After a competitive first half against the Rice University Owls, the Oregon Ducks ran the Owls out of MKA, ending Rice’s season with a 78-53 victory.
The game started with a Te-Hina Paopao three, which Rice answered to tie the score. That was followed by an Endyia Rogers three, a Grace VanSlooten layup, and another Paopao three. Up 11-3, it looked like Oregon was going to blow the doors open and show Rice the exits.
That was going to have to wait for another 14 minutes. The Owls took advantage of a Ducks dry spell at the basket and made it a one point game at the end of the first quarter, 18-17.
Rice took the lead in the second quarter and held the lead until mid-quarter. Two consecutive shots from beyond the arc by Paopao gave Oregon the lead back, and from that point on the game was all Oregon’s.
The Owls stayed in the game, however, right up to the halftime buzzer and were down only three, 34-31. Paopao and Rogers were keeping Oregon in the game, but Phillipina Kyei also began to make some noise, especially at the end of the half:
Halftime— Oregon Women’s Basketball (@OregonWBB) March 21, 2023
Paopao: 15 pts, 4-6 3PT
Rogers: 9 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast
Kyei: 4 pts, 9 reb, 4 blk
GVS: 4 pts
Up to the half, the Ducks had let a far less talented team than Oregon stay with them. That ended going into the third quarter. The Ducks came out of the break playing much more physically then they had in the first half. Grace VanSlooten especially looked like a different player and took ownership of the second half.
The physical play rattled the Owls’ cages, and the Ducks began to distance themselves from Rice starting with a 16-2 run to end the third and put Oregon up 57-40. The Ducks only allowed nine points in the third period.
The energy and speed of offense and defense continued in the fourth, as Oregon did a fine job of keeping pressure on the Owls and finding baskets. In the fourth, the Ducks picked up some help from the bench as well.
In the last three or four minutes, Rice made some buckets but their effort showed no energy. The Owls had been soundly defeated and they knew it.
Oregon’s stifling second-half defense limited Rice to just 27.4% shooting on the night. None of the Owls scored in double digits, lead by India Bellamy with nine points.
Endyia Rogers lead the Ducks in scoring with 19 points off of 8-11 shooting, including going 3-4 from downtown. Te-Hina Paopao and Grace VanSlooten each came away with 17 points, with GVS getting 13 of her points in her magnificent 2nd half effort. Phillipina Kyei just missed a double-double with 9 points and 15 rebounds, and recorded a career-high eight blocks against the Owls. Oregon shot very well at the line, going nearly 85% on 8-11 shooting from the charity stripe.
The Ducks owned the paint and glass tonight, with 47 rebounds to 37 for Rice, and 30 points in the paint to 12 for the Owls.
Oregon has one more home game this season, when they host the San Diego Torreros on Thursday in Matthew Knight Arena. Tipoff is at 6:00 pm PT and will be shown on Oregon Live Stream.