November 29, 2007
Oregon escapes with OT win over Cats
Fans in Manhattan had waited a long time for a game like this. They got quite a show, though maybe not the ending they had hoped for.
Bryce Taylor scored 11 of his 18 points after halftime, and Maarty Leunen had 14 points and 14 rebounds to help No. 17 Oregon hold off No. 25 Kansas State 80-77 in overtime Thursday night.
It was unfamiliar territory for both teams.
Oregon had never faced a ranked nonconference opponent on the road in its 105-year history, and this was the first time in five years it had faced a ranked opponent outside the Pac-10.
Kansas State hadn't faced a ranked nonconference opponent at home since 2000, and Manhattan hadn't seen two ranked teams on the same court since No. 1 Missouri beat 14th-ranked Kansas State by one in 1982.
Oregon (6-1) struggled early and came on late, hitting big shots down the stretch of regulation and overpowering the Wildcats in overtime. Joevan Catron had 15 points and Tajuan Porter added 14 for the Ducks.
Kansas State (5-2) was able to slow down the high-scoring Ducks, but struggled from the perimeter -- 8-for-27 from 3-point range -- and missed four free throws in overtime, finishing 5-of-12 from the line. Freshman Michael Beasley had 24 points and 14 rebounds and Andre Gilbert added 16 points.
Oregon, after struggling from the perimeter most of the game, started to find its stroke late in the second half, with Taylor hitting two 3-pointers and Porter dropping in another during an 11-2 run that put the Ducks up 66-60. Beasley helped lead the Wildcats back, hitting Blake Young on a fast break, then splitting two defenders for a bank shot that put Kansas State up 67-66.
The teams traded baskets from there, Beasley putting the Wildcats up 71-70 on a hard post move with 26 seconds left, and Leunen tying it by hitting one of two free throws with 6 seconds left.
Kansas State thought it had won the game when Jacob Pullen scored on a driving layup, but Catron slid under him to get the charge with 2.6 seconds left. A final chance, after the Wildcats intercepted a long inbounds pass, came up short when Beasley's turnaround 3-pointer hit the side of the rim.
Kansas State found a way to hold Oregon down early, keeping the Ducks from getting out on the break, making them work for every shot. Oregon took just seven 3-point shots in the first half, making two, and managed 29 points -- 14 below its average.
Kansas State was far more efficient offensively than in its first six games, setting picks, working the ball around the perimeter to set up post-ups and 3-pointers, and the Wildcats opened a quick 10-point lead.
Then Oregon switched a zone defense and the Wildcats had a hard time figuring it out.
Unable to get the ball into the post and clanging shots from the perimeter, Kansas State missed eight consecutive shots to let the Ducks peck at the lead, finishing 3-for-15 from 3-point range for a 32-29 halftime lead.
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