EUGENE, Ore. – Rebekah Gardner scored 18 points and No. 9 UCLA matched its best start in 34 years with a 75-48 win against Oregon on Thursday night.
Atonye Nyingifa added 12 points and Markel Walker had nine points and 13 rebounds for the Bruins, who improved to 20-2 overall and 10-1 in the Pac-10 Conference. The 1976-77 UCLA team that featured Ann Meyers also opened 20-2.
Amanda Johnson had nine points and seven rebounds to lead the Ducks (12-11, 3-9), who scored their fewest points in 57 games under head coach Paul Westhead.
It was the fifth straight loss for Oregon and seventh in eight games. The only team keeping the Ducks out the Pac-10 cellar is Oregon State.
Oregon point guard Nia Jackson, who leads the Pac-10 in scoring (17.0) and assists (5.7), missed her second straight game after she strained her left knee and bruised her right knee a week ago against Washington.
It was a tough night for the Ducks to be without their floor general. UCLA is in the top-12 nationally in steals and turnover margin and they showed why against Oregon.
Trailing 13-9 early in the first half, the Bruins went on a 15-0 run, getting 11 of those points off Oregon turnovers, to take a 24-13 lead with 13:09 to play in the half.
Oregon cut the Bruins' lead to 32-23 by the 6:06 mark, but UCLA scored the final 12 points of the half to take a 44-23 lead into the break.
The Bruins' largest lead was 73-44 with 2:29 to play.