Oregon (3-0) jumped on Alabama State early and often in a 114-56 beatdown in front of 8,100 inside Matthew Knight Arena. The win was also Oregon’s 45th straight victory at home.
For the first time this season, the young Ducks played as a cohesive unit for most of the game, which is a very good sign because the schedule will become a lot more difficult next week.
Kenny Wooten led a flock of Ducks with 19 points and 13 rebounds. As should be the case for a lot of the year, Oregon will stuff the stat sheet.
Six different Ducks scored in double figures, including Victor Bailey’s 18 points, Elijah Brown’s 15 with Troy Brown, Payton Pritchard and Abu Kijab each adding 13 points apiece.
Alabama State (0-4) was just too small and too slow to handle the athletic Duck team. A lot of Oregon’s shots were lay-ups or dunks, but the Ducks were hot from the outside, going 15-of-24 from long range.
They also shared the wealth as eight different Ducks hit a three-pointer, including MJ Cage’s first three of his career. The 6-10 center missed all of last season with concussion problems. In his first significant amount of playing time, Cage also brought down seven rebounds.
The Panthers never really stood a chance as Oregon took a 59-26 halftime lead. Alabama State helped the Ducks with 11 turnovers, many of which turned to easy baskets on the other end. Oregon shot 70 percent from the field in the first half on 22-of-33 shooting, including 9-of-13 from three-point range.
If Altman is looking for a downside to this game, his team did commit 15 turnovers, something they’ll need to clean up before heading to the PK80 Invitational beginning Thursday with Connecticut.
But first is Ball State, a team that is 1-2 and coming off an 87-76 win over Stony Brook tonight. The Cardinals have lost to Dayton (78-77) and Oklahoma (108-69).
Ball State was 21-13 last season, which came to an end in the first round of the CBI.
Tip-off is scheduled for Sunday at 6 pm on the Pac-12 Network.
~ Don Smalley