Te-Hina Paopao has cruised back in to championship form the past three games, and scored a career-high 23 points today in guiding Oregon to a lopsided win against the Arizona State Sun Devils, 77-48.
Paopao scored 20 of her points in the first half alone, going 7-8 including 6-7 from beyond the arc.
Paopao scored the first bucket and the Ducks were up by two. ASU tied the game at two, and then Paopao hit the first of her torrential downpour of threes. After that, the Sun Devils did not have the slightest hope of catching up with the Ducks.
The first period was the most tightly contested of the game. The Sun Devils did try to make this a competitive match for a quarter and one-half, and it seemed like every time they would appear to make headway, Paopao would hit a three. Paopao’s 3-3 from downtown was the reason why Oregon was up by two at the end of the first, 14-12.
Midway into the second period, other Ducks began to make some noise as well. Taya Hanson picked up a steal and drove down the court for a layup that put Oregon up 20-14. Phillipina Kyei swatted down a shot and then scored the bucket on the other end when the shot from Endyia Rogers fell just short.
Shortly after, two successive three-point shots by Te-Hina Paopao put the Ducks up by ten. In the last few minutes of the first half, any wind pushing the ASU ship fell still, capped by a Taylor Hosendove shot to beat the buzzer that put Oregon up 39-22.
The Ducks came out of the half with a 13-3 run and a lead of 28 points, 53-25. ASU hit a couple of threes but still only notched nine points in the quarter. Oregon had a commanding lead going into the fourth, 53-31.
The Sun Devils came to within 18 at the 3:44 mark, but Oregon hung in there defensively before going on a 16-5 run to finish the game. There were contributions over the entire floor, including this long shot from Ahlise Hurst:
Three ASU players shot in double figures, with Tyi Skinner leading the way with 15. The rest of the team offered virtually zero support, and there was frustration on the part of the Sun Devils.
For pre-halftime scuffle Oregon's Taya Hanson and Taylor Hosendove and Arizona State's Treasure Hunt and Kayla Mokwuah all assessed fouls.— James Crepea (@JamesCrepea) February 25, 2023
After the game, Taylor Hosendove shrugged off the confrontation, saying that “(It) looked worse than it actually is.”
Te-Hina Paopao finished with a season-high 23 points. Endyia Rogers quietly added 17. Significantly, Oregon picked up needed production on both ends from the bench. Taylor Hosendove just missed a double-double with eight points and a team-leading 11 rebounds. Taya Hanson was a defensive beast and balled for 10 boards. Ahlise Hurst was 1-6 from the field but a perfect 6-6 at the line, finishing with nine points. Phillipina Kyei ended with 8 points and 8 rebounds.
Chance Gray and Endiya Rogers both exited at points late in the game with physical ailments. Paopoa was nursing a knee. With Grace VanSlooten still out and Te-hina Paopao’s physical struggles, is this something to be alarmed about? Said head coach Kelly Graves after the game, “I don’t think there were any injuries incurred tonight; I think they’re just kind of lingering things...(It’s) a long season, and when you have a short bench you have to play a few more minutes than you want to. I think that’s all it is.”
The Oregon Ducks (16-13, 7-11 Pac-12) end their regular season on a much needed up-note. Now it’s time for postseason play, and ATQ will bring you the action as it happens.