EUGENE, Ore. (AP)—Tajuan Porter is picking up right where he left off last season.
Porter, the diminutive point guard for 12th-ranked Oregon, scored 28 points to lead the Ducks past Pacific 80-64 in the World Vision Invitational tournament on Sunday.
“Today, I felt like I needed to take on the scoring load,” Porter said. “They played tough defense but I really just took it upon myself to score.”
Porter went 10-for-15 from the field with five 3-pointers. The 5-foot-6, 150-pound sophomore also found success driving to the basket for layups.
“That was always in my game,” Porter said. “I’m labeled as a 3-point shooter so that’s on the scouting report. I just keep the defense off balance and penetrate a little more and attack and try to get open shots.”
Porter set the school record with 110 3-pointers as a freshman last season. It was also the second-most 3-pointers by a freshman in NCAA history. His 512 points were also the best ever by a Ducks freshman.
“He played very, very well,” Oregon coach Ernie Kent said. “He’s a really smart basketball player. He’s still going to get his points.”
Malik Hairston added 20 points for Oregon (2-0), while Maarty Leunen had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Bryce Taylor scored 10 points.
One night after the Ducks scored 100 points in a win against Pepperdine, Pacific forced Oregon into a slower pace though it still shot 48 percent from the field and made 10-for-21 3-pointers.
“We did a good job of playing in the half court,” Kent said. “We knew that it was going to be a grind.”
Porter made his fifth 3-pointer of the game with 6:50 remaining, sparking a 9-1 run that put the Ducks up 69-51 with 5:22 to play and Oregon cruised from there.
Steffan Johnson led the Tigers with 22 points, while Chad Troyer scored 14 and Michael Nunnally had 10 points.
Pacific (1-1) shot 43 percent from the field but only 31 percent from the 3-point line (8 for 26) and turned the ball over 17 times to the Ducks’ eight.
The game was tight throughout much of the first half and was tied 20-20 following a layup by Johnson with 6:59 to play before halftime.
But Hairston hit a 3-pointer and then Porter hit a pair of 3s and a long jumper to put the Ducks up 31-22 with 2:27 remaining and Oregon went into the break up 34-27.