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Win Streak Hits Record 22 Games

Dec 4, 2020

#10 Oregon 82, Colorado 53 | Postgame Notes: Colorado | Boxscore

EUGENE, Ore. — A program record that stood for more than 40 years fell Friday afternoon, when the Oregon women's basketball team beat Colorado, 82-53 in Matthew Knight Arena, for the team's 22nd victory in a row dating back to last season.

That broke the previous record of 21 straight wins set back in 1978-79. The UO women also won at home for the 20th straight game, breaking a record set in 2000.

The bulk of those win streaks was led by the likes of Ruthy Hebard, Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally, but the Ducks have kept it going through three games this season with a new-look lineup.

"I love the trajectory so far," head coach Kelly Graves said. "I think we've improved in every game. And I hope that continues."

How It Happened: Redshirt freshman post Nyara Sabally announced from the start that Friday was her day. The younger sister of No. 2 overall WNBA draft pick Satou Sabally opened the scoring for Oregon and then hit a three-pointer on the very next possession. Sabally made a free throw to cap an 8-0 run that gave the Ducks a 13-7 lead, and the first bucket of the season by Jaz Shelley made it 20-10, before Colorado scored the final two points of the first quarter.

After Shelley's basket, the Ducks went 5:59 without scoring, and 6:42 until their next field goal. But Oregon was able to hold its own on the defensive end, getting five straight stops before the Ducks finally hit their next basket, a pull-up jumper in transition by Sydney Parrish. That was the first of five straight made baskets by the Ducks, including one by Taylor Mikesell, two by Sabally and finally a three-pointer from Erin Boley for a 32-24 lead. Oregon took a 34-26 lead into halftime, by which point Sabally already had 12 points.

"I thought it would take me a little to get acclimated," said Sabally, who missed each of the previous two seasons with knee injuries. "Because I've been on the sideline for two years, I've seen the game and I know teams are really, really good. I was really glad to come out and play the way I know I can play."

Boley hit another three to open the second half, and then Sabally showed off her versatility. Beginning with a basket that put Oregon up 44-30, Sabally had a period of 69 seconds in which she had two points, two rebounds, an assist, a blocked shot and a steal. With the Ducks ahead 47-32, freshman guard Te-Hina Paopao got hot from long range, hitting three-pointers on three consecutive possessions to make it 56-32. Oregon led 60-39 entering the final period.

Graves gave his freshmen some room to grow in the opening minutes of the fourth, playing Shelley with first-year Ducks Parrish, Maddie Scherr, Kylee Watson and Angela Dugalic. Dugalic and Watson each scored during that stretch, before Graves reinserted his five starters — including post Sedona Prince, who had her ankle taped after a fall in the third quarter. As the Ducks finished off their victory, Sabally completed her first career double-double.

Who Stood Out: Sabally made he first career start and was 9-for-9 shooting for 20 points, with 10 rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots at a steal. She even made her only three-point attempt of the game.

Boley was 4-of-8 from long range to finish with 17 points, plus six rebounds. Paopao added 13 points and led the Ducks with four assists and two steals.

"I think I needed a couple of games under my belt just to feel (comfortable with) the pace, the tempo," Paopao said. "Today, the team needed this, and I needed this. I feel comfortable."

What It Means: The Ducks kicked off their effort to win a fourth straight Pac-12 title in winning fashion, and Oregon opened a season 3-0 for the sixth year in a row.

Notable: Paopao, Mikesell, Boley and Prince have started all three games, and the lineup has been rounded out by a different player in all three. … Graves said Mikesell was a focus of Colorado's defensive effort, after she averaged 19.5 points in the first two games. Mikesell made 2-of-3 shots against the Buffs, and the attention on her opened up more space for teammates like Sabally and Paopao. …  Colorado kept it close in the first half in no small part thanks to 10 second-chance points. The Ducks cut that down to four for the Buffs in the second half. … The Ducks and Colorado held a moment of solidarity pregame, and Oregon wore shooting shirts calling attention to social justice initiatives.

Up Next: The Ducks host Utah on Sunday (11 a.m., Pac-12 Network).