12 to go and Nick Robinson added a layup
to put the Cardinal up 79-75.

James Davis gave the Ducks a chance in the final seconds when
his 3-pointer pushed Oregon to 81-80, but Hernandez hit a pair of
free throws and Davis' 3-point attempt at the buzzer to tie it
bounced off the back rim.

"Somebody had to do something. I think Chris was probably
frustrated with everyone's lack of aggressiveness, so he started
making plays," Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said.

Luke Jackson led Oregon with 25 points, while Davis had 19
points.

"A great team doesn't give up, doesn't give in," Davis said.
"That's why they're No. 2 in the country and we're unranked."

The Cardinal were without starting forward Justin Davis, who
injured his knee Thursday against Oregon State. Matt Haryasz, who
filled in for him in the starting lineup, had 19 points and seven
rebounds.

Davis made a jumper for the Ducks' biggest margin of the game at
45-26. But Stanford -- helped by 10-3 run -- closed the gap to 55-44
on Hernandez's 3-pointer. Hernandez scored 12 straight points
midway through the second half to keep the Cardinal in the game.

The Ducks went cold and Stanford took advantage, tying it at 67
on Hernandez's layup and free throw with 4:32 to go. Jackson hit a
pair of foul shots to put Oregon back ahead, but Childress made his
3-pointer to give Stanford the lead.

"We broke down defensively in the second half," Oregon coach
Ernie Kent said. "Hernandez did a great job of attacking the
gaps."

After the Ducks jumped out to an early 10-6 lead, Stanford
closed the gap with Matt Lottich's 3-pointer. But Oregon answered
with a 14-2 lead to make it 24-11.

Oregon led by as many as 16 -- going up 34-18 on Mitch Platt's
jumper -- before taking a 39-24 lead into the half.

Stanford shot just 27.6 percent in the opening half, compared to
64.3 percent in the second.

The Cardinal, who have won 13 of the last 15 games against the
Ducks, became just the seventh team in conference history to reach
the halfway mark of the Pac-10 schedule undefeated.

Oregon's last victory over a team ranked as high as Stanford
came in 1989, when the Ducks beat No. 2 Arizona 68-63 at Mac Court.

Former Oregon quarterback and Heisman finalist Joey Harrington,
now with the Detroit Lions, was among the 9,087 fans at the sellout
game.