EUGENE, Ore. — North Dakota’s plan was to try and get a fast start against No. 14 Oregon. Little did the team know, the Ducks were looking to do the same thing.
Oregon built a 20-8 lead in the first 10 minutes and rolled the rest of the way for a 91-76 victory over North Dakota Saturday in the Global Sports Hardwood Challenge at Matthew Knight Arena.
“In scenarios like this where you are the underdog against and extremely talented team, we wanted that first eight minutes to be closer and that’s what we talked about to our guys — quality possessions and not turning it over,” North Dakota coach Brian Jones said.
But six turnovers in the first half hurt the team, and although North Dakota (2-3) would pull together in the second half, it was too late against the quicker Ducks.
“Our start was a little slow, a little sluggish. Our second half, if we would’ve come out that way in the first half, who knows, it might’ve been a different game. But we played tough,” said Troy Huff, who finished with a game-high 25 points.
Joseph Young scored 23 points for Oregon, which improved to 6-0 for their best start since opening the 2006-07 season with 13 straight wins. Young, a junior transfer who was the leading scorer for Houston last season, has scored in double figures in all of Oregon’s games this season.
Mike Moser, a transfer to Oregon from UNLV, had 13 points and 15 rebounds for the Ducks, who led by as many as 20 points.
North Dakota trailed by 20 points in the second half but pulled to within 81-70 on Jamal Webb’s layup with 2:03 left.
After Johnathan Loyd hit a pair of free throws for the Ducks, Aaron Anderson’s jumper for North Dakota made it 83-72. Lloyd made two more free throws and Anderson countered again with a layup, but that was as close as UND (2-3) would come. Anderson finished with 22 points.