Monday, March 25, 2002

Kansas 104, Oregon 86


Jayhawk big men dominate Ducks

The Associated Press

        MADISON, Wis. — The Jayhawks met a team that wanted to run with them. They jumped all over the Ducks instead. Drew Gooden and Nick Collison each had double-doubles by early in the second half Sunday, and top-seeded Kansas never trailed in a 104-86 rout of Oregon that put the Jayhawks in the Final Four.

        Kansas controlled the fast, end-to-end action in the Midwest Regional final and dominated the boards, outrebounding second-seeded Oregon 63-34. Indeed, Gooden and Collison outrebounded the Ducks all by themselves — 35 to 34 — and the Jayhawks grabbed 26 offensive rebounds, leading to 31 second-chance points.

        “We knew the way to beat them was to beat them on the boards and get extra shots,” Gooden said. “I think it was contagious. We were relentless out there on the backboards.”

        Gooden had 18 points and 20 rebounds, and Collison added 25 points and 15 rebounds, putting the Jayhawks (33-3) in their first national semifinal since 1993 and third under coach Roy Williams.

        But this is the first time in five tries that Williams has taken a top-seeded team to the Final Four. His other appearances came as a No.3 in 1991, and a No.2 in 1993.

        Kansas faces Maryland in Atlanta next Saturday. The Terrapins beat Connecticut 90-82 in the East Regional final.

        Two other Jayhawks nearly joined forwards Good en and Collison with double-doubles. Freshman reserve Keith Langford had 20 points and eight rebounds, and Kirk Hinrich scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds.

        “They crash the boards all the time, every single play,” said Frederick Jones, who led the Ducks with 32 points. “Their guards came in and got some, too. It was an all-around effort.”

        The Jayhawks, the nation's highest-scoring team with a 91-point average, outmuscled and outhustled the beefier Ducks on the glass, fueling their up-tempo game.

        Kansas led 48-42 at halftime and stretched its lead to 73-59 on a runner by Hinrich with 9:50 left.

        Anthony Lever hit back-to-back 3-pointers to spark a 10-2 Oregon run that made it 75-69 with 8:30 remaining. Lever's third 3-pointer made it 77-72 seconds later.

        “I thought we were going to blow it out several times. But they're a hard-fighting team, a great team, and they didn't give in,” Jayhawks point guard Aaron Miles said.

        But Kansas scored the next 10 points to end the Ducks' dreams of reaching the Final Four for the first time since they won the first NCAA championship in 1939.

        OREGON (26-9) — Johnson 3-7 1-2 7, Jackson 4-16 2-2 10, Christoffersen 3-6 1-3 7, Ridnour 3-13 0-0 9, Jones 13-23 3-3 32, Davis 1-5 0-0 3, Lindquist 0-0 0-0 0, Lever 5-10 0-0 13, Helquist 0-1 0-0 0, Michaelis 2-3 0-0 5, Anderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 34-84 7-10 86.

        KANSAS (33-3) — Gooden 7-13 4-6 18, Collison 12-20 1-5 25, Hinrich 5-10 3-3 14, Miles 2-10 2-2 6, Boschee 4-11 0-0 10, Harrison 0-0 0-0 0, Ballard 0-1 0-0 0, Langford 6-7 8-9 20, Nash 1-3 0-0 2, Carey 0-0 0-0 0, Simien 2-5 3-4 7, Lee 0-0 0-0 0, Zerbe 1-1 0-0 2, Kappelmann 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 40-81 21-29 104.

        Halftime—Kansas 48-42. 3-Point Goals—Oregon 11-28 (Lever 3-6, Jones 3-8, Ridnour 3-9, Michaelis 1-1, Davis 1-4), Kansas 3-12 (Boschee 2-7, Hinrich 1-2, Ballard 0-1, Miles 0-2). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—Oregon 34 (Jackson 10), Kansas 63 (Gooden 20). Assists—Oregon 21 (Ridnour 7), Kansas 17 (Miles 8). Total fouls—Oregon 18, Kansas 13. A—16,310.

       



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