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January 4, 2007

USC hands No. 16 Oregon its first loss 84-82

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EUGENE, Ore. -Nick Young scored 19 points and Taj Gibson recorded 18 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks as Southern California handed No. 16 Oregon its first loss of the season, 84-82 on Thursday night.

Gabe Pruitt added 18 points for the Trojans (12-4, 2-1 Pac-10), who shot 55 percent from the field, while Lodrick Stewart had 14 points and Dwight Lewis had 10.

Aaron Brooks scored 31 points for the Ducks (13-1, 1-1), but he missed a chance to tie the game from the free throw line with 1.4 seconds to play.

He was fouled attempting to take a desperation 3 with the Ducks trailing 84-81.

Brooks swished through his first attempt, missed his 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.

The loss denied the Ducks a chance to tie the best start in school history.

Oregon, which led 41-35 at halftime, was down 81-75 when Brooks hit his sixth 3-pointer of the game with 1:33 left. Oguchi tied it with a 3-pointer with 50 seconds left.

But Young hit 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 their last chance when Brooks was fouled putting up the 3.

Leunen finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while Oguchi, Bryce Taylor and Adam Zahn each scored 10 points for the Ducks.

Pruitt, who scored 30 points in the Trojans' win at McArthur Court last season, had 15 points in the second half, while Young had 17 of his in the second half.

Southern Cal had a chance to put the game away but went 5-for-10 from the free throw line over the final 3 minutes.

Oregon made only eight of its first 26 shots to trail 25-17 with 7:17 left in the half. But Zahn and Brooks ignited a strong finish, scoring all the points in an 11-0 run that put the Ducks up 28-25 4:29 before halftime.

The Trojans shot their way back into the game by making 14 of their first 20 shots to start the second half. Consecutive 3-pointers by Pruitt gave USC a 59-57 lead with 13:23 left, and a 3-pointer by Young at 6:41 put the Trojans up 74-67, their largest lead of the half.

For more coverage of USC, visit USCFootball.com; for more on Oregon, visit DuckSportsAuthority.com.

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