The Oregon women’s basketball team completed a disappointing trip to Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon as host #9 USC carried the day 68-54. The loss is the third straight for the Ducks in conference play, all games played away from Eugene. The Trojans were barely clinging to the lead at the beginning of the 4th quarter when Grace VanSlooten scored 5 consecutive points to close the margin to 50-49. A USC three pointer extended the lead, but VanSlooten was able to draw a foul and sink a free throw to close within one possession again. Unfortunately for Oregon, a turnover on their next possession led to a USC layup followed by a 3 point dagger. The Ducks could only manage 4 points from Chance Gray for the remainder of the game.
Throughout the game the Trojans ability to play on the run with good ball movement was evident. The Ducks lack of depth caught up with them late in the game as USC was able to find open looks against tired defenders to put the game away. Worse, the Trojans were able to score 19 points off of 14 Ducks turnovers, while Oregon only scored 5 points on 6 USC turnovers. The Ducks this season are not a team that consistently out shoots their opponents from the floor and need to rely on physical play for scoring opportunities. In this game though, Oregon only went 6-11 at the foul line. For this squad to win going forward, they will need to find more opportunities at the charity stripe and convert a higher percentage.
Grace VanSlooten played all 40 minutes and led the team in scoring with 18 points. Center Phillipina Kyei recorded a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Starters Chance Gray and Sofia Bell contributed 11 points each, while Sarah Rambus accounted for all 4 of the Ducks points from the bench.
Unless additional offensive contributors can be found Oregon may struggle to reach 60 points in conference play. The good news is that the team has a chance to regroup at home against the Arizona schools. The Ducks will be back in action against Arizona State on Friday January 12 at 7pm in Matthew Knight Arena.