(PHOTO) Oregon Ducks forward Chris Boucher (25) dunks the basketball in a game against Baylor during the second half at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks won 74-67. (Photo by Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports)
Elgin Cook and Chris Boucher combined for 30 points (15 apiece) to lead the Ducks while Al Freeman scored 22 to pace the Bears. Oregon’s defense caused Baylor to turn the ball over 18 times and also had blocked three shots to aid the defensive effort.
“Defensively, we really were moving around, flying around and that was the difference in the game,” said Oregon’s Dana Altman. “It was us creating 18 turnovers for 28 points.”
Altman said that by keeping it even on the boards also made a huge difference in this game. Despite bad offensive possessions, Altman liked the effort of his team as five of his players played for over 30 minutes.
“Right now, we don’t have the offensive firepower that I think we will develop as the season goes on,” admitted Altman. “We have been really talking to them about rebound and guarding and stay in games that way.”
Senior Dwayne Benjamin had 13 points on the night making him the Ducks second leading scoring player.
“We just try to get it to the playmaker’s hands,” Benjamin said. “(Elgin Cook) is a leader on the team and we wanted to put the game in his hands and we did and it ended pretty good for us.”
Along with being the co-top scorer of the night (tied with Chris Boucher), Cook had four rebounds on defense and went 2-of-4 on free throws. Boucher was 6-of-10 from the field and 3-of-6 in free throws. He also had eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
The Ducks didn’t have a perfect night as their percentage shooting around the three-point line was a hard 24 percent. Despite that eyesore of a percentage, the Ducks were 66.7 percent (20-30) when shooting at the free throw line. They were also 43.6 percent (24-of-55) when it came to field goals on the night.
Baylor didn’t make this an easy win for the Ducks, shooting 24-of-61 (39.3 percent) from the field including 7-of-20 (35 percent) in 3-pointers. The Bears were 12-for-18 from the charity stripe.
The big win tonight gives Oregon confidence heading into the rest of the season. Altman describes this win as “just good for us,” as he and his team were anxious to see how they stacked up against Baylor.
“A win like this set the bar of how good we could be defensively,” Cook said. “Defensively we just want to keep working on it and get better day by day.”
The Ducks will look to continue working on their defense as they host the Savannah State Tigers on Friday, Nov. 20th. Tipoff is set at 8:00 pm and the game can be seen on the Pac-12 network.
Follow Keoni Conlu on Twitter: @kconlu13