8:30 PM ET, January 4, 2007
McArthur Court, Eugene, Oregon
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon needed one more win to set up an undefeated showdown with No. 1 UCLA on Saturday. Southern California didn't let the Ducks (No. 17 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) get it.Nick Young scored 19 points and freshman center Taj Gibson had 18 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks as the Trojans handed Oregon its first loss of the season, 84-82 on Thursday night.Gabe Pruitt scored 18 points for the Trojans (12-4, 2-1 Pac-10), who shot 55 percent from the field, while Lodrick Stewart added 14."We were fortunate to win this game against a great basketball team," USC coach Tim Floyd said. "I can see why they [were] undefeated. They are going to have a great chance to win this league."Aaron Brooks scored 31 points for the Ducks (13-1, 1-1), who made 11 3-pointers and committed just four turnovers. But Brooks missed a chance to tie the game with 1.4 seconds left when he was fouled taking a desperation 3-point attempt. He went to the line for three free throws and Oregon down 84-81.Brooks swished his first attempt, missed the second, then intentionally missed the third. The loose ball was picked up by Oregon's Chamberlain Oguchi, but he couldn't get a shot off before time expired."It was routine free throws at the end of the game," Brooks said. "You have to hit the three to tie it up and go into overtime. [The second attempt] felt good, it just hit the back of the rim."The loss denied the Ducks a chance to tie the best start in school history and remain one of just three Division I unbeatens, along with Clemson and UCLA. It also took a bit of the luster off Saturday's game against the Bruins."No. Not at all," Brooks said when asked if the Ducks had looked past the Trojans in anticipation of UCLA. "We don't look ahead to nobody. It's our first Pac-10 [home] game. We wanted to send a message. We just didn't get it done at the end."Oregon, which led 41-35 at halftime, was down 81-75 when Brooks hit his career-high sixth 3-pointer with 1:33 left. Oguchi then tied it with a 3 with 50 seconds left.Young answered with a jumper in the paint over Oregon's Maarty Leunen with 21 seconds left to put USC up 83-81. Leunen was then called for an offensive foul on a drive to the basket with 5 seconds left.After Pruitt made one free throw, the Ducks had the one last chance.Leunen finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Oguchi, Bryce Taylor and Adam Zahn each scored 10 for the Ducks."We had some guys play huge," Floyd said. "Gibson's line is tremendous and this kid's been doing it all year long. He's a terrific young player."The Trojans shot 63 percent from the field in the second half, including 6-of-10 on 3s.USC had a chance to put the game away but went 5-for-10 from the free throw line over the final 3 minutes.Consecutive 3-pointers by Pruitt gave USC its first lead of the second half, 59-57, with 13:23 left. A 3 by Young with 6:41 to play put the Trojans up 74-67, their largest lead of the half.Pruitt, who scored 30 points in the Trojans' win at McArthur Court last season, had 15 points in the second half and Young had 17 in the second half."When you allow the other team to shoot 63 percent from the field and 60 percent from 3-point territory in a single half, that was the difference in the game," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "We've got to get back to playing tougher defense because everyone at this level is the Pac-10 is a good team."Oregon struggled with its shooting early, making only eight of its first 26 shots to trail 25-17 at the 7:17 mark.Zahn and Brooks scored all the points in an 11-0 run that put the Ducks up 28-25 with 4:29 left in the half.
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||31-56 (.554)||30-71 (.423)|
|3P Made-Attempted||9-19 (.474)||11-31 (.355)|
|FT Made-Attempted||13-20 (.650)||11-16 (.688)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||19 (0/0)||21 (0/0)|