EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Morgan State couldn’t match No. 12 Oregon’s depth, so the Bears needed to match the Ducks’ effort.
It didn’t result in a win, but it allowed Morgan State to walk away from Sunday’s 97-76 loss with heads held high.
“We wanted to make sure we stayed within ourselves,” Bears coach Todd Bozeman said. “Everybody has a different purpose playing games like this. We’re trying to get ourselves ready for our conference. We just didn’t want to be overwhelmed. I was just proud of my guys, who kept fighting and kept playing.”
Justin Black scored 22 points for Morgan State (3-9), while Anthony Hubbard added 15 points and Ian Chiles tied the Matthew Knight Arena record with five blocks.
Oregon guard Joseph Young scored 24 points, forward Richard Amardi had a season-high 16 points in his first start of the season, and guard Damyean Dotson added 15 points for the Ducks (12-0), who are off to their best start since going 13-0 in 2006-07.
“Mighty Joe Young, he’s really good,” Bozeman said. “The game comes easy to him. They’re a good team and they make their free throws and that’s what good teams do.”
Oregon opens Pac-12 Conference play on Thursday at Utah and coach Dana Altman said there are many areas the Ducks need to improve.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” Altman said, a sentiment echoed by Young and Jalil Abdul-Bassit, the two players made available to the media after the game.
“I didn’t think we did too good,” Young said. “We didn’t take a step like we needed too.”
And yet, it was plenty good enough for a 21-point win.
It had been eight days since Oregon defeated BYU in overtime and the Ducks looked more rested than rusty after the long layoff.
Oregon, the national scoring leader coming in, increased its average to 90.8 points per game and were a 3-pointer from a school-record fifth 100-point game this season.
The Ducks got there with a balanced and efficient scoring attack. Six players scored seven or more points and Oregon shot 54 percent from the field overall, 7 for 15 from 3-point range and 22 for 26 from the free throw line.
Young, who had three 3-pointers, was 9 for 13 from the field and Amardi made all but one of his nine shots.
“They’re good. They’re really good,” Bozeman said. “There’s a reason why they’re undefeated. Dana does a good job with them guys and they keep coming at you. They can sub in five guys and there’s not that big a drop off.”
Justin Black scored 22 points for the Bears (3-9), and Anthony Hubbard added 15 and Ian Chiles had 13 points and tied the Matthew Knight Arena record with five blocks.
The Ducks led 54-30 at halftime behind 17 points from Young and 12 from Amardi.
Oregon used a 16-1 run to lead 16-5 4 minutes into the game.
The Ducks put the game out of reach with one last surge in the first half, outscoring the Bears 20-6 over the final 5:30 to turn a 10-point lead into the 24-point halftime advantage.
Morgan State made the first two baskets of the game but went just 6 for 22 the rest of the half. The Bears made just one field goal after a jumper by Black made it 34-24 with 6:40 to play.
The second half opened with layups by Johnathan Loyd and Dotson as the Ducks extended their lead to 58-30. They led by as many as 30 points.
But the Ducks were outscored 46-43 and committed 13 of their 18 turnovers in the second half. They sent the Bears to the free throw line 35 times and despite outrebounding them 42-26, Oregon gave up 14 second-chance points.
“We wanted to keep competing all the way to the end,” Bozeman said. “It helps you because this gives you something to measure yourself by.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)