WBB | Convincing Victory For The Ducks To Open The Civil War Series

Text Story: By Cole Rothman, Audio By: Ryan

The Civil War Series began on a high note for the women in white and green. The Ducks opened their 2 game series with longtime rival Oregon State with a convincing 12 point win. Oregon State opened the game on a 10-2 thanks to hot shooting and stout defense. The Ducks struggled on both ends for the first 5 minutes, but Sabrina Ionescu was there yet again to kick the Ducks into gear. The Oregon superstar is likely to be among the finalists for the Naismith Award come march and senior only made her case stronger tonight. 

Ionescu never shies away from big moments and she sure showed up again tonight for the Ducks. She finished with a game-high 23 points on 9-14 from the floor and added 4 boards and 9 assists. The Ducks also got key contributions from their other 2 stars. Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally both contributed with 17 points and combined for 13 rebounds. A stat line that Hebard seemed disappointed with after the game. The senior forward lamented that she and Satou need to do a better job rebounding and defending inside against freshman forward Taylor Jones. Jones was a bright spot for the Beavers all night, finishing with 21 points on 10-12 from the floor.

After taking the lead in the second quarter, coach Kelly Graves felt like the Ducks were in control for the rest of the game. Oregon was able to stretch the lead to 20 on multiple occasions, but the Beavers just wouldn’t quit. Oregon State mounted a furious comeback and ended the game on a 18-7 run, but it was too little too late. Oregon was able to survive the comeback despite a lackluster 4th quarter. 

Ionescue noted post game that the Ducks must improve their fourth quarter effort if they want any chance to beat the Beavers this Sunday in Corvallis. Winning in Corvallis has proved impossible for the Ducks in their last 6 seasons under coach Kelly Graves. The Ducks have yet to win against their Oregon rivals on the road and are desperate to change that. The postgame energy regarding their Sunday matchup was excitement from Ionescu, Hebard and Graves alike. That game tips off at 1pm this Sunday in Corvallis and should be an absolute war. 

Post-game Audio and Story coming soon!

MBB | Ducks clash with Trojans and grind out a win in 2OT

By: Ryan Milano

The Ducks came into Thursday night’s contest against the Trojans .5 games back of a share of the top spot in the PAC-12 standings. The only thing between Oregon and the conference lead was the USC Trojans. The Trojans came in 4-1 in PAC-12 play and were tied with Stanford atop the rankings after defeating the Cardinal just days prior.

Oregon jumped out to an 8 point lead early, but let USC chip away going into the half with only a 32-30 lead. The 2nd half closely parodied the first as this time Oregon jumped out to an 11 point lead with only 8 minutes left to play, but once again relinquished that lead thanks to a 17-2 run for the Trojans led by Onyeka Okongwu and capped off by a Jonah Mathews 3 pointer. Down 2 points with under a minute remaining, the ball found itself in a similar spot it has all season for the Ducks, the hands of Payton Pritchard. Pritchard converted at the cup to tie the game, and one of Chris Duarte’s 8 steals in the contest gave Oregon the ball back with the chance to score on the final shot. The Ducks failed to get a good look, and the game headed to Overtime. Scoring was minimal in the first overtime, and Payton Pritchard once again found the ball in his hands with a chance to win, but the 15 foot jumper clanged off back iron sending the game into 5 more minutes of bonus basketball. Oregon came out firing in the second overtime finding themselves at the free throw line for 4 attempts, sinking all 4. A Chris Duarte 3 pointer, and steal on the defensive end were the final nail in the coffin for USC giving the Ducks the victory.

It was a big day for 3 of the Ducks players tonight. Chandler Lawson got his first start as a collegiate athlete, and finished his night with 9 points and 5 rebounds. Payton Pritchard, with his 24 points, 7 assists, and 2 rebounds stat line, became the first player in PAC-12 history to amass 1,500 points, 600 assists, and 500 rebounds in his career. However, the star of the night was undoubtedly Chris Duarte. Duarte finished the night with 30 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 steals. The latter of which is a Matthew Knight Arena record, and 1 steal shy of the program record. That is also the first time this century that a player has put up 30, 11, and 8, The last Division 1 player to do so, Alvin Young for the Niagara Purple Eagles on January 30th 1999.

Oregon after this win finds themselves in a tie for the top of the PAC-12 standings with Stanford. Oregon has headed to Overtime in 5 of their 20 games so far this season, and 3 of their 7 PAC-12 contests have needed extra time to settle the score. Oregon is back in action Sunday for a 2:00 PT tip-off against the UCLA Bruins.

Audio Story: Ryan Milano