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Arizona Drops 73-68 Decision at Oregon
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: January 15, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Malik Hairston's big finish delivered an important win for Oregon on Saturday.

Hairston scored 18 of his 23 points in the second half to lift Oregon to a 73-68 win over No. 24 Arizona.

The Ducks (9-8, 3-2 Pac-10) beat the Wildcats (10-6, 3-3) for the first time since 2002 and got their first victory against a ranked opponent since beating No. 25 Stanford on Feb. 6, 2003.

``It's a big win, it's a great feeling,'' said Hairston, a sophomore. ``It's the first time since I've been here that we beat a ranked team.''

Aaron Brooks added 17 points for Oregon, which shot 55 percent from the field, while Bryce Taylor scored 11 and Brandon Lincoln and Ivan Johnson each had 10.

But it was Hairston leading the way, hitting nine of 13 field goals.

``If you look at his face and his demeanor, he looks 24 or 25,'' Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. ``Then you remember he is only 18. There will be a time when he takes over an entire game, but he is not quite there yet.''

The Wildcats were swept on the Oregon trip for the first time since 2000.

Mustafa Shakur scored 19 points for the Wildcats, who lost 75-65 to Oregon State on Thursday, and Hassan Adams added 15.

``We're playing like a mediocre ball club,'' Arizona coach Lute Olson said. ``If we're going to change that we need to play as a team.''

Johnson, playing in his first game since serving a two-game suspension, put the Ducks up for good with a driving jumper in the lane that made it 66-64 with 3 minutes to play.

A free throw by Adams cut Arizona's deficit to one point, but Brooks followed with a free throw and Oregon closed out the final 2:34 on a 7-3 run.

Hairston hit four 3-pointers in just over 4 minutes midway through the second half to lead the Ducks on a 16-3 run. His first 3-pointer at the 14:11 mark broke a 44-44 tie, and his layup with 8:44 left gave Oregon its largest lead of the game, 60-49.

``Malik was on fire,'' Brooks said. ``That's why we call him our stud. He hit some clutch shots; he played his heart out.''

The Wildcats answered with a 13-2 spurt to tie the game at 62 on a free throw by Marcus Williams with 4:11 remaining.

``We obviously did well on the offensive end but it starts on the defensive end,'' Shakur said. ``Malik was hot and Aaron Brooks hit a couple of big baskets and that's the way it goes.''

Oregon missed its first seven shots from the field but overcame the sluggish start and closed the first half with a 14-5 run to take a 33-29 lead.

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