Nate Bittle scored 17 points with eight rebounds and four blocks to lead Oregon to a 75-61 victory Friday over Montana at Eugene, Ore.
Bittle’s performance was needed on a night when returning All-Pac-12 center N’aly Dante was out with knee soreness.
Freshman guard Jackson Shelstad, the Gatorade Oregon High School Player of the Year who suffered a knee injury in a recent practice, also did not play after missing Monday’s season-opening 82-71 win over Georgia at Las Vegas.
Oregon (2-0) suited eight players under scholarship.
Four of the Ducks joined Bittle in double-figure scoring — Brennan Rigsby with 12 and Keeshawn Barhelemy, Kario Oquendo and Jermaine Couisinard with 11.
Aanen Moody had 17 points but shot 6 of 16 from the field for Montana (1-1).
Money Williams added 13 points and Dischon Thomas finished with 11.
Montana and Oregon battled back and forth until the Ducks started to pull away in the last eight minutes.
Montana led 9-2 less than four minutes into the game, and Oregon built a 37-30 lead with 1:55 left before halftime.
The Grizzlies scored the last seven points of the first half, capped by Williams’ 3-pointer at the buzzer, to tie the game at 37-37 at halftime.
Oregon started to pull away after Williams made two free-throw attempts with 11:13 left to cut the deficit to 53-52.
The Ducks scored eight unanswered points to take a 61-52 lead with 7:39 remaining.
Bittle made two shots to cap that stretch.
Thomas’ jumper with 7:01 left ended Montana’s field-goal drought of 5 minutes, 23 seconds, and cut the lead to 61-54.
The Grizzlies did not get closer.
Oregon took a 67-56 lead with 4:24 left after Bittle made a hook shot and a free throw.
The Ducks built their lead to 75-59 with 1:30 remaining after going on an 8-2 run.
Oregon committed only two turnovers while compiling 13 assists.
–Field Level Media
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