Oregon overcomes Illinois 71-64

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PORTLAND, Ore. -- Oregon coach Dana Altman would rather not have his team lose just to learn an important lesson.

The 15th-ranked Ducks avoided a stumble at home on Saturday night, rallying from a nine-point deficit with an 11-0 run in the second half to defeat Illinois 71-64 at the Moda Center.

"Sometimes you have to lose to learn, but I hope we have the maturity to learn from wins and get a lot better," Altman said.

Forward Mike Moser had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Oregon, which improved to 9-0, and guard Joseph Young also had 14 points as Oregon shot 55.8 percent from the field. Forward Elgin Cook had 12 points, and guards Johnathan Loyd and Damyean Dotson finished with 10 each.

Oregon trailed by nine in the second half before scoring 11 straight points to take a 58-54 lead. Illinois responded with five in a row to go back in front before Cook drove for a basket that put Oregon ahead 60-59 with 3:05 left. Moser followed with a 3-pointer to push the Ducks ahead 63-59.

Guard Rayvonte Rice made a free throw for Illinois, but Cook answered with a basket for Oregon. Guard Joseph Bertrand made a basket to get the Illini within 65-62, but Loyd came back for Oregon with a jumper to push the lead to 67-62 with 28.5 seconds left.

After guard Tracy Abrams made two free throws for Illinois, Loyd converted two for the Ducks with 16.1 seconds left. Loyd had a steal and layup to end the game.

"The last 10 minutes were pretty good," Altman said. "I think we were down 50-41 and then outscored them 30-14 to end the game. That is a great characteristic to have, being able to turn it up a notch, but over the long haul, if you depend on that, it will bite you."

Moser said defense keyed Oregon's late run.

"The last 10 minutes, we were into all the defensive possessions," Moser said. "We were talking a lot. That last 10 minutes was our best segment of defense this season."

Rice and Abrams had 16 points apiece to lead the Illini, who fell to 9-2.

"Oregon is really good on offense, very well-coached and their players are in good positions to be successful," Illinois coach John Groce said. "Offensively, they are just difficult to defend."

The first half was a back-and-forth affair.

Illinois was up 20-16 on a couple free throws by forward Jon Ekey before Oregon ran off nine straight points. Dotson hit a jumper before Moser made a couple free throws to tie the score. Moser had two baskets to put Oregon ahead 24-20 with 4:18 left in the half and center Waverly Austin added a free throw for the Ducks.

Rice produced the next four points before Abrams scored to put Illinois back ahead 26-25. Dotson scored on back-to-back possessions to restore's Oregon lead at 29-28 before forward Austin Colbert made a free throw to tie the score.

Young made a 3-pointer with 45 seconds remaining before Abrams converted a three-point play to tie the score 32-32 at halftime.

Oregon led 37-34 early in the second half on a bucket by Young before Illinois ran off nine straight points.

Abrams made two free throws before Rice and Ekey buried back-to-back 3-pointers to put Illinois ahead 42-37 with 16:10 left. Colbert added a dunk before Young stopped the run with a basket to get Oregon within 44-39 with 14:49 to play.

Abrams made a jumper before Cook added a couple free throws for the Ducks. Guard Kendrick Nunn and Rice hit consecutive shots to push the Illini ahead 50-41 with 13:06 left.

Cook hit a basket for Oregon and guard Jason Calliste drove for a basket to get the Ducks within 50-45. Bertrand had a steal and dunk to push the lead to 54-47 before Calliste hit a 3-pointer and Cook scored inside to get the Ducks within 54-52. Calliste drove to tie the score at 54 with 6:34 to go.

Moser scored off an inbounds pass from Loyd to give Oregon a 56-54 lead and Young followed with a basket for the Ducks. Ekey ended Oregon's 11-0 run with a tip-in and forward Nnanna Egwu followed with a 3-pointer to put the Illini back ahead 59-58 with 3:29 to play.

"We're awfully close," Groce said. "We were right there against a really, really good team."

NOTES: Oregon played its final two games without PG Dominic Artis and F Ben Carter, who were declared ineligible by the NCAA for the first nine games after accepting extra benefits. ... Oregon played a home game in PORTLAND for the first time since 2010. Senior F Mike Moser is the lone Duck from PORTLAND. ... Fourth-year Oregon coach Dana Altman and second-year Illinois coach John Groce are both getting transfers to help build their program. The Ducks have three transfers from Division I schools and three junior-college transfers. The Illini have two Division I transfers eligible this season and three sitting out this year after transferring.

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