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Pacific wastes 1st-lead in loss to No. 14 Oregon

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November 29, 2013 08:31 PM EST | AP


EUGENE, Ore (AP) — Pacific had 14th-ranked Oregon in trouble seemingly from the opening tip and led by seven points at halftime. Then, the Tigers fell apart.

Oregon scored the first 20 points of the second half and cruised to an 85-62 victory over Pacific on Friday.

"I thought our game plan was really good (in the first half). We were trying to get them to slow down and press them. We did a good job," Pacific Coach Ron Verlin said.

Guard Trevin Harris said that in the second half, the Ducks (5-0) "put us in a couple different situations and we either rushed it or were doing things out of character."

Pacific (4-1) went nearly seven minutes without scoring after the break.

"It's a great learning experience for us to start the year. No way we ever get beat in a half by 30 again," added Harris, who scored 14 points.

T.J. Wallace also had 14 points for the Tigers.

Pacific started the game with a barrage of 3-pointers, two apiece from Tony Gill and Harris, and led 13-3.

The Tigers led by as many as 12 points in the first half. Though both teams shot less than 40 percent before the break, Pacific outrebounded the Ducks 25-15.

During the Oregon run to open the second half, Joseph Young scored seven points on one possession.

He was intentionally fouled on a breakaway by Sama Taku, and made the shot despite being held. Young made both free throws, and with the Ducks retaining possession, he sank a 3-pointer.

Taku came into the game leading the Tigers by averaging more than 16 points per game and about seven rebounds. He was held to four points on 1 of 9 shooting by the Ducks.

Pacific had won their first four games of the season for the first time since the 2009-10 season.

Verlin is in his first year leading Pacific, which has returned to the West Coast Conference.

Last year, Pacific won the Big West Conference tournament and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers lost three seniors from that team, as well as head coach Bob Thomason, who retired after 25 years.

The squad returns seven seniors this season, however, including all five starters.

The Tigers were picked to finish seventh in the conference in a coaches preseason poll.

Oregon Coach Dana Altman said he stressed defense at halftime, and his team responded by playing their best basketball of the season.

"Defensively, we just weren't very good that first half," Altman said.

"I thought our press got them on their heels a little bit. I thought that was a big change," he added. "For the most part, the defense initiated our offense. Once we got some shots going our energy level went way up."

Damyean Dotson, who had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks, agreed that the defense sparked the win.

"If we keep doing that, we're going to be a tough team to match up with," he said.

Mike Moser had 19 points for the Ducks, and Johnathan Loyd had a career-high 13 assists, tied with four others for the second-most ever by an Oregon player.

Jason Calliste had 15 points for the Ducks, and Young finished with 14.

Oregon and Pacific were competing as part of the Global Sports Harwood Classic, a round-robin tourney that also included Cal Poly and North Dakota.

The Ducks lost three starters from last year's Sweet 16 squad, but six transfers, including Young and Moser, have strengthened Oregon.

Young, a junior who previously played for Houston, was averaging a team-high 23 points entering the contest.

Moser, a senior who last played at UNLV, was averaging 15.5 points and more than seven rebounds coming into the game.

Calliste, a Detroit transfer, had made all 18 of his free throw attempts entering the game. His first free throw attempt Friday missed.

The crowd for the noon game at Matthew Knight arena was sparser than usual, in part due to the Civil War football game between the Ducks and Oregon State, which was scheduled to start at 4 p.m.