The No. 13 Oregon Ducks (10-3, 8-3) shook off a rough start to ultimately defeat the Washington State Cougars (7-4, 5-4) by a score of 58 to 50 at Matthew Knight Arena.
EUGENE, OREGON - After a disappointing loss to the Arizona Wildcats on their previous outing, Oregon bounced back by earning another close win over the suddenly competent Washington State Cougars.
Sedona Prince earned her first start since the Colorado game on December 4, when she injured her left ankle. She was used sparingly in the four games she recorded minutes after the injury, until tonight when the redshirt sophomore played for 27 minutes and led the Ducks with 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the floor.
.@Taylormichele3 and @sedonaprince_ making their return to the starting lineup tonight— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) January 23, 2021
10 minutes from opening tip on @Pac12Network.#GoDucks pic.twitter.com/rfmcRTCllS
Prince scored the game’s opening shot to take an early two-point lead, but the tenacious Cougar defense helped the visiting squad put together a 12-0 lead fueled by eight points from Krystal Leger-Walker.
Taylor Mikesell (11 points, 3 reb, 1 ast) was the only other Duck to score double-digits in the contest. She also ended Oregon’s scoring drought by draining a triple off a fastbreak with 1:13 remaining in the opening quarter. The Cougs added one more layup before the end of the frame to build a 14-5 lead heading into the second.
Oregon started the next quarter off with six unanswered points to cut the lead to three, but were never able to reclaim the lead in the first half. Te-Hina Paopao missed her first six shots of the game, but made it a one-point game with 2:19 left before the half with a layup. Having shot 33.3 percent from the floor and committing eight first-half turnovers, the Ducks were lucky to be trailing by just three points heading into the locker rooms.
"I wanted this win really, really badly; my team wanted it badly."— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) January 23, 2021
Great showing tonight from Sedona Prince, who led the Ducks with 14 points on 7-of-12 shooting #GoDucks x @sedonaprince_ pic.twitter.com/yUbdcHWmB1
Prince saved the day in the third by scoring eight of her 14 points in the third quarter. Mikesell made a shot that was later deemed a two-pointer after further review and freshman Sydney Parrish nailed a triple to tie the game at 38 apiece heading into the final frame.
Coming off the bench, Angela Dugalic tallied the first four points of the fourth quarter to give the Ducks their first lead since the opening shot. Late-game three-pointers kept the Cougs in the contest, however perfect free throw shooting from Erin Boley (4-of-4) and Mikesell (4-for-4) sealed the victory for the Ducks.
Oregon was hoping to improve after their performance against Arizona in which they shot 32.6 percent from the floor and 3-of-11 from downtown, and they partially did, finishing against Wazzu shooting 39.0 percent but hitting just 2-of-14 from deep. Thankfully, the Duck D was once again stingy, limiting the Cougars to 25.4 percent from the floor.
There was a horrifying moment in the match when Sabally went down with an apparent ankle injury, however, after a stroll to the locker room, she returned to the bench and even logged in crucial minutes in the fourth.
And for Duck fans who have been feeling an uncommon amount of hate building up in their gut, don’t worry, it’s hate week. Oregon takes on washington this Sunday at 2 PM.
Big-time win!— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) January 23, 2021
Ducks improve to 10-3 overall and 8-3 in Pac-12 play #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/O8Y59lxuDN
NEXT UP: Washington
Sunday, 2 PM, PAC-12 NETWORK - Eugene, Oregon