Benjamin scores 25 as No. 21 Oregon beats Arkansas State
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) This time, it was Dwayne Benjamin leading the way for No. 21 Oregon.
Benjamin scored 25 points, Chris Boucher had 17 points and a school-record nine blocks, and the Ducks rolled to a 91-68 victory over Arkansas State on Wednesday night.
Oregon (5-0) has five players averaging at least 12 points. The 6-foot-7 Benjamin, the sixth man, was 10 for 17 from the field.
''We don't worry about who's scoring,'' Benjamin said. ''We just worry about making plays for the team. I think that's the best thing about this group.''
Freshman Tyler Dorsey added 15 points and Elgin Cook had 13 for the Ducks, who made 20 of 24 free throws in the second half and led by as many as 29 points.
Devin Carter led the Red Wolves (2-3) with 22 points, including 14 in the first half. Donte Thomas added eight points and Anthony Livingston had 11 rebounds.
Benjamin matched his career high after scoring 14 points in the second half. The senior's two blocks also helped the Ducks break the school record of 13 for a single game.
Boucher, who led Oregon with nine rebounds, also finished strong with 13 points and seven blocks in the final half. The former junior college star packs only 190 pounds on his 6-10 frame, but he makes up for his lack of bulk with his length and quickness.
''The physicality was an aspect I had to work on and the intensity, too,'' Boucher said. ''I was not really contested in junior college.
''I know I'm not that big, but there's other places that I'm better than (my opponents).''
Oregon coach Dana Altman said his early concerns about Boucher's slight build were allayed as soon as he started banging in practice.
''He is fearless,'' Altman said. ''His length is unique. He can get shots from a long way away and he's not afraid to go after them.''
Arkansas State outrebounded Oregon 46-41, but shot just 32.4 percent from the field and had 21 turnovers result in 22 points for the Ducks.
It took the Ducks most of the first half to make the Red Wolves pay for their 14 turnovers, 27.3 percent shooting and a technical foul on coach John Brady. Arkansas State kept it close with a 26-17 edge in rebounds as Oregon struggled from 3-point range (3 of 13) and the foul line (7 of 16).
The Ducks closed the first half with a 9-2 run for a 38-25 lead at the break.
Dorsey leads Oregon in scoring at 15.1 points per game, but two of his freshman teammates played to mixed reviews. Backup point guard Kendall Small scored two points in 13 minutes and reserve forward Trevor Manuel had four points and two blocks in nine minutes before each freshman fouled out.
''Kendall was active and I liked his energy, and Trevor did some good things,'' Altman said. ''They've just got a long way to go, and again, it's consistency built through practice.''
Arkansas State: The Red Wolves finish the Global Sports Shootout on Friday at Baylor with their third road game in four as part of the five-team, round-robin event. ... Wednesday's loss evened Brady's record at 112-112 in his eighth and final season at Arkansas State. Brady already has announced his resignation effective at season's end. ... The Red Wolves were held to fewer than 70 points for the first time this season.
Oregon: The undefeated Ducks are de-facto champions of the Global Sports Shootout. They were the only team among the five to play all four of their games at home. ... Oregon is one of five remaining unbeaten Pac-12 teams through the first 54 games of nonconference play. ... Dillon Brooks, coming off a career-high 26 points against Valparaiso, had four points on 2-for-11 shooting. He also collected eight rebounds and six assists.
Arkansas State: Plays at Baylor on Friday.
Oregon: Hosts Fresno State on Monday night.