Hairston's 29 points helps Oregon top Western MichiganNov 13, 2007 - 7:30 AM EUGENE, Oregon (Ticker) -- Malik Hairston scored 29 points and Maarty Leunen contributed 18 and eight rebounds as No. 13 Oregon fought off a second-half surge for a 97-88 victory over Western Michigan in Monday's finale of the World Vision Invitational.
Joevan Catron collected 17 points and 10 boards and Bryce Taylor also scored 17 for the Ducks (3-0), who have won the last three meetings against the Broncos.
"We are playing at a higher intensity now than we were at this point last season," Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. "We can get down the road and look back, and these are three games, three wins. We can't get too up or too down. We just want to get back in the gym."
Hairston's stellar performance was much needed with teammate Tajuan Porter - a Detroit native - scoring just six points on 2-of-10 shooting.
"We played some good teams this weekend," Hairston said. "It was great for us, because we are going to have some tough games to play later in the season. I want to play every game hard and try to help my team in every way I can."
In the second half, Leunen hit a pair of free throws and Taylor connected on a 3-pointer to give the Ducks an impressive 19-point cushion with 14:15 remaining.
But Western Michigan (1-2) used a 17-7 burst to cut the deficit to 69-60 on Derek Drews' 3-pointer with just over 10 minutes left. David Kool scored nine of his 21 points during the run.
Joe Reitz's layup at the 5:12 mark brought the Broncos within 83-76. However, the Ducks rebuilt their double-digit lead when Hairston hit a shot from the arc three minutes later to cap an 8-3 run.
"We have learned a lot of lessons these past two games," Leunen said. "They were closer than we wanted them to be. But, it's better to happen now, rather than later, while we still can fix our mistakes."
Reitz scored 21 points and Drews added 16 for Western Michigan, which shot 43 percent (30-of-69) from the field and drilled 17 shots from the arc.
"As we continued to play we found a rhythm and chipped back but it was just too much Oregon down the stretch," Broncos coach Steven Hawkins said.
- WORLD VISION INVITATIONAL
NCAA BB WORLD VISION INVITATIONAL
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
WESTRN MICHIGAN 30 58 88
OREGON (13) 46 51 97 FINAL
Nov 13 12:40 AM
- WORLD VISION INVITATIONAL
NCAA BB WESTRN MICHIGAN 30
(13) OREGON 46 HALFTIME
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