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WBB: Ducks Fall to Trailblazers (not the NBA kind)

Utah Tech uses blistering 3-pt shooting to overcome Oregon

Syndication: The Register Guard Chris Pietsch/The Register Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Oregon women’s basketball team continued to struggle away from Eugene on Tuesday night losing 92-86 to Utah Tech in the first round of the Trailblazer Classic in St. George, UT. A first half defensive collapse resulted in a 17 point halftime deficit for the Ducks, but they closed to within 5 by the end of the 3rd quarter. The Trailblazers held off the rally in the 4th however, and head coach Kelly Graves was left to try and explain yet another loss to non-power conference opponent., “Trailblazers’ Hot 3-Point Shooting Too Much For Ducks”

Oregon was close to Tech in most statistical categories and used their physicality well by out-rebounding the Trailblazers and having the edge when it came to points in the paint. That had been enough against Idaho, Portland State, and UTSA. The difference for the Ducks in this game was their defense. Oregon was completely unable to challenge Tech’s perimeter shooters, who went a blistering 21-31 from beyond the arc. The 21 made 3pt field goals is a Division I program record for women’s basketball.

The defensive struggles squandered what was otherwise an uptick in offensive production from Oregon’s starters. Grace VanSlooten led they way with 25 points, followed by Chance Gray with 20 points that included an impressive 6-10 from 3pt range. Phillipina Kyei had 17 points of her own. She and VanSlooten both had 9 rebounds apiece, nearly notching double-doubles. The Ducks even had better production from the bench than they had seen in previous games with 11 points scored in 17 minutes by Ula Chamberlin.

Oregon will have to rally quickly. The Ducks face Oklahoma State in round two of the Trailblazer Classic at 1pm PST this Thursday.