EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A matinee start seemed to catch the wrong team off its game with no excuses.
Fortunately for Oregon, there was enough that went right between falling behind by eight points early and giving up 13 straight at the end for the Ducks to claim a season-high fourth consecutive win.
Victor Bailey Jr. scored 16 points in his first start and Oregon finished a sweep of its four-game homestand by outlasting Florida A&M 71-64 on Tuesday.
“It was a disappointing finish and our start was poor, but it shows just how far we have to go as a team,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do and lots of things we’ve got to work on and get finished up.”
Paul White added 13 points for the Ducks (8-3) and Payton Pritchard had 10. Kenny Wooten, who didn’t start because of illness, had seven rebounds off the bench to pace Oregon to a 40-24 edge on the boards.
However, it was the 3 p.m. tipoff that seemed to catch the other Ducks napping.
“It was one of those games where we had to get our feet under us pretty early,” White said. “It was an early game, earlier than most, and it came at us pretty quick.”
Justin Ravenal led the Rattlers (3-10) with 15 points, Bryce Morange had 12 and M.J. Randolph 10. Florida A&M, which has lost 10 of its last 11 games, scored the final 13 points after trailing by as many as 23 in the second half.
A 28 ½-point underdog coming off a 93-64 loss at Utah on Monday night that put them in Eugene after midnight, the Rattlers led 18-10 after 10 minutes, but the Ducks went on an 18-0 run sparked by six consecutive points from Bailey, who had 14 in the first half.
“They were a good team, they were executing well and breaking our press, coming down and converting those baskets,” White said. “We turned it around after the second TV timeout, and I was just glad to come together as a team and will our way into the halftime.”
Bailey, a 6-foot-4 sophomore guard, made his first start after playing as a reserve for his first 46 games. He replaced sophomore Abu Kigab, who sprained his ankle against Boise State on Saturday night, in Oregon’s second game without 7-foot-2 center Bol Bol, who has a foot injury.
Altman offered no timetable or update on either player’s status.
The Ducks took a 38-23 lead into the break with eight straight points, including two 3-pointers by Bailey, to close on a 28-5 run after missing 11 of their first 13 shots. Freshman Miles Norris capped it with a rebound dunk for his first collegiate points.
The Rattlers shot 60 percent (15 of 25) in the second half to finish at 46 percent (24 of 52) for the game. Oregon came in ranked fourth in the nation in field-goal percentage defense at 36 percent.
“The finish really takes away from the game,” Altman said. “There’s not one facet of the game that we’re playing really well right now.
Florida A&M: The Rattlers showed they were ready for a second game in less than 24 hours for about 10 minutes before Oregon’s talent and nine-man rotation proved to be too much. The Rattlers are in the midst of a seven-game stretch of road games and don’t play at home again until Jan. 12.
Oregon: The Ducks made it look harder than it should have before putting the Rattlers in their place. The Ducks now face games at Baylor and Boise State before the start of Pac-12 play with the status of freshman phenom Bol Bol still unclear.
STAT OF THE NIGHT
Oregon won despite having the same number of assists (15) as turnovers. During their winning streak, the Ducks had 64 assists to 56 turnovers, only slightly better than the previous four games (62-59) that they split.
Bol and Kigab each sported a protective boot their left leg. Bol’s limp was significantly more pronounced in the stiffer boot than in the smaller one he wore Saturday.
Wooten had two blocks in his first three minutes on the floor — the second a volleyball spike into the crowd — as Oregon erased an 18-10 deficit.
Trailing 17-10 midway through the first half, Oregon put up consecutive air balls from 3-point range on one possession — first by Ehab Amin, then by Bailey. At that point, Florida A&M was 7 of 12 from the field and Oregon 2 of 13.
Oregon went with its fourth different lineup in its last five games, starting freshman Louis King and Bailey for the first time. . Because of illness, Wooten came off the bench for the first time this season, entering at the 11:02 mark of the first half as the ninth man for the Ducks. … Florida A&M coach Robert McCullum spent three seasons on Dana Altman’s staff at Oregon before landing the Rattlers job in 2017.
Florida A&M plays at Portland on Friday night.
Oregon plays at Baylor on Friday night in its second true road game.