Ducks cash in
PORTLAND — Dillon Brooks made the most of his first start of the season.
Brooks had 20 points, including 16 in the second half, and the No. 22 Oregon Ducks extended their winning streak to eight games with an 83-63 victory over UNLV on Saturday night at Portland's Moda Center.
"I think that set the tone from the jump," said Jordan Bell, who finished with 16 points and 12 rebounds. "Obviously you could see from the start we had a lot of energy. That's what he does, he brings a lot of energy. So having him back starting really helps."
Tyler Dorsey added 18 points for Oregon (10-2), which led by 23 points in the second half. The Ducks have held 11 straight opponents under 70 points.
Jovan Mooring led the Rebels (6-5) with 20 points. Tyrell Green added 18 points and eight rebounds.
Oregon was without leading scorer Chris Boucher, who was on crutches and wearing a boot on his right foot on the Ducks' bench.
Boucher played in Oregon's 81-67 victory at home over Montana on Tuesday night, scoring 23 points with 19 rebounds. He was a rebound short of becoming the Ducks' first player since 1977 with 20 or more points and rebounds.
Boucher, a 6-foot-10 senior, is averaging 14.1 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game for Oregon this season. He ranks 10th nationally in blocks.
Oregon coach Dana Altman said Boucher hurt his ankle in practice, and likely won't play on Tuesday against Fresno State, resting up for the conference season. Oregon opens Pac-12 play with No. 2 UCLA on Dec. 28.
"It was different," Bell said about playing without Boucher. "Obviously everybody had to step up and rebound, do all the things he can do. I knew I had to get more rebounds than I usually do."
Boucher's absence made way for Brooks' first start. Brooks has played off the bench since returning from offseason foot surgery.
Brooks was key to Oregon's success last season, when the team won a school-record 31 games while claiming the Pac-12 regular-season and tournament titles. The Ducks earned a first-ever No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament, advancing to Elite Eight for the first time since 2007.
The Ducks led by as many as 11 points in the first half. The Rebels closed within 34-29 late after Green's layup, but Dorsey answered with a 3-pointer.
Green hit a 3-pointer for UNLV to narrow it to 37-33 at the break. Green led all scorers with 15 points in the half.
Oregon went on a 10-run to open the first half, capped by Payton Pritchard's 3-pointer, as the game started to get away from UNLV. The Ducks stretched the lead to 55-36 on Dorsey's layup.
Mooring said Oregon switched up its defense in the second half, and the Rebels were unprepared.
"They did all the little things right in the second half," he said.
UNLV: The Rebels are in the midst of a tough stretch where they'll face three ranked teams. They lost at No. 5 Duke 94-45 last Saturday and they'll host No. 3 Kansas on Thursday. ... The Rebels are playing their first season under coach Marvin Menzies, hired after Chris Beard left the job after only a week in March to become head coach at Texas Tech.
Oregon: With Oregon's women ranked No. 25 this past week, it is the first time both the Ducks' men and women are ranked since January 1995. The women's team played in the early game Saturday night, defeating Portland State 90-46. ... Oregon has been ranked in the Top 25 for 14 straight weeks dating to last season.
LOCAL KID: Payton Pritchard drew cheers from the Portland crowd when he hit the Ducks' first basket of the night, a 3-pointer. The 6-foot-2 freshman point guard played for West Linn High School just south of Portland. He's played at the Moda Center before, when West Linn defeated Sheldon in the 2014 Class 6A state championship game.
UNLV: The Runnin' Rebels return home to face Southern Illinois on Monday.
Oregon: The Ducks host Fresno State on Tuesday, the team's final nonconference game before Pac-12 play starts.