BIG WIN for OREGON!
By Rob Moseley
EUGENE, Ore. — Newly anointed a top-25 team earlier in the day, No. 25 Oregon knocked off one of its brethren in the poll, No. 20 Baylor, in a 74-67 victory before 7,718 in Matthew Knight Arena on Monday.
How It Happened: After struggling to solve Baylor’s defense early, the Ducks (2-0) led by 11 at halftime and maintained a comfortable cushion until late in the second half. The Bears (1-1) scored 10 straight to close within 64-61, with Oregon failing to score on five straight possessions. Elgin Cook finally broke the cold spell by banking in a jump shot with 2:09 to play, then fed Chris Boucher for an alley-oop as Oregon held on — despite going 11-of-20 from the free-throw line in the second half.
The Bears played zone throughout the first half, and initially Oregon struggled to find open shots other than three-point attempts. That changed after a timeout with 10:29 before halftime — Dillon Brooks hit consecutive midrange jumpers, then Cook scored twice and Oregon led 20-13 thanks to the 8-0 run. The Ducks began the game in man but used a zone and some three-quarter-court pressure to limit Baylor to 29 percent shooting in the first half.
It was 35-24 at the half, and Oregon stretched the lead to 50-34 during a stretch that included a three-pointer and a putback dunk by Dwayne Benjamin on consecutive possessions. Baylor scored the next nine points, however, to get back within 50-43. A Cook three-pointer put Oregon back in front by 14 at 61-47, and it was 64-51 when Baylor’s 10-point surge made things interesting down the stretch.
Who Stood Out: Boucher and Cook led a balanced UO scoring attack with 15 points apiece, and Boucher grabbed eight rebounds. Benjamin scored 13, Tyler Dorsey added 12 with six rebounds and five assists, and Dillon Brooks scored 10 before fouling out. Casey Benson finished with nine points and three assists.
What It Means: For a team with major postseason aspirations, any RPI boost is welcome, even if that doesn’t usually become a popular topic until later in the season. Oregon’s resiliency in fighting off Baylor’s comeback bid should be something to build upon as well.
Notable: Benjamin played 30 minutes off the bench; otherwise the Ducks only used freshmen Kendall Small and Trevor Manuel in reserve, for six minutes combined. Roman Sorkin did not see action, while both Jordan Bell and Dylan Ennis remain sidelined by injury. ... Oregon beat a ranked nonconference foe in the regular season for the first time since 2012 against UNLV, and did so at home for the first time since knocking off Minnesota in 2003. ... Baylor was the only team in the country that did not allow a nonconference opponent to score more than 66 points last season. The Bears did manage to extend to 47 their streak of not allowing 75 points or more. ... Just shy of 2,500 students attended the game, the most for a nonconference game in arena history and No. 2 overall behind the crowd for Arizona’s visit last season.
Dana Altman, UO coach
On how the game developed
“I thought we got a little tired at the end. But I really liked our activity in the first half. Guys were really moving well, flying around.”
Elgin Cook, UO senior
On the significance of the victory
“It’s real big. This gives us a lot of confidence. But at the same time, we’ve got to come to practice and work to get better tomorrow.”
Dwayne Benjamin, UO senior
On looking for Cook to score down the stretch
“He’s the leader on the team, so we wanted to put the game in his hands. That’s what we did and it worked out.”
Up Next: The Ducks remain at home to host Savannah State on Friday (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) Chris Boucher and Elgin Cook both scored 15 points to lead No. 25 Oregon to a 74-67 victory over No. 20 Baylor on Monday night.
The Ducks (2-0), who entered the Top 25 earlier in the day, held off several rallies by the Bears (1-1) with balanced scoring and battled Baylor to a 35-all rebounding draw.
Dwayne Benjamin had 13 points off the bench for Oregon. Tyler Dorsey added 12 and Dillon Brooks scored 10.
After trailing by 16 early in the second half, Baylor twice got as close as three - the last time on Taurean Prince's 3-pointer with 13 seconds left. However, the Ducks sealed the victory with four free throws.
Oregon finished the game shooting 43.6 percent (24 of 55), and Baylor was 24 of 61 for 39.3 percent. The Ducks did most of their damage by hitting 18 of 30 attempts from inside the 3-point line.
Both teams struggled to find any offensive rhythm early. Baylor needed nearly 4 minutes to score and led only briefly at 6-3.
After making only three of 12 3-pointers to start the game, Oregon finally found its comfort zone from inside the arc on back-to-back jumpers by Dillon Brooks and two more from Cook for a 20-13 lead.
The Ducks pushed the margin to 11 points twice with balanced scoring, led by freshman Tyler Dorsey's eight points, for a 35-24 halftime lead.
Meanwhile, the Bears, who had 31 assists and only eight turnovers in their season-opening win over Stephen F. Austin, shot just 29 percent and had almost as many turnovers (eight) as field goals (nine) at the break.
Baylor finished the half missing 11 of its last 13 attempts from the field.
Oregon: Scouts from nine NBA teams were in attendance, representing the Nuggets, Mavericks, Thunder, Wizards, Grizzlies, Spurs, Jazz, Timberwolves and Bulls. . The Ducks and Bears met for the first time. ... Baylor was the first ranked opponent from outside the Pac-12 to play at Matthew Knight Arena since the Ducks moved into their new home in January 2011. The last ranked nonconference team to visit Eugene was No. 9 Missouri in December 2010.