Dana Altman almost has the team he envisioned before the season as the Ducks looked more confident in their 78-63 win over UC Irvine. Jordan Bell started his first time game of the season. Tyler Dorsey and Dwayne Benjamin were questionable heading into the game, but both players came off the bench and played.
It didn't take long for UC Irvine to score. The Anteaters won the tip and quickly fed it to Mamadou Ndiaye for the easy dunk. UC Irvine couldn't handle Oregon's pressure. The Ducks pressed the Anteaters and were rewarded with easy baskets. Oregon forced back-to-back turnovers going into the first media timeout.
Chris Boucher was active under the basket. UC Irvine couldn't stop Boucher and when they did it was because they committed a foul. Benjamin quickly subbed into the game after the media timeout. The senior created more pressure when Oregon pressed. Oregon forced UC Irvine to call a timeout after they went on a 7-0 run, giving the Ducks a 32-16 lead.
The Ducks went into halftime up 44-36. Oregon created 22 points off of turnovers and shot 12-15 from the free throw line in the first half. UC Irvine averaged under 11 turnovers going into the game. At halftime the Anteaters had given the ball up 15 times.
Elgin Cook showed his versatility and scored the first seven points for the Ducks in the second half. All three of Cook's shots were jump shots. Cook finished the game with 26 points on 16 shots. Dorsey didn't seem out of rhythm after missing two games. The freshman hit a three-pointer that gave Oregon a 20 point lead with over 13 minutes left in the game.
The Anteaters had plenty of opportunities to cut Oregon's lead, but they struggled to hit a three-point field goal. UC Irvine shot 4-15 from beyond the arc. Oregon's ball movement on offense kept UC Irvine moving and tired them out. This was the healthiest Oregon has been all season. The added depth gave Oregon the advantage as the Ducks continued to score on turnovers.
Oregon will play another Big West opponent on Friday. The Ducks will play Long Beach State at 6:00 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.