Versatility On Display As Ducks Win
EUGENE, Ore. — The Oregon women's basketball improved to 4-0 and pushed its winning streak overall to 23 games Sunday, when the Ducks beat Utah 85-43 in Matthew Knight Arena.
The UO women took care of business against a Utes team playing its first game of the season. The Ducks predictably looked sharper and led comfortably after scoring 12 straight to lead 20-4 after the opening quarter.
"All in all it was a good game," said UO coach Kelly Graves, whose team was without post Sedona Prince due to injury. "I did not know what to expect this weekend — first weekend of Pac-12. I'm not sure I expected the two outcomes, the point spreads. But I was really pleased."
How It Happened: Erin Boley had the hot hand early, opening the game with a three-pointer but also finishing twice at the basket with her left hand in the first quarter. The second was an and-one situation that put Oregon up 13-4, and Boley scored out of the pick-and-roll on the next possession. That came while the Ducks were holding Utah scoreless for the final 7:13 of the opening period.
"That was the story of the game," Graves said after the Ducks held Utah to 29 percent shooting and forced 19 turnovers. "I thought our kids really defended well."
Boley rebounded a miss early in the second quarter and scored to make it 24-6. Later in that period Boley set up Nyara Sabally for a basket, and the Ducks continued extending their lead through a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Angela Dugalic that made it 45-20 at halftime. At that point Boley already had 15 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
"Erin set the tone early, showed she's more than just a catch-and-shoot, spot-up three-point shooter," Graves said.
Te-Hina Paopao got going early in the third, hitting a three-pointer to cap a 7-0 run by the Ducks coming out of the break. Oregon finished the period on a 10-2 run, which included two athletic finishes in the paint by sophomore Jaz Shelley.
In the fourth, Shelley hit her first three-pointer of the season as she got extended minutes with some of the Ducks' newcomers. Oregon extended the lead to 50 at 82-32 when Dugalic led the break and threaded a pass across the key to Sydney Parrish, before Utah scored the final 11 points of the game to close the gap.
Who Stood Out: Boley and Paopao each finished with 17 points, and filled up the stat sheet elsewhere. Boley added five rebounds, three assists and three steals, and Paopao had four assists to lead the Ducks.
Sabally followed up her breakout game Friday with seven points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots. Shelley broke out of what she called the longest shooting slump of her career with 11 points, and Parrish had 12 points plus four rebounds.
What It Means: The Ducks played without their starting post Prince, who suffered a sprained ankle against Colorado on Friday. That's a tough loss to absorb, particularly considering the injury issues Prince had overcome the two previous years. But on the court, Oregon showed it has the depth and versatility to overcome even that significant a loss.
Notable: Graves did not offer a specific timeline for a return by Prince. He said she'll "hopefully" be able to play when the Ducks return to action. … Oregon opened the season 4-0 for the third year in a row. … The Ducks have won 11 straight over Utah.
Up Next: The Ducks are scheduled to be off this week before returning to the court at Oregon State on Sunday.