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Nelson, Oakland hold on to shock Oregon

Dec 23, 2007 - 5:54 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Oakland did something it never has accomplished in school history: beat a ranked opponent.

Derick Nelson collected 22 points and nine rebounds to help the Golden Grizzlies post a 68-62 upset victory over No. 21 Oregon on Saturday.

Erik Kangas and Johnathon Jones each poured in 12 points for the Golden Grizzlies, who recorded their first win against a ranked foe in 14 tries.

"To compete the way we competed and to win against a ranked team such as Oregon is a statement for Oakland basketball," Oakland coach Greg Kampe said. "That is a huge win for our program and for players that have played for us in the past and now."

Oakland (6-6) extended its advantage to 13 points on Keith Benson's dunk that opened the second half and forged a 39-26 lead.

But the Ducks (8-3) answered with a commanding 20-0 surge that was capped by Joevan Catron's layup with 14:45 left to take a 46-39 lead. Maarty Leunen scored eight of his 12 points in the burst.

However, the Golden Grizzlies regained the lead when Kangas drilled a 3-pointer during a 12-2 run for a 60-54 bulge with 4:42 remaining.

Detroit native Tajuan Porter tied the contest at 60-60 for Oregon with his 3-pointer at the 3:05 mark. But Oakland sank eight of its final 10 free throws down the stretch to seal the surprising win.

The Golden Grizzlies wasted no time jumping all over the Ducks in the opening half, connecting on 7-of-12 3-pointers to build a 37-26 advantage at the break.

Catron scored 15 points and Malik Hairston chipped in 13 and eight rebounds for Oregon, which shot just 40 percent (22-of-54) from the field.

"I thought we did a poor job of executing a game plan," Ducks coach Ernie Kent said. "We have to go back and do some soul searching. We have a grueling conference schedule coming up."