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Oregon Women’s Basketball Recap: Stanford Avoids Upset, Defeats Oregon 66-62

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 29 Div I Women’s Championship - Third Round - South Dakota State v Oregon Photo by Joseph Weiser/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Much like the men’s team the night before, the Oregon women played inspired basketball for the first 36 minutes of the game, had a significant lead, and could not close it out for the win.

The Ducks started the game with a stifling defense that limited Stanford to only 10 points in the first quarter, and zero from beyond the arc. Meanwhile Sydney Parrish rediscovered her three point shooting and TeHina Paopao’s shooting was on fire, and Oregon was up 14-10 in the first.

The Cardinal regrouped in the second period, helped in part by Sedona Prince getting into quick foul trouble in the first quarter, with Nyara Sabally and Kylee Watson also getting into early foul trouble and missing significant parts of the period. Endiya Rogers and Paopao were scoring well, though, and Oregon held off the inevitable Stanford surge. The Ducks made excellent use of the closing seconds of the half to score and go into the locker room up 36-31. At halftime, all the metrics favored Oregon as they played a nearly perfect 20 minutes of basketball.

Oregon started the 3rd quarter well enough, but their bigs again encountered annoying foul issues and the Ducks’ ball control was not as sharp. Oregon committed 6 turnovers in the period and Stanford made them pay by converting those turnovers into 12 points. Oregon did not close out the quarter well and the Cardinal pulled to within one at 47-46.

The Ducks needed a clean, solid fourth period and early on it looked like they were going to get it. Parrish and Paopao nailed three successive 3-pointers and the Ducks were up by 10 early in the period. They were still looking good halfway into the quarter and up by 8, when Stanford hit the gas and the Duck offense failed them. Oregon’s offense, which had been so good all game, vaporized. Sedona Prince’s field goal at 5:00 would be the last field goal that Oregon would make. Stanford made their run and Sabally’s two free throws would be the only points Oregon would score in the last five minutes. It certainly did not help that both Sabally and Prince fouled out in the fourth.

That’s not how you defeat the #2 team in the nation, and Oregon likely lost their opportunity to host the first round of the NCAA tournament. Oh, what could have been - but like the men, they could not close out the game.

Stanford (23-3, 14-0 Pac-12) shot 35% on the game, lead by Haley Jones with 18 and Kiki Iriafen with 11. They beat Oregon on the strength of their bench, with 8 players contributing to the final, all scoring 4 points or more. The Cardinal bench scored 20 points to Oregon’s 8 and wound up owning the paint, 38 points to 22.

Oregon’s shooting was 38% on the game, lead by TeHina Paopao with 23. Sydney Parrish added 13 and Endyia Rogers 10. Paopao and Parrish were the only Ducks to land threes, scoring 41% on 7-17 shooting. Oregon was seriously hampered by the rest of the roster not offensively contributing what it would take to beat Stanford. Oregon also had 16 turnovers to Stanford’s eight, most of which were committed in the second half.

The Oregon Ducks (18-9, 10-5 Pac-12) end their season on the road, playing Utah and Colorado this week. Their next matchup is against the Colorado Buffaloes on Wednesday, 2/23, in Boulder at 6:00 pm. That game can be seen on the Pac-12 Network.