Oregon Women Gain Short-Handed, Very Close Win on Road
The Ducks traveled up I-5 to take on the 6-1 University of Portland Pilots in the Chiles Center. Coming off a disappointing loss to UC-Davis, and down three of its top players, Oregon was looking to get back on track with the non-conference schedule dwindling. The Pilots, however, gave Oregon all they could handle, missing a 3-pointer at the buzzer that would have sent the game to overtime. Oregon prevailed 62-59.
Both teams got off to a slow start offensively, a condition that would last for long periods of the game. Oregon spent much of the quarter figuring out the intermittent defensive pressure by the Pilots. With All-Americans Nyara Sabally, Endiya Rogers and Te-Hina Paopao sitting out the game with injuries, the Ducks relied on “next player up” for offensive punch. Sedona Prince and Sydney Parrish were more than willing, staking Oregon to a 6-2 lead with 6:40 left in the quarter. But Oregon then went 0-5 over more than 3 minutes while Portland also stayed cold from the field. Both teams began to get untracked, however, as Maddie Scherr made a free throw and Parrish nailed a three to sandwich a Portland layup. Another Oregon basket at the rim made it a 14 - 9 lead for the Ducks. A single Portland free throw closed out the quarter with the Ducks on top 14 - 10.
Portland tied the game at 14 after a layup and a foul on Parrish led to 2 free throws. The Ducks found a bit of rhythm, working against the Pilots half-court pressure, as Parrish scored on a layup and then hit a 3-pointer to give Oregon back a 5-point advantage, 19-14. Oregon continued to play tough defense, particularly inside, holding the Pilots without a basket for over 3 minutes, but 2 missed 3-point shots by Ahlise Hurst and a missed layup prevented the Ducks from stretching the lead. The Pilots finally broke their scoring drought, with a layup and a short jumper allowing them to close to 19-18. With 4 minutes remaining in the half, Parrish hit a 3, and Kylee Watson broke the Pilots full-court pressure to score a layup. Parrish and Shannon Dufficy then hit jumpers to give Oregon its largest lead at 28-20 with 2:10 left in the half. Prince had to head to the bench with her 2nd foul and a Portland 3-pointer was matched by Parrish, who tied her career high with the bucket. Portland was given 2 free throws with 0.7 seconds left on a play reviewed by the officiating crew, and they cut the Oregon lead to 31-25 at the half. Oregon shot 43.3 percent in the first half, with Portland at 36 percent.
Despite sitting out the entire second quarter on her two first-half fouls, Prince came out aggressively at the start of the second half. She scored twice in the first minute, including a put-back of a Parrish miss. For Oregon football fans, there was a familiar sequence where the officials went back after this second Prince basket to review a play on Portland’s previous possession to determine whether there was a foul on Oregon on a rebound on that play. There wasn’t. The teams then traded baskets, until a short jumper with 6:58 to play in the quarter gave Oregon its largest lead, 41 - 29. Portland began to have some success offensively as Oregon defensive intensity lagged a bit. Portland managed to cut Oregon’s lead to 43 - 40 over the next 3 and one-half minutes, foreshadowing the rest of the game. During this run, the Pilots were 5-5 from the floor, benefiting from Oregon turnovers and fouls. Parrish then scored twice, but was hit with her 3rd personal foul with 1:25 left in the quarter. Oregon led 46-41 after a Portland free throw. Both teams went the final 3:00 of the quarter without a field goal, but 2 free throws by Prince brought Oregon to a 48 - 41 lead as the quarter came to an end.
After a defensive stop, Prince tied her season high with a short jumper, giving Oregon a 9-point lead. Oregon pushed its lead to 10 at the 7:25 mark on a 3-pointer from Dufficy. As they had throughout the game, however, the Pilots continued to hang close and go on mini-runs. After cutting Oregon’s lead to 56 - 50, the Pilots made 2 free throws to bring the game within reach with 4:42 left. Parrish hit another clutch jumper to maintain the 6 point lead, but Portland faced continued tough defense from Oregon, and obliged the suddenly cold Ducks with another 2 minute scoring drought from the field. The remainder of the game was tense, as Scherr fouled out and Portland cut the Oregon lead back to just 4 points. Prince hit a jumper to make it 60 - 54. Portland continued to flounder from the field, with the drought reaching more than 4 minutes, and Oregon struggling to take full advantage. Parrish’s 4th foul led to one made Pilot free throw. The Pilots, who had been whistled for only one foul until 35 seconds were left in the half, fouled 4 times as Oregon worked to inbound the ball at half court. Oregon’s 61st point came from the free throw line on this 5th foul, and on Portland’s subsequent possession, Oregon forced a missed 3, but gave up an offensive rebound and basket to make it 61 - 57 with 20 seconds left. Prince then made one of two free throws as Portland continued to foul, giving Oregon it’s final point and a 5-point lead with 17 seconds left. As Portland worked to cut it to a one-score game, the Duck defense knocked the ball out of bounds, but then gave up a layup with 8 seconds remaining. Oregon turned the ball over on the subsequent inbounds play, and the Pilots missed a game-tying three as the clock expired. The final was an all-too-close but nonetheless welcome Oregon victory 62 - 59.
Sydney Parrish led Oregon scorers with 26, while Sedona Prince added 22, the only 2 Ducks in double figures. Parrish’s score line included 5-8 from the 3-point line. Prince added 8 rebounds while Maddie Scherr and Ahlise Hurst added 5 boards each. Scherr had 6 assists and Parrish 5.
Oregon is now off for a week. They will face Long Beach State in Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday, December 11 at 2:00 pm.