No. 5 Oregon women’s basketball held on for a 84-71 win over Washington in its 2019 PAC-12 opener thanks to a pair of career-bests from Erin Boley and Satou Sabally. Boley poured in a game and career-high 28 points with another career-high of eight three pointers, which fell just one shy of matching Oregon’s program record for a single game, while Sabally notched her first career double-double on 17 points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Oregon put the Huskies in an early hole thanks to the red-hot start from Boley. Oregon built a double-digit lead that grew to as much as 17 in the opening period while the former Notre Dame transfer scored 19 of the Ducks’ 23 first quarter points on 7-8 shooting, going 5-6 from beyond the arc. Washington cut into the lead with an 8-0 run to end the quarter and scored another 10 unanswered to open the second and take the lead at 24-23. Sabally quickly gave the Ducks the lead back as Oregon maintained a slight edge, going to the half leading 38-37 yet struggling from the field. Washington got an unexpected boost from sophomore guard Alexis Griggsby, who entered the night averaging just over two points per game and had never made more than three threes in a game, but tallied 21 in the first half and hitting five shots from the outside. While Boley and Sabrina Ionescu combined to go 11-20 with 30 first half points, the rest of the Ducks’ lineup added just eight more on 4-20 shooting. Oregon’s rough opening half was highlighted by Ruthy Hebard, who was leading the nation with a 74.1% clip from the field yet shot just 1-8.
Washington struck first in the third quarter, grabbing a quick 41-38 lead until Oregon’s offense got rolling once again and broke open a 50-41 lead thanks to a 12-0 run in just over two minutes. The Huskies settled down defensively following a timeout and got six unanswered points from junior Amber Melgoza to hang around down 58-51 heading to the fourth, where Washington refused to go away. Though Boley reached her career-high 25th point with her seventh three, another career-high, the Huskies stuck around and forced Oregon to grind out possession after possession on either end of the floor. A year removed from putting up 23 points in the fourth quarter against the Ducks, Melgoza didn’t have enough on Friday night to pull the upset. Oregon picked up another three from Boley and then one from Sabally to put the Huskies away, 84-71. The Ducks next matchup with Washington State on Sunday at 3 p.m., listen below to the team’s reactions and a full game story.
GAME STORY (by Alex Castle)
Head Coach Kelly Graves
Forwards Erin Boley and Satou Sabally