EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Off to its best start in 11 seasons and
ranked for the first time in nearly four years, Oregon (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP)
wasn't about to let a slow start keep it down.
Bryce Taylor scored 21 points to lead the Ducks to a 92-64
victory over Bethune-Cookman on Monday night, though it took a
strong start to the second half to put away the Wildcats, a team
without a winning season since 1976.
"We definitely didn't come out with the intensity we wanted,"
Taylor said. "We were a little lazy in the first half ... there
was a lack of energy and we had some defensive breakdowns."
Not that it mattered in the end.
The Ducks (8-0), who moved into the Top 25 on Monday for the
first time since January 2003, are on their longest winning streak
in coach Ernie Kent's 10 seasons.
"For everything they've been through the last couple of years,
to be ranked, that's huge," Kent said. "At the same time, we are
going to keep it all in perspective. The only thing we've done so
far is manage our schedule."
The Ducks struggled to distance themselves from the Wildcats
until a run late in the first half.
Taylor hit a 3-pointer with 2:48 left in the first half to put
Oregon up 37-28. Porter added another 3 with under a minute left
and the Ducks led 41-32 at halftime.
Bethune-Cookman got within 44-36 on a layup by Hudson 1:58 into
the second half, but Oregon followed with a 14-3 run that made it
58-39 four minutes later. Maarty Leunen and Porter made 3-pointers
during that stretch.
Following a 3-pointer by Josh Cummings that cut the Wildcats'
deficit to 58-42, Catron and Taylor made consecutive layups and
Porter hit his third 3 of the game to put Oregon up 65-42.
Bethune-Cookman never got closer than 16 points after that.
"The first half we were a little bit sluggish," Kent said.
"We needed to crank it up a notch because we were flat. The second
half they made a nice adjustment and played with a lot more