Oregon Can't Pull Rank, Finally Loses

From Associated Press

Washington State continued a tradition Thursday night and knocked No. 17 Oregon from the ranks of the nation's unbeaten Division I teams in the process.

Guard Issac Fontaine scored 14 of Washington State's final 18 points and finished with 28 to lead the Cougars to an 81-76 Pacific 10 Conference victory at Spokane, Wash. Fontaine made only eight of 24 shots but was 10 of 11 on free throws.

Washington State, 9-2 overall and 1-2 in the Pac-10, has won five consecutive games since 1977 when Oregon (10-1, 1-1) has been nationally ranked. The Ducks were off to their best start since 1946-47, when they started 12-0.

Guard Jamal Lawrence led Oregon with 19 points.

In another Pacific 10 game Thursday night:

--Washington (8-3, 1-2), trailing by as many as 16 points in the first half, made 60% of its shots in the second half for a 77-72 victory over Oregon State (4-7, 0-2) at Seattle. Forward Mark Sanford led the Huskies with 18 points, 13 in the second half, and point guard Carson Cunningham had 20 points for the Beavers.

OTHER TOP 25 GAMES

No. 1 Kansas 134, Niagara 73--Forward Raef LaFrentz, criticized by Coach Roy Williams for his first-half performance (one point, three turnovers) in Monday's victory over No. 22 Texas, had 27 points and 11 rebounds for the Jayhawks (15-0) in a nonconference game at Lawrence, Kan.

LaFrentz scored 20 points in the first half as Kansas took a 69-39 lead. The Jayhawks made their first 11 shots of the second half and finished at 72%, with the 6-foot-11 LaFrentz and 6-10 Scot Pollard (20 points) making 20 of 22.

Niagara (6-5) committed 34 fouls, and Kansas made a school-record 34 free throws.

Kansas and Wake Forest (11-0) are the only unbeaten Division I teams.

No. 3 Kentucky 68, Canisius 45--The Wildcats (14-1) converted 24 turnovers into 30 points to increase their winning streak to 14 in a nonconference game at Lexington, Ky.

Guard Anthony Epps made two three-point shots during a 16-0 Kentucky run after Canisius (6-7) had pulled within five at 26-21 with six minutes left in the first half. The Wildcats eventually increased their lead to 34 points with six minutes left in the game.

No. 16 Michigan 88, No. 25 Illinois 74--The Wolverines (11-3, 2-1) shot 60% in beating the Illini (11-4, 1-2) in a Big Ten game for the fifth consecutive year at Ann Arbor, Mich.

Guard Louis Bullock led four double-figure Michigan scorers with 19 points while forward Maurice Taylor's dunk with four seconds left in the game made him the 34th Wolverine player to get 1,000 points.

Illinois' leading scorer Kiwane Garris had 12 points, five below his average.

No. 18 New Mexico 79, Texas Christian 64--Guard Charles Smith had 23 points and 13 rebounds and the Lobos (12-2, 1-1) held the Horned Frogs (11-4, 0-2) to a season-low 26 points in the second half of a Western Athletic Conference game at Albuquerque.

OTHER GAMES

Wisconsin (8-4, 1-2), coming off its first victory in 31 games against Indiana, was outscored 21-7 in the final six minutes of a 58-50 loss to Michigan State (8-3, 1-2) in a Big Ten game at Madison, Wis. . . . Guard Charles Jones, the nation's leading scorer with a 30.2 average, had 44 points as Long Island (6-5, 3-0) was a 102-82 winner over Mount St. Mary's (4-7, 0-3) in a Northeast Conference game at Emmitsburg, Md. . . . Forward Tyrone Nesby had 24 points and 11 rebounds for Nevada Las Vegas (11-2, 3-0) in its seventh consecutive victory, a 79-59 home-court decision over San Diego State (9-3, 1-1).

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