Senior Day Caps Regular Season
EUGENE, Ore. — The Oregon women's basketball team wrapped up the regular season Sunday with an 88-77 loss to Oregon State in Matthew Knight Arena.
The Ducks, who won the first round of the rivalry series in December, played without point guard Te-Hina Paopao, who had 22 points in that victory. Oregon trailed by just three at halftime Sunday, but OSU was 7-of-9 from three-point range in the second half to maintain control.
"Any time you're without a good player, it hurts," UO coach Kelly Graves said. "But I've always felt like injuries in the short term don't affect you as much as you think they might. It's human nature to have other players step up; I'm just not sure we did that enough tonight. …
"Oregon State just played a really, really good basketball game. Everything we tried to do they were ready for, and made nice counters. And there you go."
The game was the final Matthew Knight Arena appearance in the senior seasons of Oregon's Erin Boley and Lydia Giomi.
How It Happened: OSU jumped out to an early lead, 9-4, thanks in part to an 8-2 advantage on the boards. But Oregon titled the scales on the glass, grabbing the last eight rebounds of the quarter, and took a 21-18 lead at the end of the period. Sedona Prince provided a spark with seven points, including a three-pointer during a 10-0 run that gave the Ducks the lead.
The Beavers scored six straight to retake the lead early in the second, before Prince got the Ducks going again. She had a rebound-basket to put Oregon back in front, 27-26, and scored later to forge a 31-31 tie. Yet another bucket by Prince got the UO women within 36-35 just before halftime, but OSU scored just before the buzzer to lead 38-35 at the break.
The absence of Paopao was felt in the third period, when Oregon was just 4-of-17 shooting. OSU was 7-of-13, meanwhile, and led 61-50 after three quarters. The Beavers made their first four three-point attempts to open the fourth, the third of which gave them their biggest lead, 74-57. The Ducks closed within eight twice on baskets by Taylor Mikesell, but OSU held on.
Who Stood Out: Nyara Sabally finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds. Prince had 22 points in 24 minutes, plus five rebounds. Mikesell and Boley each scored 16 points.
What It Means: The Ducks have earned a first-round bye into the conference tournament but will be looking to shore some things up after losing four of five to end the regular season.
"We need to step up and play better; it's a new season," Graves said. "We've had our struggles, especially down the stretch here. We've got to find a way to right the ship a little bit. I'm still confident — forever an optimist. I feel like we can, but at some point we've got to actually do it."
Notable: Boley and Giomi were honored in a postgame ceremony following the final home game of their senior season. … Graves presented flowers to Oregon State's seniors during pregame introductions. … The double-double was Sabally's fourth of the season. … Prince enjoyed the first 20-point performance of her career.
Up Next: The conference tournament begins Wednesday, with the Ducks assured of a first-round bye.