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Pape Jam

December 9, 2002 Columns No Comments


Oregon downs Kansas in the Pape Jam

by Jed Tai

If only they cheered this hard for the Blazers.

Portland’s Rose Garden might normally be home to the black and red of the NBA’s Trail Blazers, but for the Fifth Annual Pape Jam, it was filled with the green and yellow of the Oregon Ducks faithful. Packed with a sellout crowd of 20,752 frenzied Oregon – and Kansas – fans, the arena hosted one of the best games of this college hoops pre-season in front of the most people to ever witness a college basketball game in the state.

It was an electric atmosphere that resembled an NCAA Tournament tilt.

“It was awesome for us to get to play in front of so many people,” said one of Oregon’s Lukes, star point guard Luke Ridnour. “It was like a March game.”

There were plenty of storylines entering the contest. It was a rematch between of last year’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight game between the two schools, a 104-86 Kansas win. It was also a homecoming game for Kansas guards Aaron Miles and Michael Lee, both of whom had played high school basketball at Jefferson High School in Portland.

But for Oregon, it was an opportunity to show a nationally televised audience that the Ducks – and hoops in the state – were for real.

“I like to call it a statement game,” said Oregon head coach Ernie Kent, “(Oregon) is a basketball-crazy place too, and we had a chance to make that statement on national TV today.”

As you might expect out of two of the nation’s top offenses, the pace was helter-skelter at the outset. Oregon took advantage early. Behind the famed Luke Show of point guard Luke Ridnour (11 points, 8 assists) and forward Luke Jackson (18 points), the Ducks would forge out to a double digit lead. No matter what defense Kansas threw at Oregon, the Ducks would hit from everywhere on the floor, including 7-of-9 shooting from behind the arc. A three-point bomb by Ridnour with 5:27 in the period gave the Ducks their largest lead of the period, 39-25. But KU, even with Nick Collison and Wayne Simien on the bench saddled with three fouls apiece, forged back going on an 18-8 run to cut the lead to 47-43 at the half.

The pace slowed down in the second half as both teams stepped up their defensive pressure. As they did in the first half, Oregon was in control early on in the period. The Ducks got big play from their bench, as Five consecutive points by Jay Anderson gave them some breathing room with a six point lead at the 13 minute mark, and two free by Andre Joseph with 8:40 remaining finished off a 11-4 run, giving the Ducks a 72-61 lead. But Kansas’ combo of junior Keith Langford and senior Kirk Hinrich – battling a sprained ankle – wouldn’t quit, leading KU on a 13-2 run of their own, and a Langford pull-up with 3:42 left tied up the game at 74.

Undaunted, the Ducks immediately struck back. Jackson scored underneath on a rebound basket while getting fouled, forcing Simien out of the game. After a KU free throw, Jackson added two free throws and Ridnour scored on a drive for an 80-75 advantage. After another Langford free throw, Ridnour found a seam in the Kansas perimeter defense and nailed a clutch three-pointer with the shot clock running down to give the Ducks a seven point cushion. It proved to be enough for the final margin of victory for Oregon, 84-78.

The Ducks were led by the Lukes, Pape Jam co-MVPs Jackson (26 points, 9 rebounds) and Ridnour (25 points, 7 rebounds, 9 assists). Senior forward Robert Johnson also helped out with a 12 point, 10 rebound effort. Kansas was led by Kirk Hinrich with 24 points and Keith Langford with 21. The Jayhawks also got a big boost off the bench from Michael Lee, who scored 11 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.

Of all the big shots made in the game by the Ducks, Ridnour’s three was the back-breaker for the Jayhawks.

“The shot clock was running down and that moment you’re not thinking anything but make something happen,” said Ridnour. “I saw a little gap and I was able to get it off.”

“You can’t say enough about Luke Ridnour,” said Jackson. “He has so much desire to win.”

It was a tough loss for Kansas, who has now lost three of their last four games, all to teams currently ranked in the Top 25. Leading scorer Nick Collison, in foul trouble the entire game, was held to only seven points in 24 minutes, while it wasn’t a happy homecoming for Aaron Miles, who struggled with 1-for-11 shooting and seven turnovers.

“We knew it was going to be difficult to say the least,” said head coach Roy Williams. “We had our chances; we just didn’t do what we needed to down the stretch.”

Keys for Oregon were the way they were able to hang with Kansas on the boards, as well as limit the effectiveness of Miles. Oregon forced Kansas into 22 turnovers and limited the Jayhawks to 39.7 percent field goal shooting. With the victory, Oregon moves to 5-0 all-time in the Pape Jam.

But big win aside, the Ducks know that it’s still December and not March.

“This is one step, but we know it’s a long season,” said Ridnour.

“We’ve got a long way to go still.”

Second Half of the Doubleheader

The Pape Jam wasn’t just about the men’s game between Oregon and Kansas – there was also a women’s basketball contest that was played afterwards.

In another fantastic finish, the Ducks women pulled out an exciting upset victory over 19th ranked BYU, 80-77. Trailing as many as 12 points in the second half, Oregon made a furious rally to pull out the win.

The Ducks were led by Cathrine Kraayeveld with 26 points and 12 rebounds, while Carolyn Gaines also poured in 25 as Oregon improved to 3-3 on the season.

Spartans Next?

Oregon is already trying to line up an opponent for next year’s Pape Jam. According to Ernie Kent, talks are currently ongoing with Michigan State.

“We will continue to get the best team in the country that will play us, and we will return the game,” said Kent.

Now He Can Do Something About It

During his 21-year career as a head coach at James Madison and California, Lou Campanelli certainly did his share of questioning the calls of the refs.

He’s still going at it.

Now serving as the Pac-10’s Coordinator of Men’s Basketball Officiating, Campanelli now uses that passion in his new job in evaluating the league’s officials. He was at the Kansas/Oregon game, charting each official as calls were made – or missed. Whenever a play went by and the whistle wasn’t blown when he thought it should have, Campanelli certainly displayed his displeasure on the sidelines. Some things never change.

Later that Evening

The Kansas/Oregon contest at the Pape Jam wasn’t the only men’s college basketball game going on in Portland on Saturday.

In the evening, Oregon State came to town to face the Portland Pilots at the Chiles Center. For OSU, it was a chance to keep a good streak going by winning their third straight game after the disappointing season opening loss to Idaho. For Portland, it was a chance to atone for Wednesday’s loss to Oregon, and show that they were on the same stage as the big boys in the state.

It worked out more in favor for the Beavers than the Pilots. Using tremendous ball-control and a huge rebounding advantage, Oregon State pounded the ball inside on their way to a 71-64 victory.

Portland hung in with OSU in the first period. While the Beavers were clearly in control, the Pilots never let the game get out of hand and always remained within striking distance. OSU never led more than five points during the period, and only led by four at the half, 33-29.

The second half, however, was a different story. Immediately out of the break, the Beavers methodically put together a 9-0 run as the Pilots struggled to find offense. Midway through the period, OSU had built themselves a 19 point lead. Portland didn’t go away quietly however, and behind freshman Eugene Jeter’s 18 points in the period, made a late charge try and get back into it. But it wasn’t enough as the Beavers had built themselves enough of a cushion to hold on for the win.

“We were hesitant and reluctant to extend our defense in a way to get into the game until it was too late,” said Portland head coach Michael Holton.

Oregon State placed five players in double figures, with senior forward Brian Jackson leading the way with 14 points. As a team, the Beavers held a 42-19 rebounding edge. Portland was led by Jeter, who finished with 20 points, and Adam Quick, who scored 12 points and dished out six assists. The Pilots played without freshman swingman Donald Wilson, who is suspended indefinitely for violation of the team’s academic policies.

Oregon State improved to 3-1 with the win and faces Sacramento State next on Dec. 14. Portland drops to 3-2.

After tough losses to Oregon and Oregon State, it doesn’t get any easier for Portland as they head down to Los Angeles to face UCLA on the 14th. Despite the daunting task, it’s an exciting homecoming trip for head coach Michael Holton, who played and served as an assistant in Westwood.

“Going to Pauley Pavilion as a head coach is a proud moment for me, because UCLA is such a big part of who I am today,” said Holton.

Not all was lost for the University of Portland athletic program over the weekend. On Sunday, the women’s soccer team captured its first ever NCAA title with a double-overtime, 2-1 win over Santa Clara.

Correction

In last week’s RiverCity Rivalry article, I mistakenly identified the University of Portland as a Jesuit institution. As kindly pointed out to me by Steve Beshakus, UP is actually affiliated with the Holy Cross order of priests – the same congregation of priests associated with Notre Dame. Kudos to Steve for the correction.

     

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