The No. 6 Stanford Cardinal (19-2, 16-2) finished the regular season sweep of the No. 13 Oregon Ducks (12-5, 9-5) by traveling to Matt Knight Arena and defeating the home team 63 to 61.
EUGENE, OREGON - Just like when these two teams met earlier in the season, this contest came down to the final minute and, unfortunately, fell on the side of Stanford’s veteran squad.
Both Taylor Mikesell and Te-Hina Paopao had an opportunity to make either a game-tying or game-winning shot in the final 19 seconds of the game, but neither was able to finish the job. Still, both of these first-year Ducks played great games against one of the best teams in the country, and overall Oregon put together a performance that they will hopefully be able to build off of after an electric second half nearly delivered them the upset.
Early on it appeared Oregon would continue their offensive slump when a three-pointer from Stanford’s Kiana Williams put the Ducks in a 15-point hole with 3:11 remaining before the half, but Graves’ squad showed signs of life by putting together an 8-0 run to make it 33-26 at the half.
The Ducks shot just 35.5 percent from the floor in the first half but improved to 41.8 percent in the end by hitting 12 of their 24 second-half shots. Oregon was much better from three-point land than in their previous five contests, tallying 10 triples out of 21 deep shots taken. Oregon had six different players hit a triple in this one: Paopao (3-of-5), Mikesell (2-of-3), Erin Boley (1-of-3), Sydney Parrish (1-of-3), Jaz Shelley (2-of-5) and Sedona Prince (1-of-1).
Oregon led 56-51 with 3:40 left in the game after a triple from Shelley, and even led 61-58 with just 1:46 remaining, but once again Stanford was able to fight off the Ducks for the victory.
Mikesell earned the start and scored a team-high 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Nyara Sabally continues to be Oregon’s most consistent scorer by racking up 12 points and grabbing seven rebounds despite having an off night against Stanford’s large defenders (5-of-13 from the floor.) Paopao played with great confidence and was rewarded with 11 points and nine rebounds. Parrish started her first game of the season and tallied five points in 21 minutes of play.
Kiana Williams (20 Pts), Cameron Brink (16 Pts, 9 Reb) and Lacie Hull (13 Pts, 7 Reb) led the way for the Cardinal, which finished the game shooting 46.4 percent. Oregon and Stanford turned over the ball 18 times apiece and took part in 10 jump balls. Neither team shot a free throw until the second half.
During halftime, ESPN revealed the NCAA tournament selection committee’s first top-16 ranking of the season in which Oregon placed 11th overall as a 3 seed. The Cardinal was No. 3 overall, Arizona No. 8 and UCLA No. 9.
Things don’t get easier for the Ducks as they hit the road to take on another conference foe that beat them at Matt Knight this season - the No. 8 UCLA Bruins.
NEXT UP: No. 8 UCLA
Friday, 5 PM, PAC-12 Network - Los Angeles, California