PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS - The No. 9 Oregon Ducks (3-0) survived a roller-coaster ride of a game against the Oklahoma Sooners (3-1) ultimately winning 98 to 93 in their first game in the Battle 4 Atlantis.
The Ducks were down their two best three-point shooters in Te-Hina Paopao and Endyia Rogers due to injury but were able to scrap together enough offense to keep up with the high-energy Oklahoma Sooners despite trailing by as many as 11 points at the end of the third.
A couple of Oregon Tall Firs, Nyara Sabally and Sedona Prince, each played fantastic games; each finished with double-doubles, the former with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and the latter with 11 points, 11 rebounds. Sydney Parrish (18 PTS, 6 REB) and Ahlise Hurst (12 PTS, 2 REB) looked great as startes, and Chanay Pinto looks to be an elite player off the bench with 10 points and 2 rebounds.
Ahlise Hurst scored the first points of the contest to give the Ducks the early 2-0 lead, but overall Oregon struggled to run their offense against an Oklahoma squad eager to turn turnovers into points; Oklahoma scored 10 points off 8 Oregon turnovers. The Sooners used four three-pointers to build a 15-8 lead midway through the first, but winning the rebound battle early (16 to 7) helped the Ducks keep within two scores at the end of the frame despite shooting 8-of-19 from the floor.
Trailing 23-17 entering the second quarter, Oregon put together a 7-0 run to reclaim the lead. The Sooners responded with a 7-0 run of their own, and in a game that featured regular, drastic momentum shifts, the Ducks punched back with a streak of 8 unanswered points.
However, it was Oklahoma who would end the half on the upswing, outscoring the Ducks 13 to 2 in the final three minutes of the second quarter to go into the locker room with a 44-35 lead.
Sabally had the highest point total of any Duck at the half (10 PTS, 4-of-8, 5 REB, 1 BLK, 1 STL), and grad transfer Hurst’s 8 points included two three pointers that spurred on a couple of Oregon runs. As a team, the Ducks shot 36.8 percent from the floor and were just 3-of-13 from deep. Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson led all scorers with 14 points, including 3 three-pointers.
Oregon turned over the ball on their first possession of the second half, but soon after regained some momentum with a pair of layups from their star big women: Prince and Sabally. Then, after a terrible showing from three-point land up until this point, the Ducks began to find some success deep. First with a shot from Sabally to cut the lead to 46-42, then with back-to-back triples from Parrish to tie the game at 48 apiece with 7:05 remaining in the third.
Parrish once again tied the game with a triple, this time at 54-54 with 3:53 remaining, but once again Oklahoma finished the frame strong to pull away from Oregon. The Sooners put together a 13-2 run to build a then game-high 11-point lead with under a minute remaining. Late buckets from Sabally and Parrish were able to cut the lead down to 67-60 at the end of the third, however, Scherr on the bench for most of the quarter with four fouls did not bode well for the Ducks.
Sabally joined Scherr on the bench for a bit, as she also picked up a fourth foul, but both players played crucial minutes in the final frame. Three-pointers from Taylor Robertson and Ana LLanusa helped maintain the lead for the Sooners, but Sabally, Parrish and Prince spearheaded an offensive push that resulted in a 10-0 run for the Ducks, ending in a layup from Sabally that tied the contest 78 to 78 with 4:44 remaining in the game.
Oklahoma’s Madi Williams and Oregon’s Chanaya Pinto traded scores and the lead as both caught fire late in an attempt to take control of the game, but it was a bucket from Prince and sure free throw shooting from Scherr, Parrish, and Pinto that helped seal the win for the Ducks.
UP NEXT: Winner of Buffalo vs South Carolina
Paradise Island, Bahamas - 11/21, 11:30 AM, Sunday, FLOHOOPS