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Ducks hold off Sun Devils, 67-61

March 06, 2008

Malik Hairston scored 19 points and Oregon hit eight free throws in the final minute as the Ducks held on to beat Arizona State 67-61 Thursday.

Tajuan Porter added 12 points and Maarty Leunen had 10 points and nine rebounds for the Ducks (17-12, 8-9), who moved into a three-way tie for fifth-place in the Pac-10 with the Sun Devils (18-11) and Arizona (18-12). The Ducks and Wildcats face each other in the regular-season finale.

Arizona State forward James Harden, who entered the game as the fourth-leading scorer in the Pac-10 at 17.9 points, was held to 12 points through the first 36:21 of the game before scoring 10 in the final 3:39 to help the Sun Devils rally from an 11-point deficit.

His back-to-back 3-pointers with just under a minute to play cut Oregon's lead to 61-58 with 44 seconds remaining.

But the Ducks, who went more than five minutes without scoring after taking a 59-46 with 6:05 to play, went 8-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final 56 seconds to fend off the Sun Devils.

Hairston scored 12 points in the first half on 4-of-6 shooting as the Ducks staked a 33-32 lead at the break.

Oregon trailed 18-15 nine minutes into the game before Hairston and LeKendric Longmire traded 3-pointers on four straight possessions to put the Ducks up 27-19 at the 8:17 mark.

The Sun Devils responded with a 9-2 run to cut Oregon's lead to one.

Oregon outscored Arizona State 10-2 to open the second half and later extended the lead to 59-46 when Porter hit his third 3-pointer of the game with just over six minutes left.

But the Ducks didn't score again until Leunen made a pair of free throws with 55 seconds left.