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Duck Defense Dominates in Portland, Ducks 85 - Pilots 52

2-0, baby! Bring on PAC-12 play!

Oregon v Portland Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images

The No. 10 Oregon Ducks used a strong showing in the third quarter to pull away from the Portland Pilots for their second non-conference win of the season, 85 to 52.

Continuing a dominant stretch of play that goes back to last season, the Oregon Women’s Basketball team has earned their 21st consecutive victory, which ties a program best set during the 1978-79 season.

Both teams were coming off of victories over Seattle U, though Oregon’s 116-to-51 victory was a tad more dominant than Portland’s 82-to-70 victory. Oregon’s starting lineup was the same as last game’s, outside of a switch from Jaz Shelley to Taylor Chavez. Unfortunately for the Pilots, they were missing junior guard Haylee Andrews due to a concussion.

The Ducks led comfortably for most of the game, however, due to Portland’s successful defensive pressure in the first half, this young Oregon squad found a much tougher challenge in Portland than they did against Seattle U on Saturday.

Thankfully for the Ducks, they were able to rely on senior Erin Boley to lead the team to a 32-point victory after a slow first half. Boley was the contest’s leading scorer with 25 points in just 26 minutes played on 11-of-17 shooting from the floor. The senior helped her team break out of their first-half shooting slump (the Ducks shot 50 percent from the floor in the first quarter and 46.7 percent in the second) by showing off her improved mid-range shot and rebound game, finishing with a near double-double by snatching nine total rebounds—five offensive and four defensive.

Redshirt sophomore Sedona Prince continues to establish her crucial role in the Oregon offense and tallied 13 points and seven rebounds against Portland. The Ducks’ 34-22 lead at the half could have been more lopsided if not for eight first-half turnovers, which is five more turnovers than Oregon committed in the entirety of their previous game.

“I thought the first half we looked really out of sync, and we were just playing faster than we should... We’ve got to give them credit, they put a lot of pressure on us and we just kind of panicked a little bit and we overpassed sometimes, and passed to Casper the ghost.”

- Coach Kelly Graves

Oregon v Portland Photo by Soobum Im/Getty Images

A dominate third quarter gave Oregon a 30-point cushion which they were able to ride out for the rest of the game, earning valuable playing time for all 13 players on the roster as Coach Kelly Graves solidifies his starting five and rotation.

The transfer from Maryland, Taylor Mikesell, missed all of her shots in the first half, but helped fuel the third-quarter fireworks by contributing to Oregon’s early 8-0 run and tacking on three triples. She was one of three Ducks with double-digit scoring, finishing with 11 points.

Taylor Chavez and Te-Hina Paopao also earned starting roles, and though they didn’t finish with eye-popping stat lines (7 PTS, 4 AST, 2 REB and 3 PTS, 5 AST, 3 REB, respectively) their defensive intensity and distribution skills should play a huge role in the games to come.

Nyara Sabally off the bench continues to be a wonderful sight for Duck fans that have long awaited the redshirt sophomore’s debut after two years of injury benched the promising player, and she lived up to her expectations by recording eight points and seven rebounds in just 16 minutes of play.

Despite committing 15 turnovers, the Ducks finished strong by using their size and strength on defense, recording a total of four blocks and nine steals. Oregon finished shooting just 51.6 percent from the floor, 35 percent from the three and 66.7 percent from the charity stripe, but held Portland to 37.5 percent from the floor and three-point range. Oregon scored 31 points off of Portland’s 22 turnovers.

UP NEXT: Ducks start PAC-12 play at Matt Knight Arena on Friday against Colorado