Ducks Set For Top-11 Showdown In The Desert
EUGENE, Ore. - After bouncing back from back-to-back losses with a 59-point rout of California on Sunday, the No. 10 ranked Oregon women's basketball team will look to continue that momentum this Thursday in a nationally-televised showdown with No. 11 Arizona in Tucson.
It will be the fourth top-15 and third top-11 showdown of the season for the Ducks, who are 1-2 so far against ranked teams with a 20-point win over then-No. 15 Oregon State on Dec. 13.
Matchup: #10 Oregon (9-2, 7-2) at #11 Arizona (8-2, 6-2)
Date: Thursday, January 14, 2021
Location: Tucson, Ariz.
Venue: McKale Memorial Center
Opening Tip: 4:02 p.m. PT
PxP: Ryan Ruocco | Analyst: Rebecca Lobo | Reporter: Holly Rowe
Radio: Oregon Sports Network
Eugene: KUGN 590 AM | Portland: KDZR 1640 AM
PXP: Terry Jonz | Analyst: Bev Smith
Series History vs. Arizona
All-Time Series Record: Oregon leads, 44-28
Current Streak: Oregon W10
Last Meeting: Oregon won, 88-70 (3/7/20, Pac-12 Tournament Semifinals)
Numbers to Know
1.53 - Oregon ranks No. 8 in the nation and second in the Pac-12 with an impressive 1.53 assist-to-turnover ratio.
3.4 - Nyara Sabally leads the Pac-12 with 3.4 offensive rebounds per game and is No. 4 with 8.1 total rebounds per game.
10 - The Ducks have won 10 straight against Arizona after beating the Wildcats three times in 2019-20 by an average of 19.3 PPG.
11 - Oregon has had 11 different players combine for 43 double-figure scoring performances through 11 games.
24.7% - UO is holding opponents to 24.7 percent 3-point shooting - No. 1 in the Pac-12 - after limiting Cal to a 1-of-16 showing on Sunday.
48.6% - The Ducks lead the Pac-12 and rank 12th in the nation this season with a 48.6 team field goal percentage.
Quick Hits: #21 Erin Boley
» Oregon Career (82 GP, 82 GS): 11.1 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 0.9 APG, .460 FG% (336-731), .433 3PT% (205-473), .837 FT% (36-43).
» Collegiate Career (119 GP, 92 GS): 9.7 PPG, 3.0 RPG, 0.8 APG, .452 FG% (420-930), .426 3PT% (252-592), .857 FT% (60-70).
» 1,152 total points in her collegiate career; 87 points away from becoming 33rd 1,000-point scorer in Oregon history.
» Currently No. 5 all-time at Oregon with 205 made three-pointers as a Duck; 6 away from No. 4 (Maite Cazorla, 211).
» Leads UO with 12.5 PPG through 11 games with eight double-digit scoring performances, including seven in Pac-12 play.
» Has already made more two-point field goals this season (35) than she did in all of 2019-20 (30).
Ducks Bounce Back In Big Way
After dropping consecutive games for the first time in nearly two years, the Ducks bounced back in emphatic fashion with a 100-41 win over California on Sunday in Berkeley. Oregon handed the Golden bears their worst loss in program history, quickly making the game a blowout thanks to a 14-0 run between the first and second quarters and a 21-0 between the second and third quarters. UO had six players score in double figures for the second time this season (USC), with Taylor Chavez, Te-Hina Paopao and Nyara Sabally sharing the team lead with 13 points apiece while Kylee Watson added a career-high 12, Erin Boley finished with 11, and Taylor Mikesell had 10. Oregon reached 100 points for the second time this season, and first in Pac-12 play.
Depth on Full Display
Despite having to replace four starters - including three top-10 WNBA Draft picks - Kelly Graves might just boast the deepest team in the country this season. Oregon has already had 11 different players combine for 43 total double-figure scoring performances through 11 games, and six different Ducks have led or tied for the team lead in scoring at least once. At least 10 Ducks scored in each of Oregon's first seven contests and eight times total after 11 players found the scoring column in Sunday's win at California. Entering Thursday's game, Erin Boley (12.5 PPG), Nyara Sabally (12.3), Te-Hina Paopao (12.2) and Taylor Mikesell (10.5) are all averaging double digits, and 12 of Oregon's 13 players are averaging at least 3.0 PPG.
Sabally Well Worth The Wait
It's been a long two-plus years for Nyara Sabally - who lost the opportunity to play with her sister Satou Sabally after suffering knee injuries in each of her first two seasons as a Duck - but early on in 2020-21 it seems the 6-foot-5 forward was well worth the wait. Sabally leads Oregon and is No. 4 in the Pac-12 with 8.1 RPG, and she is No. 1 in the conference with an impressive 3.4 offensive rebounds per game. The Berlin, Germany, native is second on the Ducks with 12.3 PPG on 53.8 percent shooting, and she leads the team with three double-doubles after recording 10 points and 11 boards last week against No. 1 Stanford. Sabally helped Oregon to a comeback win at WSU on Dec. 21 with 19 points and a career-high 14 rebounds, and she notched her first career double-double in the Pac-12 opener vs. Colorado (Dec. 4) with 20 points and 10 boards. Sabally was a perfect 9-of-9 from the floor in that double-double showing against the Buffaloes, tying for the seventh-best individual shooting performance in UO single-game history. "It hurt my heart my heart to not be on the court with my teammates," Sabally said after the Colorado game. "Now that I'm on the court, it's the best feeling ever."
Paopao Next In Graves' Line Of Great Point Guards?
Few coaches have developed point guards as successfully as Kelly Graves, who recruited and coached the only two players ever to surpass 2,000 career points and 1,000 assists - Sabrina Ionescu and Courtney Vandersloot. With Ionescu's legendary career at an end and Minyon Moore gone after a terrific grad transfer year, Graves immediately turned to Te-Hina Paopao, who he believes "has a chance a chance to be a real star." The first freshman to start a season opener for UO since Ionescu in 2016-17, Paopao is averaging 12.2 PPG on 50.0 percent shooting (53-of-106) and has scored in double figures eight times through her first nine career conference games. The Oceanside, Calif., native enters this weekend ranked No. 3 in the Pac-12 for total assists (50) and No. 4 for assists per game (4.5), and Oregon ranks eighth in the NCAA with a 1.53 assist-to-turnover ratio with Paopao directing the offense. The freshman scored a career-high 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting in Oregon's 20-point win at then-No. 15 Oregon State on Dec. 13, and she has four straight double-figure scoring performances entering Thursday's contest.
These Freshmen Are ... Wow
The Ducks reloaded this year's roster with the first top-ranked recruiting class in program history, bringing in five top-25 players who were all Gatorade state players of the year and McDonalds all-Americans. Oregon's "Fab Five" has immediately lived up to the hype, combining for 332 points, 153 rebounds, 85 assists and 16 total double-figure scoring performances through 11 games. The five freshmen combined for 41 points on 51.5 percent shooting with 16 assists in Sunday's win at California, matching or outperforming the entire Golden Bears squad (41 Pts, 29.1 FG%, 10 Ast) on their own in all three categories. Te-Hina Paopao has started all 11 games and is third on the team with 12.2 PPG, and Sydney Parrish has three DFSG and was the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week on Dec. 21. Maddie Scherr has been arguably Oregon's best on-ball defender so far, and Angela Dugalic (5.6 RPG) is Oregon's second-leading rebounder. Kylee Watson has taken advantage of a recent increase in playing time, scoring 11 points on Jan. 1 vs. USC and a career-high 12 points Sunday at California on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor.
Ducks Battle, But Fall at No. 1
The Ducks became the first team this season to lead No. 1 Stanford at halftime (33-32) on Jan. 8, but the Cardinal used a 28-14 scoring advantage in the third quarter to pull ahead and then held off a rally from the Ducks to remain undefeated. Oregon's 63 points are the most Stanford has allowed all season, and the seven-point victory is the slimmest margin of victory this year for the Cardinal. Freshmen Sydney Parrish and Te-Hina Paopao paced Oregon with 14 and 12 points, respectively, while Nyara Sabally notched her third double-double with 10 points and 11 boards. Oregon's strong showing against the top-ranked Cardinal helped the Ducks return to the AP top 10 this week after a brief one-week drop to No. 11.
Sunday's Game At ASU Postponed
Due to recent COVID-19 developments within the Arizona State program, Oregon's game in Tempe this Sunday has been postponed. The Pac-12 Conference will work with both programs to attempt to find a mutually agreeable date to reschedule the contest.