Oregon women’s basketball recovered from a disappointing performance against Utah Tech Tuesday night to beat Big XII opponent Oklahoma State 70-63 in round two of the Trailblazer Classic in St. George, UT. The Ducks took advantage of the Cowgirls’ slow start to take a 16-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. Oklahoma State trailed the whole game until finally tying the score at 62 all with 3:44 left in the 4th quarter. Oregon went on a 8-1 run to close out the game, with the Cowgirls’ sole point coming on a free throw with 47s remaining.
The Ducks returned to playing sound defense, holding Oklahoma State to 33.3% from the floor and only 29.6% from beyond the arc. Phillipina Kyei and Grace VanSlooten continued to be integral parts of Oregon’s effort, scoring 13 points each to go with 6 rebounds and 7 rebounds, respectively. Kennedy Basham only managed 2 points on the night but came down with six defensive rebounds herself. The victory was made possible by offensive production from Chance Gray and Sophia Bell, who led the team with 21 and 15 points.
While the Cowgirls are not considered one of the stronger teams in their conference, a victory over a Power 5 opponent is welcome momentum. Concerns for the team still remain, particularly a lack of depth. The Ducks’ bench only produced six points among all three players who saw the court, though Kennedi Williams did lead the team with 8 assists. Gray and Bell will need to be regular offensive contributors and the defense must show it can hold more productive offensive teams below their usual output for this team to make a run in conference play.
Pac-12 play ends 2023 with a big match up as the women head to Corvallis to face the Beavers at 2PM PST on December 31. The game will be available on Pac-12 Oregon.