Oregon Ducks (16-7, 9-3 Pac-12) Win On The Road Against The Oregon State Beavers (11-9, 4-6 Pac-12), 74-66
The Battle For The Willamette, Part 1, was everything we expect from a rivalry game. Although the Ducks had some shaky moments, for most of the game they did what they needed to do to come out with a win at Gill Coliseum.
Our pre-game questions about Nyara Sabally were answered. While she did not start, Sabally played a strong 33 minutes off the bench. She looked in good form, too, not showing any signs of issues from her fall last weekend.
Before the game, a bullet point for me was that Oregon could not start out cold and would have difficulty with the game if they dug themselves in a hole and had to play catch up in the first quarter. The Ducks whiffed their first two buckets before Sedona Prince contributed the first two of her six points on the night. Practically the moment Sabally came off the bench, she was fouled and in short order Oregon was up 11-5. Crisis averted, and the Ducks were up 16-10 at the end of the first period.
A concern was the Ducks defense against shots from beyond the arc. Oregon State had way too many open looks for threes in the first half. Oregon gave too much space - you can’t expect to contest a three when you as a defender are 10 feet or more away from the shooter when they get the ball. The only reason why it didn’t get out of hand in the early going was that the Beavers simply didn’t put threes in the bucket, because they surely had some great looks.
That did not last long. Oregon was still playing sloppy perimeter defense in the 2nd quarter, but the Beavers did start to find their shots and tied the game at 22-22 off a three. Then they hit another three, but the Ducks rode an 8-0 run to take a five point lead into halftime. Oregon only shot 30% in the first half to the Beavers’ 40%, but they made the Beavers pay with 9 turnovers to Oregon State’s 2, resulting in 10 points to 0 off turnovers. The Ducks were able to prevail in the first half off winning the turnover battle and the hot hand of Sydney Parrish in the first half.
The first half was also a game of runs, which you expect in a rivalry game like this. The Beavers started with a 5-0 run, then the Ducks had a 16-2 run, the Beavers followed with an 18-6 run, and the Ducks put together an 8-0 run before the end of the half.
In the 3rd quarter, Oregon State pulled to within three early on, only to fall to 9 down on some easy shots that didn’t go in that they surely would have liked to have back. Halfway into the period, Oregon went up 14 at 48-34 before their defensive failures and poor shot selection allowed Oregon State to take a one point lead, 52-51, going in the fourth quarter.
The early part of the fourth period saw a couple of lead changes before the Ducks scorers found their groove, lead by TeHina Paopao and Sabally. The double digit lead that Oregon brought in the final few minutes of the game proved to be insurmountable for the Beavers. Sabally and Paopao nailed their shots from the line at the end to put this victory away.
Oregon State ended with four players in double-digit scoring, lead by Elle Mack with 19 points, Taya Corosdale with 15 points, and Kennedy Brown and Talia von Oelhoffen each with 12.
Tehina Paopao was the leading Oregon scorer with 22 points. Nyara Sabally registered a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Sydney Parrish rounded out the top scorers with 11 points, off the strength of 3-5 shooting from beyond the arc. Seven Ducks contributed to tonight’s scoring effort.
This one is in the books, and both teams now look to their rematch in two days. That game with be on Sunday, 2/13, at 1:00 pm in Matthew Knight Arena. The Pac-12 Network will again be televising this game.