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Ducks Win Battle Of Early Birds

Nov 12, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. — Grace VanSlooten scored 16 points to lead five scorers in double figures Saturday as the Oregon women's basketball team beat Seattle University, 90-47, before 6,175 fans in Matthew Knight Arena.

Jennah Isai and Endyia Rogers added 15 points apiece, with Isai scoring all her points in the first half as the Ducks took command early of a game that tipped off at 11 a.m. The UO women also got 14 points from Phillipina Kyei and 10 from Te-Hina Paopao as the Ducks improved to 2-0 on the season.

The Ducks outscored Seattle in the paint by just four in the first half, but the UO women put their size advantage to better use in the second and finished with a 42-22 scoring edge in the paint, despite playing without freshman post Kennedy Basham.

"It's the second game of the year; we've got to continue to get better," UO coach Kelly Graves said. "We can never really rest on what we're doing, and there's always things when you watch the tape we can do better. But I think we have a good team and we need to set a high bar for ourselves."

How It Happened: The Ducks (2-0) trailed for only 8 seconds Saturday, with Seattle scoring the first two points of the game but Oregon responding with eight straight that included two baskets by Paopao. The Redhawks scored on their next two possessions, but Rogers answered the first basket with a three-pointer, and she scored again to spark a 13-6 run by Oregon to lead 24-12 after one quarter.

That run included seven points from Isai, and she scored eight more in the second with two three-pointers. By halftime she had 15 points, six rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot, and Rogers had 10 points as the Ducks led 42-25.

"We had a talk before the game and said, stay energized, come out there with energy," Isai said. "Being a basketball player you have to be ready to play any time of day."

Graves' desire to see more post production was reflected on the opening possession of the second half, when the Ducks fed Kyei for a layin. Again coming out of the media timeout in the middle of the third quarter, Oregon ran a play that set up Kyei for points in the paint, and she had nine in the period as the Ducks led 63-34 through three.

VanSlooten scored six of her 16 in the fourth, as Oregon put the game away despite some tough three-point makes by Seattle. With the score 71-41, the UO women scored 14 straight, a run that included a three-point play from Taylor Hosendove and a three-pointer from Paopao.

Who Stood Out: The Ducks were plus-37 with Paopao on the floor, and she had four steals, seven rebounds and three assists to go along with her 10 points. The team was plus-35 with Rogers and Isai on the floor, as they combined to shoot 11-of-19 — including 5-of-9 from three-point range — with 12 rebounds and five assists.

VanSlooten had nine rebounds and three blocked shots along with 16 points, playing big to help the Ducks overcome the absence of Basham.

"Everybody's just embracing their roles," Rogers said. "Nothing's really changed. Grace can play in that position, or we can play small and run fast."


Head coach Kelly Graves, on having UO alums Lexi Petersen and Oti Gildon on the Seattle bench as assistant coaches
"I'm really proud of both of them. They were terrific here as players, and Oti later as a staff member as well. And now they're both young, up-and-coming coaches. And they both have bright futures."

Graves on traveling Sunday to Louisiana to play Southern on Monday in the Pac-12/SWAC Legacy Series
"I think our players have really embraced this. … Hopefully it's more than just the basketball game. Hopefully it's a learning experience and a life experience. And I think it will be; as a coach that's important to me."

Up Next: The Ducks play Monday at Southern University at 4:30 p.m. PT.