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Updated: Sunday, February 9, 2003 12:58 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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California 86, (23) Oregon 75
CALIFORNIA GOLDEN BEARS
California Golden Bears
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OREGON DUCKS
Oregon Ducks
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EUGENE, Oregon (Ticker) -- If Oregon drops of out the next Top 25 poll, it will be due to its inability to stop Amit Tamir.

Tamir scored 14 of his 18 points in the second half as California ended a four-game road stretch with an 86-75 Pac-10 Conference victory over the 23rd-ranked Ducks.

In three previous games against Oregon (16-6, 6-5 Pac-10), Tamir has averaged 27.7 points per game and made 11-of-14 3-pointers. But he was quiet in the first half as the Ducks took a 36-34 lead into the locker room.

However, Tamir got going in the second half as California (16-4, 9-2) shot an amazing 68 percent (13-of-19). The Golden Bears held the Ducks scoreless for nearly seven minutes, turning a 53-48 lead with 12:35 remaining into a 64-48 cushion with 5:58 to play.

"They doubled me up in the first half and I didn't do well in the beginning," Tamir said. "I warmed up by the second half. Oregon is a great team. Oregon and Arizona are the roughest places to play in the Pac-10 and maybe the hardest in the nation. To get a win gives us hope. To get a win off this crowd is sweet."

In Cal's 88-72 rout in Berkeley on January 9, Tamir shredded the Ducks' defense for 25 points. A year ago, he poured in 30 points.

Overall, Tamir finished 6-of-12 from the field, including 2-of-5 from 3-point range.

Tamir started the decisive spurt with a 3-pointer and a jumper, extending Cal's lead to 58-48. Brian Wethers, who added 21 points, made consecutive jumpers before freshman Richard Midgley's free throws capped the burst.

Oregon managed to get within 71-65 following Luke Ridnour's 3-pointer with just under three minutes remaining. But they did not get any closer and California iced its second victory in three trips to McArthur Court.

"They had a great game plan," said Ridnour, who had 14 points in the first meeting. "You have to give Cal a lot of credit for playing so well at Mac Court. They just hit shots. They know what it takes to win, we didn't."

"In the second half, they got into a big rhythm and we went cold, which really ended up being the difference in the game," Ducks coach Ernie Kent said. "When we take bad shots, we really hurt ourselves. We have to be patient, get in rhythm and take good shots to be successful offensively."

Oregon was led by Ridnour's 19 points, but Luke Jackson was limited to just six on 6-of-20 from the field.

Joe Shipp scored 23 points for the Bears, who remained one game behind first-place Arizona.

Coming off Thursday's 84-71 win at Oregon State, California held the Ducks to 37 percent (14-of-38) from the field in the second half.

The Ducks, who had won six of seven following a pair of lopsided losses at California and Stanford, shot 54 percent from beyond the arc (7-of-13) in the first half.

Shipp had 12 points at intermission and Wethers added 11 of his 21 in the first 20 minutes. Shipp's basket forged a 43-43 tie early in the second half and Wethers' jumper gave them the lead for good.

Cal's 9-2 start in league play is its best since 1993-94, when it finished 13-5 in current New Jersey Nets point guard Jason Kidd's final season.

"We had to play hard," Bears coach Ben Braun said. "They are too good not to. We had to play with our best effort."


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