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Ducks Return Home to Host Southern Utah

Nov 18, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. — Following its only true road contest of the non-conference schedule, Oregon returns to Matthew Knight Arena to host Southern Utah Monday night at 6 p.m. PT.
The Ducks look to begin the season 4-0 for the sixth time under ninth-year head coach Kelly Graves and improve to 41-8 in the month of November in the Graves era.
Monday, Oregon took care of Southern 83-46 in the Pac-12/SWAC Legacy series at F.G. Clark Activity Center in Baton Rouge, La., behind four Ducks scoring in double figures. Ahlise Hurst drained 5-of-7 3-point shots to lead UO with 15 points off the bench. Phillipina Kyei produced Oregon's first double-double of the season with 10 points and a season-high 10 rebounds.
No. 21 Oregon (3-0) vs. Southern Utah (2-2)

Monday, Nov. 21 | 6 p.m. PT | Matthew Knight Arena (Eugene, Ore.)
Online: Oregon Live Stream
Radio: Oregon Sports Network (KUGN 98.1 FM/590 AM)
Play-by-play: Terry Jonz | Analyst: Bev Smith
Listen Online | Live Stats | Tickets
A Win Would...
» Be head coach Kelly Graves' 194th win at Oregon.
» Be Oregon's sixth 4-0 start under Graves.
» Be the Ducks 51st win in their last 52 home non-conference games.
» Be the Ducks' second straight victory against Southern Utah.
» Improve Oregon's record to 41-8 in the month of November under Graves.
Southern Utah head coach Tracy Sanders played for current Oregon head coach Kelly Graves from 1996-2000 while Graves was the head coach at Saint Mary's. Under Graves, Sanders was a three-time all-WCC first team selection and two-time WCC all-tournament member. Additionally, Sanders was named WCC Player of the Year after her junior season and WCC Freshman of the Year following her initial campaign.
SUU associate head coach Katie Gruys also played for Graves at Oregon, graduating with a degree in business administration in 2016. Gruys was a four-year letter winner as a Duck and helped UO to the semifinals of the 2016 WNIT in Graves' second season at Oregon.
Under head coach Kelly Graves, now in his ninth season, the Ducks are 40-8 in the month of November after starting the 2022-23 season at 3-0. Oregon has started 3-0 in each of the last eight seasons and seeks its sixth 4-0 start under Graves. In his eight previous season, he has gone undefeated in the month of November three times: 2-0 in 2020-21, 6-0 in 2018-19 and 6-0 in 2015-16.
In the month of November under Graves, the Ducks' offense is averaging 84.6 points per game with an average margin of victory of 24.1 points per game (allowing 60.5 points a game). In November, UO has reached the 100-points mark eight times, including this season's opener (100 vs. Northwestern).
Through three games this season, Oregon's freshman trio of Chance Gray, Jennah Isai and Grace VanSlooten is a combined 37-for-43 (86.0 percent) from the free throw line. Isai leads the team, going 16-for-18 from the stripe while Gray is 12-for-14 and Grace VanSlooten is 9-for-11.
The trio has combined for 68.5 percent of the Ducks' free throws made (37-of-53) while all three are shooting above 81.0 percent. In the season opener, Isai went 9-for-10 from the line, which tied for the fifth-best free throw percentage by a freshman in a single game in program history. It marked the best free throw percentage by a freshman since Chrishae Row's 92.9 percent in 2014.
Matthew Knight Arena has proved to be one of the top home-court advantages in the country during non-conference play, as the Ducks have now won 51 of their last 52 home games against non-league opponents. UO owned a 44-game home non-conference winning streak that began Dec. 29, 2014, a streak that was snapped with a 64-57 setback to UC Davis on Dec. 1, 2021. In that same span, the Ducks have won nine times against Power 5 teams and four times in the NCAA Tournament.
» Oregon is 56-3 at home in non-conference play under head coach Kelly Graves, with two of the three losses coming in his first year at the helm of the program in 2014-15. 
» The Ducks have lost just 11 times against non-Pac-12 teams at MKA, owning a 79-11 record all-time.
After beginning the season 2-0, the Southern Utah Thunderbirds enter Monday's contest on a two-game losing skid. SUU opened its season with a pair of home wins over New Mexico and Benedictine Mesa before consecutive road losses at Gonzaga and Eastern Washington.
Lizzy Williamson is averaging a double-double to lead the Thunderbirds with 13.5 points and 10.8 rebounds a game. Williamson has recorded a double-double in three of four games, with a seaon-high 19 points and 13 rebounds coming in SUU's season-opening 76-68 win over the Lobos.
Daylani Ballena (12.5) and Tomekia Whitman (11.7) also average double-digit points per game. Whitman ranks second on the team at 6.0 rebounds a contest. As a team, SUU averages 17.5 more rebounds per game than its opponents.
Monday's meeting will mark just the third all-time matchup between Oregon and Southern Utah, and the first since the Ducks' 98-38 home victory on Dec. 9, 2017. Southern Utah claimed the series' initial meeting on Dec. 29, 1995 by a score of 56-47 in Cedar City, Utah.
The Ducks are 1-0 at home against the Thunderbirds while head coach Kelly Graves is also 1-0 against SUU in his Oregon career. The Ducks were the ninth-ranked team in the country in the last meeting in 2017.