The Oregon women’s basketball team held off a late rally by Arizona on Sunday afternoon to improve to 2-3 in Pac-12 play and remain undefeated against conference opponents at Matthew Knight Arena. With 9:32 left in the fourth quarter Phillipina Kyei’s hook shot jumper made the score 52-41 in the home team’s favor. But the Wildcats weren’t about to go down without a fight, scoring the next 8 points to draw within a single possession. The two teams traded scores down the stretch until a pair of free throws from Grace VanSlooten gave the Ducks a 70-65 lead with 19 seconds remaining. An Oregon turnover led to a quick 3 point shot for Arizona’s Jada Williams, but there was only 1 second left in the game. With so little time the Wildcats could not get possession of the ball back and get a shot off, and a warm win helped ease the chilly weather for Duck fans (though none were allowed at the game due to the treacherous roads).
Oregon’s offense was more in sync than they have been in recent games, shooting 52% from the floor and 5-11 from 3 point range compared to 50% and 5-10 for Arizona. The Ducks also dominated on the boards, out rebounding the Wildcats 38-19. Oregon was also able to draw fouls from Arizona and make them pay going 19-28 on free throws. The lack of a true point guard continues to hamstring the Ducks as they committed 27 turnovers from which the Wildcats were able to get 26 points to keep the game close.
To exactly no one’s surprise, Grace VanSlooten led Oregon in scoring with 19 points. Chance Gray and Phillipina Kyei contributed 13 points each, and Kyei also had 12 rebounds to notch yet another double-double. VanSlooten, Gray, Kyei, and Sophia Bell all started and played essentially the entire game with only brief rest periods. Kennedy Basham started but rotated frequently with players from the bench who contributed 15 points including an impressive 2-2 from three point range for Sarah Rambus.
Oregon has looked much more comfortable at home than on the road in conference play. While neither Arizona State nor Arizona are ranked opponents, this weekend has shown the team has the potential to keep themselves above water in Pac-12 play.