Once in a while you see a game that, on paper at least, doesn’t look like it will be close. And sometimes, it actually works out that way, as it did for the #16 Oregon Ducks against Eastern Washington tonight. After a reasonably competitive first quarter, Oregon outscored EWU 43 - 10 over the second and third quarters and raced to an 88 - 38 win over the Eagles. Three Ducks - Grace Van Slooten, Phillipina Kyei and Endyia Rogers had double-doubles in points and rebounds to lead the Ducks.
The Ducks (7-1) came in looking to defend in general, and particularly to deny the 3-point shot which has been Eastern Washington’s (6-2) strength. The Eagles hit the first shot they attempted - a 3-pointer - to take an early 3 - 0 lead. This would turn out to be their largest lead of the game. The Ducks then rattled off 7 straight, the highlight a coast-to-coast rebound to hoop layup for Rogers.
Oregon built a 13 - 7 lead on two free throws by Taylor Hosendove at 4:08, but the Ducks really struggled early from the free throw line. Oregon missed 5 of 11 attempts in the first quarter, a sharp reversal from very good shooting from the charity stripe against Oregon State last Sunday. Nevertheless, the Ducks made up for it with very good defense, forcing a couple of turnovers with a press and showing great rotation onto shooters. The Eagles rarely had time to get their feet set from beyond the arc and ended up hurrying shots or launching some wild ones even from closer in. EWU tried to return the favor, but Oregon had little trouble. Taya Hanson hit a 3 to give the Ducks a 17 - 9 lead at 2:10 and Ahlise Hurst hit another 3 shortly thereafter to make it 20 - 13 at 1:00. Van Slooten managed to draw a foul with 0.03 left in the quarter and canned both shots from the line to give Oregon a 24 - 15 lead. Van Slooten had 11 in the quarter, and Rogers added 3 points along with 3 rebounds. Oregon shot 57.1 percent from the field and was just 6 - 11 on free throws.
The Ducks took a while to get rolling but then cranked it up a notch as the second quarter reached its midpoint. Early on, Oregon’s shooting touch was off, and they scored only 6 points over the first 4:38 of the quarter. The defense continued to be great, however, and Oregon extended the lead to 30 - 17 despite some poor shooting and turnovers. Oregon began hitting the offensive glass hard thereafter as Kyei and Van Slooten each scored on second and even third chances. Along with a 3-pointer from Te-Hina PaoPao and points from Rogers, the lead ballooned to 40 - 20 with under a minute in the quarter. When EWU obligingly missed a couple of free throws and Van Slooten scored on another offensive rebound, the Ducks had a 13 - 3 run to close out the quarter and led 42 - 20 at the halftime break. For the first half, Van Slooten had 15 points and 7 rebounds, Rogers and Hurst each scored 6, and Kyei had 8 rebounds. Oregon’s shooting fell off to 42.9 percent, but the Ducks had an 18 - 0 advantage on points in the paint, and 11 - 4 on bench points. Oregon’s defense held EWU to 3 - 15 shooting from beyond the 3-point line and the Ducks were winning the battle of the boards 31 - 14.
The Ducks came out of the halftime locker room hitting on all cylinders. All the things that went well in the second quarter - offensive rebounding and tight defense - continued to go well, and Oregon’s shooting touch came back on line. Oregon held EWU without a point for almost five full minutes as the quarter began, while scoring 10 themselves to open a 52 - 20 lead at 7:00 on Kyei’s inside basket.
The teams traded misses for almost 2 full minutes and then traded 3-pointers with Rogers’s making it 55 - 23 at 5:02. Oregon ran out to a 62 - 25 lead on a 3 by Hanson with just 1:20 left. Van Slooten 3-point play and layup closed out the quarter with Oregon now leading 67 - 25. Van Slooten now had 22 points, Rogers had 11 and Kyei 9. Kyei had 11 rebounds and Rogers 10. Kyei and Rogers each had 4 assists. Oregon was now 26 - 55 from the field and 6-17 from 3-point range. Free throw shooting still lagged at just 9 - 16 (56.3%).
With a 42 point lead, the final quarter was a matter of maintaining discipline and playing out the string for the Ducks. EWU managed to close to a 41 point deficit (71 - 30) with a 3-pointer at 8:28, but Chance Gray nailed a 3-pointer and a 2-point jumper on back-to-back possessions to move the lead to 76 - 30 in the next minute. The game did get a little sloppy down the stretch but Gray and Van Slooten continued to score, and Gray’s 3-point play gave Oregon its first 50-point lead at 82 - 32 with 5:50 still to play. The remainder of the game was similar, with the teams trading either baskets or turnovers in turn. Eastern Washington did not score its first points in the paint until a layup with 3:56 remaining that made it 84 - 34. Each team would score just twice more and the final was Oregon 88 - Eastern Washington 38.
For the game, Van Slooten led Oregon with 26 points. She was relentless on the Boards and in the paint all night and also finished with 10 rebounds, 3 offensive. Oregon had 5 more players in double figures for points - Kyei, Rogers and Hurst with 11 and Gray and Hanson with 10 each. Kyei was also huge inside, snagging 17 rebounds, 6 on the offensive glass. Rogers completed her double-double with 10 boards along with 4 assists. Oregon had only 9 turnovers and won the rebound battle 64 - 27. Oregon had 19 offensive rebounds.
The Ducks (8-1) are next in action this Sunday, December 18 when they host College of Charleston at Matthew Knight Arena. That game is at noon and will be available on Oregon Live Stream.