Amardi, No. 14 Ducks defeat Cal Poly 82-61Oregon guard Joseph Young, left, is fouled while shooting by Cal Poly guard Kyle Odister during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Eugene, Ore., Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Oregon is off to its best start in seven years, and the players say they are still getting used to each other.
A team with seven transfers is searching for its identity, and the No. 14 Ducks' 82-61 victory over Cal Poly showed they might have it.
It was its third win in three days, and the Ducks (7-0) buckled down on defense, limited their own mistakes and ran away from the Mustangs (2-5). Richard Amardi and Elgin Cook both scored 14 points, leading five Ducks in double figures.
''All in all I think we played one of the best games this year, defensive-wise for sure,'' said senior guard Johnathan Loyd, who scored a season-high 13 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. ''We were locked in.''
Oregon assistant coach Tony Stubblefield - speaking for head coach Dana Altman, who was resting a bad back in the locker room - said the Ducks focused on eliminating turnovers a day after committing a season-worst 20 against North Dakota State. The Ducks had four turnovers Sunday against the Mustangs.
''I think our guys came out with a lot of energy,'' Stubblefield said. ''We came out and put together a much better effort into defense and rebounding.''
Brian Bennett led the Mustangs with 11 points and six rebounds. He was the only Cal Poly player in double figures, but the Mustangs stayed with Oregon early in the game.
Cal Poly guard Kyle Odister tied the score at 7, but the Ducks went on a 13-2 run, sparked by a dunk by Waverly Austin off a nice pass from Loyd with 15:30 to go in the first half.
Oregon extended a seven-point lead to 18 thanks to some hot shooting. Loyd hit a 3-pointer with nine minutes left in the half, and Young made a 3 on Oregon's next possession. After a Mustangs free throw, Loyd connected on back-to-back 3-pointers, pushing the lead to 36-18 with 5:41 in the first half.
''We just made simple plays,'' sophomore Damyean Dotson said. ''Didn't try to force anything.''
Cal Poly kept the game from getting out of control, bringing the score to 40-32 on a floater from David Nwaba with 1:42 in the half. Nwaba scored eight points during the Mustangs' run.
The Ducks shot 58.3 percent in the first half and made seven 3-pointers in taking a 44-32 lead.
Loyd scored 11 points, had four rebounds and four assists in the first half.
Oregon continued to build its lead after halftime. Amardi took a nice feed from Young and finished with a layup, and a minute later he scored on a putback to give the Ducks a 65-45 lead with 9:32 to go in the game.
A deep 3-pointer from Young with 7:44 left capped a 15-2 run by the Ducks, giving them their largest lead to that point at 72-45.
The Mustangs shot 6 of 27 from 3-point range.
Dotson scored 13 points, and Young added 13 points for Oregon, which shot 48 percent for the game.
Now the Ducks face their first road trip of the season in an unfriendly arena. They opened the year in South Korea against Georgetown, but the Ducks have played their last six games in Eugene.
Oregon next plays Dec. 8 at Ole Miss (6-0).
''These are the teams we want to play,'' Loyd said. ''It's a true test. First true road game. That will be fun. ''
NOTES: Loyd became the sixth Oregon player to win at least 80 games in his career. . Joseph Young has scored in double digits every game this season. . Sunday's game was the finale of the Global Sports Hardwood Challenge, which the Ducks hosted. Attendance was 5,580.