Ducks Blast Beavers in Corvallis
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon women's basketball team continued its impressive start to the 2020-21 season on Sunday with a dominant 79-59 win over No. 15 Oregon State in Gill Coliseum.
The No. 8 Ducks improved to 5-0 overall for the third straight year and 3-0 to open conference play with the program's biggest win over the Beavers since a 20-point victory on Feb. 6, 2010.
The win is Oregon's 24th straight dating back to last season, extending the program record and the nation's longest active winning streak.
"I thought defensively we were really on point tonight and I thought our kids did a heck of a job," said head coach Kelly Graves. "This was a really good victory. The Beavers don't lose like this very often here at home.
"I'm really, really pleased. My first couple of years here we had some ugly outcomes, and this was sweet. My staff did an awesome job getting us prepared tonight and I thought we were ready mentally as well as physically."
To quote @GoDucksKG: "???????? ?????? ??????????."
— Oregon Women's Basketball (@OregonWBB) December 14, 2020
How it Happened: Junior Taylor Mikesell got off to a fast start in her first career game against the Beavers, going 4-of-6 from three-point range in the first quarter to score 12 of Oregon's first 21 points. Freshman Te-Hina Paopao answered an OSU bucket with a pull-up jumper late in the period to make it 18-11, and Mikesell got the shooter's bounce on a triple as time expired to give the Ducks a 10-point advantage.
Oregon State (3-2, 1-2 Pac-12) took a timeout quickly in the second quarter after a three by Jaz Shelley made it 24-11. The Beavers cut the deficit to 10 with less than five minutes before halftime, but a pair of three-pointers by Paopao and another by Mikesell pushed Oregon's lead to 38-22. Paopao hit her third triple of the half to make it a 19-point lead, and she converted a lay-in off a Taylor Chavez steal in the final seconds of the period to send the Ducks into the locker room with a 45-24 lead.
The Ducks finished the first half on a 13-2 run while holding Oregon State without a field goal for the final four minutes of the second quarter.
"I was really proud of the first two-and-a-half quarters especially," said Graves. "That first half we really came out offensively, defensively and on the boards and we did a lot of really, really good things."
Mikesell and Taylor Chavez combined for nine points early in the third quarter to extend Oregon's lead to 26, and a turnaround jumper by Sedona Prince – back after missing last Sunday's game with an injury – made it a 29-point game with 3:30 left in the period. Oregon State cut the deficit to 24 points before Paopao beat the buzzer on a contested jumper.
Paopao and Mikesell scored Oregon's first three baskets of the fourth quarter before Graves gave his bench some extended time on the floor. Oregon State got within 18 points before a lay-in by Angela Dugalic pushed the Ducks' lead back to at least 20 for good.
Who Stood Out: Paopao and Mikesell continued to impress early in their Oregon careers, with Paopao scoring a career-best 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting, including 4-of-5 from three-point range. Mikesell went 5-of-8 from deep and 8-of-12 overall for 21 points, while Chavez and Nyara Sabally finished with eight points apiece. Six different Ducks dished out at least three assists – including six by Chavez to match a career-high – as Oregon assisted on 25 of its 31 total field goals, and the Ducks finished an impressive 12-of-24 from three-point range.
"I think we showed a little bit of our versatility," said Graves. "We were able to do a little bit inside when we wanted to and obviously we shot it well. I keep saying this, but this is probably one of the best shooting teams – if not the best shooting team – that I've ever had."
What it Means: Oregon's returners and coaches stressed all week to the team's newcomers the importance of starting fast and maintaining a high level of energy in the first of two rivalry showdowns with OSU, and it was clear that message was received from the opening tip. Led by Paopao and Mikesell, the new-look Ducks cruised to victory in their first top-25 matchup of the season while holding their third straight opponent to less than 60 points to kick off conference play.
Notable: Oregon won its 21st straight conference game and 11th straight road game, both the third-longest active streaks in the nation … The Ducks beat OSU in back-to-back games in Corvallis for the first time since 2007 … At least 10 different Ducks scored for the fifth straight game to open the season, while 12 players grabbed at least one rebound.
Up Next: The Ducks will head up to Seattle next weekend to face Washington on Saturday before going to Pullman to play Washington State on Monday, December 21.