EUGENE, OREGON - The No. 10 Oregon Ducks put on a show in their exhibition game against Saint Martin’s at Matt Knight Arena, ultimately winning 93 to 26 over the Saints.
Te-Hina Paopao and USC transfer Endyia Rogers led the Oregon offense by tallying 22 and 17 points, respectively, while Sedona Prince and Nyara Sabally made large impressions defensively in limited minutes.
Oregon scored the first 38 points of the contest and held Saint Martin’s scoreless until midway through the second quarter. Though Coach Graves used the opportunity to run through nearly his entire roster, Oregon’s defensive intensity rarely let up, and it was clear even when the Ducks’ second string was on the court there was a clear talent advantage in Oregon’s favor.
What really had Duck fans excited were the celebrity appearances of Oregon Women’s Basketball royalty: Satou Sabally, Minyon Moore, Ruthy Hebard, and Sabrina (the G.O.A.T.) were honored after the opening quarter for their contributions to the program.
The Ducks started the contest with four of their starters from last season in Nyara Sabally, Sedona Prince, Te-Hina Paopao and Maddie Scherr. USC transfer guard Endyia Rogers filled out the starting roster in her first game at Matt Knight, though Graves quickly elected to shuffle through his young roster early once it became clear the Saints wouldn’t pose much of a threat.
Coming off of a season in which the Ducks shot the three uncharacteristically poorly, it was nice to see a now-healthy Paopao start the scoring by draining consecutive triples. The home crowd then grew even louder when Prince kept the run alive with a three-pointer of her own to go up 9-0.
Paopao’s energy and accuracy were a welcome sight, and the sophomore guard finished the opening quarter 5-of-6 from the floor. Chanaya Pinto, the junior transfer forward from Northwest Florida State College, helped the Ducks by adding four free throws near the end of the first frame, and the final bucket of the quarter was a layup from Scherr to put Oregon up 24-0.
Ahlise Hurst, the senior transfer guard formerly of New Mexico, hit a three to kick off the second frame and once again the Ducks were off. Oregon’s defense snuffed out the Saints’ offensive attacks by forcing 17 turnovers in the half. In fact, the Saints were held scoreless until 5:20 remaining in the second when Rian Clear’s layup finally put the visitors on the scoreboard: Ducks 38 - Saints 2.
Oregon responded with a 9-0 run after Clear’s score, but then loosened their grip in the final minute of the game where they allowed five consecutive points to end the half and cut the lead to 47-7 at the half.
Paopao was the clear leader on offense, finishing the first half 8-of-10 with 20 points and four three-pointers, but it was Sabally who steered Oregon’s turnover machine by tallying five steals and a block.
With less playing time from their starters the Oregon offense wasn’t quite as efficient at the beginning of the second half, however, after relatively quiet opening halves starters Rogers and Sabally began to heat up offensively, tallying 5 and 6 points in the third, respectively.
The Saints were once again overwhelmed by the Duck defenders, shooting just 2-of-15 in the third quarter, and the Ducks turned five turnovers in the frame into six quick points.
Newcomers to the program, Rogers and Pinto, scored a combined 15 points in the final frame, and the two promising prospects ended the game with 17 and 10 points, respectively. The Ducks finished shooting 52 percent from the floor and 36 percent from deep, while limiting the Saints to a measly 15 percent. Oregon also outrebounded the Saints 48 to 31 to take full control of the contest.
UP NEXT: Westmont (Exhibition)
Eugene, Oregon - 11/6, Saturday, Oregon Live Stream