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Ducks' Brooks doesn't let animosity stop him in Oregon win

EUGENE, Ore. -- Aaron Brooks' peace offering was the only
thing Washington denied him on Saturday.

The Oregon guard and Seattle native scored 30 points to lead the
Ducks (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 23 AP) to a 93-85 win against the reeling Huskies.

Tajuan Porter had 19 points, Bryce Taylor scored 15, Maarty
Leunen had 13 points and Joevan Catron 11 points for Oregon (22-7,
10-7), who were coming off a 64-59 win against Washington State (No. 11 ESPN/USA Today; No. 9 AP) on Thursday that ended a three-game losing streak.

Brooks, who came within two points of scoring a season-high, was
10-for-14 from the field with four 3-pointers. It was his fourth
30-point game of the season.

Saturday's game also marked the first time Brooks and
Washington's Ryan Appleby were on the same floor since Brooks was
ejected from a Pac-10 Tournament game last season for intentionally
hitting Appleby in the mouth with an elbow.

Brooks, who wrote a letter of apology to both Appleby and
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar while in the locker room following
his ejection, was given a two-game suspension for the blow, which
included the Ducks' game in Seattle on Jan. 25. The Huskies won
that game 89-77.

Appleby, who on Friday said he still didn't think Brooks was
punished harshly enough for the hit, kept his hands on his knees
when Brooks went to shake his hand prior to the opening tip. He
again ignored Brooks after the game when the teams were shaking
hands in line.

"He didn't want to shake my hand, that's on him," Brooks said.
"I can't dwell on that. We had a basketball game to win."

Appleby's rejection before the game drew a loud reaction from
Oregon's "Pit Crew" student section.

It had no noticeable effect early on, as Appleby scored 17
points in the first half and made 5-of-7 3-pointers to help the
Huskies take a 30-19 lead midway through the half.

"It was a gut reaction," Appleby said. "I felt like he took a
cheap shot at me last year and I felt like they didn't penalize him
the right way. I'm not going to acknowledge anybody for hitting
somebody in the face like that. There's no reason for me to
acknowledge somebody like that."

Brooks played equally inspired basketball, with 10 points and
six assists in the first half.

But Appleby scored only four points in the second half and
missed on all four of his shots from the field. He ended the game
with 21 points to lead the Huskies.

"We just eliminated his easy touches," Brooks said. "We lost
him a couple times and he hit some big shots from deep range that
was almost unguardable... He played great today, but we came out
with the win."

Brooks sparked a late 15-0 run in the first half to rally the
Ducks to a 40-33 advantage with 4:37 to play before halftime. They
went into the break up 46-40.

The Huskies took a 65-64 lead at the 12:23 mark of the second
half on a 3-pointer by Adrian Oliver. But Taylor answered with a
jumper at the other end to spark a 13-2 run by Oregon that led to
an eventual 77-67 lead with 6:46 left in the game. Washington never
got closer than six points after that.

Oregon shot 61 percent from the field in the second half and 54
percent in the game. The Ducks also recorded season-highs for
free-throws attempted (40) and made (34).

"This was a really good basketball game," Oregon coach Ernie
Kent said. "You had fireworks all over the place. There was
3-pointers, great defense and the crowd was on fire."

The Huskies (16-12, 6-10), who also lost to Oregon State on
Thursday, most likely killed their chances of making their fourth
straight NCAA Tournament appearance by getting swept this weekend,
unless they win the conference tournament to earn the automatic
berth.