Intense efforts fail against top-ranked Baylor

EUGENE, Oregon – Oregon led most of the first half and for a few minutes after half before No.1 Baylor used a mid-second half push to beat the Ducks in a game out of conference Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena, 78-70.

After leading to 10 in the first half, the Ducks took a 49-46 lead early in the second half over a jumper from De’Vion Harmon, who scored 18 points on Saturday. But the Bears took the lead with a 17-2 run in which Oregon made four turnovers, and the UO men didn’t come close to six the rest of the way.

“We competed for 40 minutes,” Harmon said. “We’ve just had some bad-timed turnovers, blackouts. Against Baylor, it’s going to cost you dearly.”

How did it happen: Oregon (6-6) scored seven straight goals early to lead 10-5 and responded to a bucket from Baylor with another 7-0 run for a 17-8 lead. The lead remained nine at 20-11 after a Will richardson at three points and again at 25-16 on a three point Harmon. After Baylor closed the gap, Harmon came to the edge for a basket and Rivaldo Soares hit a three-runner two possessions later for Oregon’s biggest lead of the night, 34-24.

Soares’ three-point shot resulted in a timeout for the Bears, and they quickly closed at 34-30 on straight three-pointers from Adam Flagler, who scored five in the first half. Baylor went on to 37-35 before Richardson made two free throws just before half-time for a 39-35 lead over Oregon at the break.

“I told them afterwards, there were games where we didn’t prepare and our level of competition was not good,” UO coach Dana altman noted. “Our competitiveness was good (Saturday). The rebounds against a great physical team, we were there. But some timely offensive rebounds from them, and then they had that stretch there (in the second half), our turnovers to them. made baskets easier and really turned the game around. “

By halftime, the Ducks had an advantage on the boards (15-11) and points in the paint (14-8), but Baylor turned the situation around in the second half. The Bears passed Oregon in the second half, 17-15, and had a points advantage in the paint, 20-16.

The Oregon Ducks take on the Baylor Bears at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon on December 18, 2021 (Eric Evans Photography)

Baylor took the lead early in the second half, 44-43, before a three-point shot from Richardson and three points from Harmon brought the Ducks back ahead, 49-46. But after a bucket from Richardson tied him at 51-51, the Ducks netted 3:33 with no more points. That Richardson basket was Oregon’s only points in Baylor’s 17-2 race, as the Bears took a 63-51 lead.

Jacob Young sparked an end of life for the Ducks, hitting a three-run followed by another bucket to reduce Baylor’s lead to 74-66. After two free throws missed by the Bears, Richardson made two for the Ducks, and Oregon forced a turnaround on the entry game. It gave the UO men a chance to make it a one-possession game with more than a minute to go, but a missed shot followed by a turnaround kept Baylor in control.

Who stood out: Harmon scored 13 points in the first half on his way to 18 for the game, and he led the Ducks with a pair of interceptions. Richardson finished with 16 points, six assists and five rebounds, and Young finished with 11 points, all in the final at 7:05 of the game.

The Oregon Ducks take on the Baylor Bears at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon on December 18, 2021 (Eric Evans Photography)

What this means: The Ducks aren’t a team willing to settle for silver liners, but after some disheartening performances early in the season, Saturday was encouraging.

“I’m proud of the way we competed today,” said Harmon. “You looked back at the losses we’ve suffered, like BYU and Houston, we didn’t compete – and we got kicked out. Tonight we competed and I’m proud of it. With a little more of it. intelligence in our game, I feel like we are winning the game. A great team effort; I wish I could get it back. But we have to move on. “

Following: The Ducks host their last non-conference test of the season against Pepperdine on Tuesday (6 p.m., Pac-12 Network).

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