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Oregon 97, Morgan State 76: Ducks blow out Bears despite sloppy finish

It was a tale of two Ducks as they blasted the Bears in the first and let them hang around in the second.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon started hot as they connected on 7 of their first 8 looks from the field. Early on they were finding space on the baseline and were getting easy looks at the hoop. Morgan State scored the first 4 points of the game, but once Oregon took the lead at 6-4 they never looked back on their way to a 97-76 victory Sunday afternoon.

Joseph Young led all scorers with 24 and Richard Amardi scored a career high in his first career start with 16. Justin Black had 22 for the Bears.

Making his first start, Amardi started the game looking to attack and score as he had 12 points in the first half.

"I thought [Amardi] did a good job in the first half. In the second half he wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in the first half but he had a good game, just wasn't quite as sharp in the second half," said coach Dana Altman.

A lack of sharpness in the second half seemed to be a theme as the Ducks ended up being outscored in the second half by a score of 46-43. The Ducks committed 13 turnovers which aided in 10 Morgan State points.

"Our focus in the second half wasn't the same," said Jalil Abdul-Bassit, "it was just mental lapses. Definitely have to take a step on defense."

Interestingly, the Bears shot 35 free throws against the Ducks but were only able to convert 21 of those for points. In this respect, Oregon has to be better at on-ball defense and not allow drivers to get by them.

When pressed for how they need to improve, Young spoke up, "We need to get on each other. We're too nice to each other. We have to make each other better. I think the intensity in practice tomorrow will make everyone better."

The Ducks are going to take one of the more difficult road trips in the conference as they first head to Utah and then to Colorado. Picked to finish ninth in the conference in the beginning of the season, the Runnin' Utes have gotten out to a hot start, including a pasting of a common opponent with Oregon in BYU.

Since coming into the conference, the Buffaloes have been a consistent thorn in Oregon's side and a win against the Buffs will show how far this team has come in a season.