The Ducks got their first home conference win of the season against Washington State Sunday afternoon, 65-60. Oregon jumped out to a double digit lead and was able to hold off a furious comeback attempt by the Cougars for their second conference win of the year. The Ducks gain a sweep of Washington State on the season and have won their only two conference games against the Cougars. "I thought somewhat surprisingly it was a defensive win." Coach Paul Westhead said after the game, "We covered shooters and did alright on the boards." To that tune, the Cougars could only muster 29% from the field in the game despite shooting nearly 40% in the second half. Jordan Loera led all scorers with 21 and had 12 rebounds for the double double. Jillian Alleyne also had a double double with 15 points and 17 boards. Lia Galderia used a strong second half to pace the Cougars with 19.
Neither team shot the lights out in the first half as the Ducks were below 30 in the first but it paled in comparison to Washington State's 17% from the field. The Cougars were fruitless on their 9 attempts from three point land and the Ducks were able to capitalize on it. Jillian Alleyne had a double double at half pulling in 12 rebounds and scoring 10. Jordan Loera added 8 more with a pair from deep to carry the bulk of scoring with Alleyne. The Ducks also enjoyed a big advantage on the boards, beating the Cougars by a wide margin 34-21. The Ducks had 9 offensive boards which contributed to 8 second chance points in the half. Meanwhile, WSU was simply unable to find the hoop as they seemed to miss everything they put up. Katie Grad led the Cougars with 6 at the halfway point. Despite their 10 turnovers in the first half, Oregon took a 13 point lead into the break at 28-15.
In the second half, Oregon would keep the Cougars at bay through much of the period. The Cougars finally got the caps off the rim from deep when Alexas Williamson connected from long range with a little more than 12 minutes remaining in the half. WSU would continue to chip away at the lead but would never quite get over the hump. They had a chance to get closer though as Sage Romberg's 3 pointer went off the rim with just under two minutes to go. It got down to nervous time when Dawnyelle Awa stole the inbound pass. Trailing by 4, the Cougars got two looks from deep that both went awry. Taylor Edmonson would get the tip in basket to bring the visitors within 2. On the next inbound, Jordan Loera would draw a fowl and her two free throws would ice the game for the Ducks.
Oregon's reward for a conference win is going up against the class of the conference in Stanford and California. It would be nice to think that they could build on this win but realistically, it may be the last win Oregon has this season. Regardless, the team played hard and they earned this win. Jillian Alleyne at times looks like she is going to get every rebound and Thomas and Loera seem to be getting into a groove together. It seems to be too little, too late though for the Duck women.