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Oregon Blows 22-Point Lead in Second Straight Loss, Bruins 74 - Ducks 69

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The PAC-12 race just got a lot closer!

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Spokane Regional-Oregon Ducks vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

EUGENE, OREGON

BRUINS 74 - DUCKS 69

The Oregon Ducks (24-3, 13-2) lost at home to the UCLA Bruins (17-10, 10-5) by a score of 74 to 69. Despite leading by 22 points in the second quarter, Oregon dropped their second straight conference game.

Oregon dominated the first half, building a 42-27 lead. At first, the Ducks appeared to be the same team that raced through their conference schedule, despite missing their star forward Ruthy Hebard.

Erin Boley and Maite Cazorla set the pace for the Ducks early on. Boley was a perfect 3-of-3 from downtown, while Cazorla seemed determined to put up more points than her previous couple of games in which she scored a combined seven points.

All seemed to be working out perfectly for Oregon: the Ducks were 53.1% from the floor while the Bruins were 32.3%, Oti Gildon had six rebounds, UCLA’s Michaela Onyenwere had three fouls, and Sabrina Ionescu was flirting with a potential 17th career triple-double.

The high point for Oregon came with 2:46 left in the second quarter when Satou Sabally scored a layup to build a 22-point lead. However, Lajahna Drummer and Kennedy Burke scored seven straight before the half, bringing Oregon’s lead down to 15 points.

OREGON DUCKS

*Erin Boley (36 min) 20 PTS - 5 REB - 2 AST - 2 STL - 8/11 FG - 3/5 3PT - 1/1 FT

*Sabrina Ionescu (38 min) 18 PTS - 6 REB - 8 AST - 1 BLK - 7/15 FG - 2/5 3PT - 2/3 FT

*Maite Cazorla (36 min) 13 PTS - 4 REB - 1 AST - 6/12 FG - 1/5 3PT - 0/1 FT

*Satou Sabally (31 min) 8 PTS - 2 REB - 4 AST - 3/14 FG - 0/7 3PT - 2/2 FT

*Oti Gildon (33 min) 6 PTS - 8 REB - 1 AST - 2 BLK - 2/5 FG - 2/2 FT

Lydia Giomi (7 min) 2 PTS - 2 REB - 1/1 FG

Morgan Yaeger (5 min) 2 PTS - 1 REB - 1/2 FG - 0/1 3PT

Taylor Chavez (14 min) 2 REB - 2 AST - 1 STL - 0/3 FG - 0/3 3PT

UCLA STARTERS

Kennedy Burke (38 min) 29 PTS - 8 REB - 2 AST - 1 STL - 12/17 FG - 2/3 3PT - 3/4 FT

Japreece Dean (37 min) 14 PTS - 2 REB - 9 AST - 4/13 FG - 2/8 3PT - 4/4 FT

Michaela Onyenwere (17 min) 12 PTS - 2 REB - 1 AST - 3/7 FG - 6/6 FT

Lajahna Drummer (37 min) 8 PTS - 11 REB - 2 STL - 4/9 FG

Lindsey Corsaro (30 min) 6 PTS - 2 REB - 3 AST - 1 BLK - 4 STL - 2/6 FG - 2/4 3PT

The Bruins continued their streak by scoring the first five points of the third quarter. All of a sudden, a sure blowout was a ten-point game, and the dominant Ducks struggled to make a shot. Meanwhile, Kennedy Burke, who already had a game-leading 14 points in the first half, was taking control of the game.

Oregon scored a measly 11 points in the third quarter- their lowest point total in any quarter this season. And with :56 seconds left before the fourth quarter, Kennedy Burke scored her 23rd point of the game and cut the Ducks’ lead down to five.

After missing much of the third quarter due to early foul trouble, Michaela Onyenwere reentered the game at the 8:02 mark in the fourth quarter. And a minute later, she scored two free throws to tie and then take the lead for the first time since early in the first quarter.

Oregon traded scores with UCLA until a triple by Japreece Dean built an 8-point lead, the Bruins’ largest lead of the game. Gildon answered with a layup, and Boley continued to carry the team by hitting back to back layups, bringing the score to 68-66, Bruins.

Onyenwere continued to make her presence known by making a jumper, but Ionescu pulled a Ionescu and drilled a clutch three-pointer to make it a one-point game with 35 seconds left.

After using up their four remaining fouls, the Ducks forced Onyenwere to the line, where she hit both her shots. The Bruins used up their remaining fouls, and with 12 seconds left, Sabally missed a contested layup and fouled out after attempting to rebound.

The Duck crowd did their part by creating a cacophony while Ahlana Smith attempted to seal the win by making at least one of her two free throws. Smith miraculously missed both, but who else but Burke came up with the rebound.

Ionescu was forced to commit her fifth and final foul and Burke drained both free throws for the win. Ionescu was visibly upset as she went to the bench and the home crowd was stunned.

Each of Oregon’s three remaining games are now crucially important as they currently hold a one-game lead over the Beavers and Cardinal, with a tie-breaker over the latter.

GO DUCKS!


NEXT UP: USC

2/24, Sunday, 11 AM, PAC-12 NETWORK, Eugene

(Things aren’t all bad, Maite Cazorla’s family came all the way from Spain to watch her play!)