WACO, Texas -- Baylor made an emphatic early statement in this brand new college basketball season by mauling fourth-ranked Oregon.
Bears guard Manu Lecomte scored 18 points and dished out seven assists to lead the way in a 66-49 victory over the Ducks on Tuesday afternoon at the Ferrell Center.
Although it's just mid-November, Baylor coach Scott Drew knows the win will likely ring out all season. He made a point of emphasizing that it's Baylor's first victory over a top-five foe in a nonconference game in the program's 110-year history.
"It really helps RPI-wise for the rest of the year because Oregon is a team that's going to win a lot of games," Drew said. "So this is one of those wins that helps you all year long."
While Lecomte burned Oregon from outside, hitting 4 of 5 3-pointers, Baylor forward Johnathan Motley added 17 points and seven rebounds, and forward Jo Lual-Acuil added eight points, seven blocked shots and 14 rebounds.
Guard Dylan Ennis led Oregon with 16 points, forward Chris Boucher had 12 points, but just two rebounds and one blocked shot.
Oregon continued to play without preseason All-American forward Dillon Brooks, who is recovering from a foot injury. Although Brooks has been reported to be close to returning, Ducks coach Dana Altman didn't give a target date for the forward being back in the lineup when asked following the game.
Altman said Brooks' absence was not an excuse for Baylor hammering Oregon 41-30 in rebounds.
"We got beat on the boards bad," Altman said. "Dillon's a good rebounder, but he's not going to make that difference up. We've got to have other people respond."
The Ducks (1-1) trailed by 10 points at halftime, then opened the second half with a 9-0 run to cut Baylor's lead to 33-32.
But the Bears (2-0) responded a few minutes later with a 14-4 run sparked by a Motley 3-point play and a Locomte 3-pointer.
Baylor asserted control of the game when Motley caught an airball from guard Al Freeman and went up for a dunk that put the Bears ahead by 14 with 6:28 left.
Drew said he expects the win over Ducks to flip the Bears' script from underdog to target the rest of the nonconference season.
"This year we haven't got a single vote (in the AP Top 25), so people out there know that we've still got a pretty good team," Drew said. "Now you've got to deal with handling some success."
Baylor's zone defense held Oregon scoreless for long stretches of the first half.
Ducks forward Chris Boucher hit a 3-pointer from the corner 26 seconds into the contest. But Baylor held Oregon without another basket for 5:29 and the Bears grabbed an early 8-3 lead.
"(Baylor's zone) was effective, we attacked it poorly," Altman said. "We didn't get any baskets in transition, which we kind of depend on. We did a poor job, no doubt about it."
Baylor stretched its lead to 11 on a 3-pointer by Lecomte at the 7:42 mark of the first half. Then Lecomte drove and dished to Jake Lindsey in the corner for a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to put the Bears ahead 33-23 at the break.
Lecomte, a junior from Brussels, Belgium, who transferred to the Bears from Miami, churned Baylor's offense in his first big game in the Ferrell Center.
"(Lecomte has) really played a great floor game and really done a good job of running the team," Drew said.
NOTES: Oregon defeated Baylor 74-67 in the two programs' only previous meeting, which took place on Nov. 16, 2015. ... Baylor hosted its highest-ranked nonconference opponent in program history in the No. 4 Ducks. The previous high was No. 6 Arizona in 1997.