Motley's crew upsets No. 4 Ducks
WACO, Texas — Johnathan Motley and the Baylor Bears got quite an early-season confidence boost — their first-ever non-conference home win over a top-five opponent.
And it counts even though fourth-ranked Oregon was without preseason All-America forward Dillon Brooks, their 6-foot-7 junior who was their leading scorer last season but is still recovering from offseason foot surgery.
An eager Motley, who was suspended for the opener, scored 17 points in his season debut as Baylor beat the Ducks 66-49 on Tuesday.
"It gives us confidence knowing we can go out there and beat a good team like Oregon and maybe keep things going," said Motley, a junior forward. "I was pretty fired up. It's really hard watching your teammates play."
Motley missed the season opener for Baylor (2-0) after violating an NCAA rule by playing in an improper summer league game.
Trailing by 10 at the break, Oregon (1-1) got within 33-32 on Chris Boucher's dunk to cap a second half-opening 9-0 run. The Ducks had the ball again with the chance to go ahead after Dylan Ennis' steal, but then turned it over.
That led to Ishmail Wainright's layup from Matt Lecomte's ally-oop pass, and Baylor started to stretch the lead again.
Lecomte had 18 points on 6-of-9 shooting that included four 3-pointers. Jo Lual-Acuil grabbed 14 rebounds and had seven blocked shots for Baylor.
Ennis led Oregon with 16 points, and Boucher finished with 12. Jordan Bell had 11 rebounds.
The Ducks quickly led 3-0 when Boucher hit from long range on the game's first shot, before they then missed six in a row. Motley made his first shot of the season and Manu Lecomte a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, and Baylor never trailed again.
"Didn't play very well, and didn't make plays for each other, so we've got a tremendous amount of work to do," Oregon coach Dana Altman said. "It's difficult (without Brooks), but that's the way it goes. ... There's no doubt he's a good player, but we've got some other good players that didn't play very well."
Oregon: While the Ducks were able to get past Army in their opener without Brooks, they clearly could have used their standout forward against the Bears, who dominated inside. Oregon struggled shooting at 33 percent (19 of 58) from the field and got outrebounded 41-30. "Dillon's a good rebounder but he's not going to make that difference up," said Altman, who wouldn't say when Brooks might return.
Baylor: The Bears are 4-7 in their last 11 games against top-five teams. Maybe this will get the notice of poll voters. The Bears, picked to finish in the middle of the tough Big 12, haven't been getting any votes so far this season.
Asked about the difficulty of facing Baylor's zone defense, Altman responded, "Well, we did pretty good last year, we just didn't do good this year." Oregon beat Baylor 74-67 at home last November.
Baylor's lead was only one midway through the first half when the 7-foot Lual-Acuil blocked a shot and was pumping his arms near midcourt after making a pass to Wendell Mitchell for a layup. Lual-Acuil made the next basket when he posted right under the goal, and got an inbound pass from Lecomte. "I was trying to be a factor somehow," Lual-Acuil said. "I knew my shots weren't falling so I just tried to figure out different way of helping the team."
HE SAID IT
"A lot of times, you play in big games and you play out of character, you're too nervous, you're too excited," Drew said. "We've played against a lot of good Big 12 teams in the top five that have beaten us. And I think we did a good job of staying poised"
Oregon played the first of five games in nine days. The Ducks are home Thursday night to play Valparaiso, where Drew was previously a head coach — after his father and before his brother.
Baylor is home for its third consecutive game to start the season, against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday night. Florida Gulf Coast's run to the NCAA Sweet 16 was in 2013, the season that Baylor was NIT champion.