The #16 Oregon Ducks faced the #17 Arizona Razorbacks in San Diego, and rallied in the second half of the 4th quarter to prevail, 85-78. This match featured a couple of outstanding freshmen on the opposing sides. We know about Grace VanSlooten, but Arkansas features a freshman in Saylor Poffenbarger that last week picked up her third SEC Freshman of the Week honors.
Oregon had an initial lead in the first period, but the Razorbacks caught up and surpassed the Ducks primarily on Oregon’s missed shots. For the most part, the looks were good enough; they just didn’t go in. The Ducks would use their height advantage with VanSlooten and Phillipina Kyei to control the paint for the game, and that was a big part of Grace VanSlooten’s game-high 26 points. However, with outside shots not dropping, Arkansas crept ahead.
.@endyia_rogers find @tayahanson0 behind the D and we are tied in the first quarter.— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) December 20, 2022
The Ducks tied it at 22, but went into the second period down three, 22-25.
The sides went scoreless in the second quarter for nearly three minutes before Ahlise Hurst broke the ice, bringing the Ducks to within one on a layup. Mid-period, Arkansas pulled ahead by 7 points and then Endiya Rogers and Grace VanSlooten were instrumental in guiding Oregon to a halftime lead, 38-37.
Spin. Body. Bucket.@gvanslooten40 ties it up!— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) December 20, 2022
The Ducks could have better helped their cause had they shot better on the free point line. Had they shot better than 8-14 in the second quarter, they would have had a helping cushion going into the third period.
The Razorbacks and Ducks played evenly in the third period, being tied or nearly so for the middle portion of the quarter, but the Ducks went cold at the end of the period and were down 55-59 after Arkansas went ahead on a 6-2 run in the last three minutes of the 3rd.
The Ducks continued their downward progression and were down seven early in the fourth, 59-66. The Ducks were not out, and came charging back with Te-Hina Paopao finding her 3-point shot at a critical juncture in the game.
@tehinapaopao12 knock it down!— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) December 20, 2022
She was not the only Duck hitting threes. Oregon took the lead for good on a Chance Gray three, one of two in the quarter. Ahlise Hurst was also contributing to the three-fest.
Clutch. @HurstAhlise from deep!— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) December 20, 2022
Fortunately, the raining of threes was sufficient for Oregon to keep the lead. When Arkansas began fouling to stay in the game, the Ducks only shot 50% at the line in the 4th quarter.
!— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessWBB) December 20, 2022
No. 16 @OregonWBB pulls away from No. 17 Arkansas to win 85-78!#NCAAWBB pic.twitter.com/LRyt0qMLIN
Grace VanSlooten was the scoring leader with 26 points, going 10-19 from the field at 6-10 from the line. Endiya Rogers scored 20 in the match, with Te-Hina Paopao next with 12, shooting 50% from downtown. Phillipina Kyei lead all rebounders with 15.
Oregon will need to fix their minor lapses - quickly - because they turn around to face the #3, undefeated Ohio State Buckeyes next.
The Oregon Ducks tip off against OSU in San Diedo on 12/21/22 at 3:30 pm PT. The games is televised on Flohoops.
After the match, it was reported that Jennah Isai has left the program. She traveled to San Diego but did not play.
Oregon women’s basketball guard Jennah Isai leaves program for ‘personal reasons’https://t.co/Fv2DWdaeGW— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) December 20, 2022
We wish Isai only the best going forward.