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Oregon Women's Basketball

Ducks fall to Arizona for first time since 2016

January 14, 2021
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Oregon headed to the desert Thursday afternoon looking to continue its dominance over Arizona. After dropping two straight to UCLA and top-ranked Stanford, the Ducks looked right back on track with a dominant 100-41 win over California in Berkeley last weekend.

That strong play would not follow the Ducks to Tucson, as the team would struggle mightily en route to a 57-41 loss to Arizona. This one was ugly from the jump, as sloppy play and a hot start from Arizona had Oregon in a bad hole early. 

The offense was an abysmal 2-12 shooting from the floor in the first quarter and six early turnovers drove the Ducks into a hole as they would trail 22-7 at the end of one. Arizona came out firing on both sides of the ball, playing aggressive defense and harassing the Ducks stars. 

After sitting the first quarter, Sedona Prince checked in for her first minutes since December 21 as she dealt with an injury. She had a tough time finding her groove and had two fouls and no points heading into the half. 

The offense was a bit trigger-happy and was forcing both shots and errant passes most of the night, which made things easy on defense for a veteran Arizona squad. Shooting got a bit better in the second quarter, but Arizona’s offense was efficient and paired that with 16 total points at the freethrow line. The Ducks were down 36-22 at the half, with Nyara Sabally leading the team in scoring with six points.

Sabally continued to be one of the few bright spots in the second half, finishing with 15 points (6-9 FG) and seven rebounds to go with a block and a steal. Both teams were slow to start out of the locker room, and Kelly Graves chose to keep Sedona Prince on the floor with the starters, favoring size to start the second half. 

The third quarter was the least fruitful of the night for Oregon, yielding a mere five points. Down by nearly 20 points at the end of the third, the game was all but over. Guard Aari McDonald starred all night for Arizona and finished with 16 points, a pair of three-pointers, and four steals that contributed to a staggering 23 turnovers from Oregon. 

The Ducks continued to show signs of fight until the final whistle, despite looking exhausted by the final horn. Oregon had not lost to Arizona in almost five years, with its last loss against the Wildcats coming on March 6, 2016 in the Pac-12 tournament. 

With the Arizona State program on pause due to COVID-19 protocols, the Ducks will have to wait until January 22 for their next opponent, the Washington State Cougars. 

 
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