Oregon had some good news before taking the court tonight against the Washington Huskies. Grace VanSlooten shook off the injury she suffered last weekend at Arizona and would be in the Ducks starting lineup. Unfortunately, Oregon’s shooting problems from the Arizona game carried over to tonight’s tilt, but fortunately for the Ducks Taya Hanson missed the memo. Hanson went 4 - 4 from beyond the arc including a key 3-pointer with just 23 seconds left and hit 3 free throws down the stretch as the Ducks beat Washington 65 - 58. Oregon’s outside shooting woes - and long scoring droughts - continued from last weekend. Hanson and Te-Hina PaoPao combined for 6 - 9 shooting on 3-pointers, but the rest of the roster was just 1 - 13.
The Huskies got out to a 5 - 0 lead, and the game was generally close throughout, but Oregon built a 6-point lead with 3:53 left in the first quarter at 15 - 9. Oregon missed a chance to take control of the game - Washington would score only 2 points while turning the ball over 3 times and missing 2 shots over the remainder of the quarter. But the Ducks had only a Grace VanSlooten free throw to show for their own efforts over the last 4 minutes of the quarter along with 4 turnovers. Oregon led 16 - 11 when the buzzer sounded, but it could have been much more. Rogers had 5 points and VanSlooten 4 in the quarter. Phillipina Kyei chipped in 5 rebounds, but the Ducks made 5 turnovers and were 5 - 14 from the field.
Neither team could get much going from the field in the second quarter. Oregon kept a 5-point lead at 20 - 15 on two PaoPao free throws at 5:59 and pushed their lead to seven 90 seconds later when VanSlooten scored inside. Oregon took an 8-point lead at 25 - 17 with 2:58 left and maintained that margin through the end of the half, going into the locker room with a 29 - 21 lead. At the half, VanSlooten led Oregon with 8 points, PaoPao had 7 and Rogers still had 5. Kyei snagged 7 rebounds and VanSlooten 4. The Ducks had 8 turnovers in the half, but had outscored Washington 10 - 0 on fastbreak points. The Huskies were only 9 - 30 from the field while Oregon was a slightly better 10 - 27. Oregon was shooting 25 percent from beyond the 3-point arc, while the Huskies were 1 - 7.
Oregon was outscored 10 - 2 in the first 5:30 of the third quarter and Washington had tied the game at 31 - 31. The teams traded baskets, missed shots and turnovers and the game remained tied at 37 with 2:02 left in the quarter. But Hanson hit two 3-pointers and VanSlooten drove for a basket and Oregon rebuilt a six-point lead at 45 - 39 by the end of the quarter. VanSlooten had 9 points in the quarter and 13 total, PaoPao had 10 and Hanson had scored 9. Kyei had 8 rebounds and VanSlooten 6. PaoPao added 4 assists. Oregon’s shooting was still lanquishing around 37 percent for the game and the team was 6 - 19 from beyond the arc. Making Oregon feel a little better, Washington was still just 1 - 7 from distance.
As the final stanza opened, the Ducks finally looked like they were ready to close out the Huskies. A PaoPao drive and hoop and then her 2-point jumper gave the Ducks their first 10-point lead of the game at 49 - 39 with 8:25 to play. Frustratingly, as it had done a couple of times already in the game, Oregon let the Huskies back into it. The Ducks came up empty on their next two possessions but gave up two free throws by fouling on an outside shot that had no chance of going in, a 3-pointer after a Washington offensive rebound and then a Huskie steal and layup. After this run, the game was now 49 - 46 and the teams traded baskets for 51 - 48. When the Ducks missed on their next possession at 5:42, the Huskies grabbed the rebound and dribbled all the way down the court for a completely uncontested coast-to-coast layup.
Now back in a fight leading by just one point at 51 - 50, Oregon committed a shot clock violation and gave up another layup with 4:37 left to fall behind - for the first time since the opening minutes of the game. Oregon buckled down and managed to open up a 5-point lead with 1:43 left on an easy basket inside for an otherwise quiet Kyei, and two close-in shots.
After Washington scored inside again to close to 57 - 54, Hanson nailed her fourth 3-pointer with just 23 seconds left to give Oregon a 60 - 54 lead. Washington was forced to foul and the Ducks were happy to take the free points, making 5 of 6 from the charity stripe down the stretch to close out the win.
For the game, PaoPao led Oregon with 16 points with Hanson just behind with 15 off the bench. VanSlooten chipped in 13. Kyei had 9 rebounds and VanSlooten 7. PaoPao also had 5 assists. Oregon committed 16 turnovers. The Ducks shooting improved a bit as the game progressed - they ended up 23 - 56 (41.1%) from the field overall but 7 - 22 from the 3-point line. Oregon missed 7 of 19 free throws, including an uncharacteristically poor 0 - 4 from Endyia Rogers. The Ducks won the battle on the boards 40 - 31. The Huskies racked up 11 steals to Oregon’s 2.
The Ducks improve to 13 - 4 overall and 3 - 3 in the Conference while the Huskies fall to 9 - 6 overall and just 1 - 4 in the Pac-12.
Oregon next faces Washington State in Eugene on Sunday at Noon on Pac-12 Oregon.