Oregon women’s basketball picked up their first win of the Pac-12 season last night against the Arizona State Sun Devils, 65-53.
The Ducks took some time to get their game going, and were trailing the Sun Devils for much of the first quarter.
Grace VanSlooten carried the team in the first half, and was largely responsible for Oregon staying within a point or two of ASU in the first period before the Ducks began pulling ahead in the second period. GVS scored 14 of her 19 points in the first half.
A few minutes into the 2nd quarter, Oregon pulled ahead on a pair of GVS free throws and a jumper, and would keep the lead for the rest of the game.
The Ducks had the lead 33-29 at the half, in spite of shooting 2-4 at the line and 0-4 on 3-point shots.
Oregon came out much better in the 3rd quarter, controlling play in the paint and on the boards. Good defense and ASU’s inability to shoot well and get any kind of a foothold in the paint allowed Oregon to pull ahead by 14 going into the final period.
That cushion would largely carry for the rest of the game, as Chance Gray was finding the bucket and leading the way in the 2nd half. She scored Oregon’s only 3-point shots of the game on two consecutive buckets, with the second one rivaling Jackson Shelstad’s long ball against UCLA.
Also, it should be noted that in the second half Phillipina Kyei was much more physical offensively and defensively around the basket, and helped Oregon control the paint. As was to be expected, the Sun Devils were bedeviled by Kyei and Kennedy Basham’s size all game.
ASU shot 40% from the field and 66.7% from the line. They had three scorers in double digits, led by Journey Thompson’s 12 points.
Oregon finished with 42,4% shooting (2-14 from distance), and 52% at the free throw line. Grace VanSlooten and Phillipina Kyei scored double-doubles, and Chance Gray was the scoring leader with 22 points.
The Ducks had an overwhelming advantage on the glass, pulling in 48 boards to 27 for ASU. They also scored 14 more points in the paint, 34 to 20.
Here is what head coach Kelly Graves had to say after the game:
Grace VanSlooten and Chance Gray also had this to say after the game:
Oregon WBB continues to struggle offensively, and their defense is what has allowed them to win a game like last night’s contest against the Sun Devils. The Ducks still have huge challenges to face in conference play, as ASU is the team likely to be in the bottom of the Pac-12 standings when all is said and done.
It doesn’t get easier when Oregon (10-7, 1-3 Pac-12) faces Arizona (10-6, 2-2 Pac-12) in tomorrow’s matinee matchup at MKA. The Wildcats are coming off a close loss in a 2 OT thriller last night against Oregon State. That game is at 12:00 pm PT and can be seen on Pac-12 Oregon.