Eugene, OR – The No. 7-ranked Arizona Wildcats came to Eugene to face the Oregon Ducks and try to get their first road sweep against the Oregon schools since the 2010-11 season They came up slightly short. Endyia Rogers only made two field goals in the game, but hit the most important shot, a short jumper off an offensive rebound to give Oregon a dramatic 68-66 overtime win over Arizona.
The Ducks came back from a 17-point deficit late in the third quarter. They held Arizona to 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting in the last 15 minutes of the game. Te-Hina Paopao led the Ducks with 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting. Nyara Sabally added 20 points and 13 rebounds while Sedona Prince added 16 points. Bendu Yeaney and Shaina Pellington led Arizona with 14 points each.
The first quarter was close throughout with Arizona taking a 17-15 lead. The Wildcats were ahead most of the quarter until a Paopao steal and basket put the Ducks ahead 13-11. Arizona came back with two late baskets to take the lead, the last on a layup from Cate Reese off a steal of an Oregon’s in-bounds pass.
After Sabally scored four straight points to move Oregon within two points mid-way in the second quarter, back-to-back three-pointers from Reece put the Wildcats up by ten points (31-21). Arizona maintained their lead with good hands and solid defense. The Wildcats have forced at least 15 turnovers in 12 of their 13 games this season (today Oregon had 14 turnovers). Koi Love, a 6-0 junior transfer from Vanderbilt, was particularly active with two steals, one off another in-bounds pass, and added eight points and five rebounds in the half. The Wildcats came up with six steals, forced eight Oregon turnovers and held the Ducks to only 29.2 percent shooting including only 1-of-6 from deep.
Arizona was efficient on offense, hitting 16-of-30 shots in the half (4-of-10 3s). Reese, their 6-2 senior center and leading scorer (14.8 ppg) led her team in scoring at the half with ten points. Paopao led the Ducks with 13 points, hitting 3-of-7 from the field and all of her six free throws. The rest of the Ducks shot 3-of-17 in the half and didn’t make a three-pointer. The Wildcats led 38-27 at halftime.
Oregon couldn’t make a serious run in the third quarter despite eight points in the quarter from Sabally. Back-to-back three -pointers from the Wildcats’ Sam Thomas and Helena Pueyo gave them a 54-37 lead. The Ducks scored the last four points in the quarter to cut the deficit to 54-41 headed into the final stanza.
Oregon came alive at the start of the fourth quarter, scoring the first seven points and cutting Arizona’s lead to 54-48 on a Paopao three-pointer. Back-to back mid-range jumpers from Prince cut the deficit to five points at the four-minute mark. Oregon stayed in the game making their foul shots, connecting on 19 in a row before a Sabally miss.
A Prince basket off an offensive rebound got the Ducks within two points at the one- minute mark. Prince was very active in the fourth quarter, scoring 10 points to bring the Ducks back into the game. After a Wildcat turnover, Oregon had the ball with 21.5 seconds left with a chance to tie and win the game. Sabally then scored on a driving lay-up to tie the score at 59 with 11.4 seconds left, giving Arizona the final possession. The Wildcats couldn’t get a shot off after Oregon fouled them with 0.9 seconds left and the game headed to overtime. Oregon outscored Arizona 18-5 in the fourth quarter to force the overtime.
The overtime was close throughout. A Paopao lay-up gave Oregon a 64-63 lead with 43.6 seconds remaining. A traveling call on Reece gave the Ducks the ball back with 24.8 seconds left. Two free throws from Rogers (6 points) gave the Ducks a three-point lead with 20.1 seconds left. Arizona then tied the game at 66 with 10.3 seconds left on the three-pointer from Yeaney, setting the stage for Rogers’ game-winning shot.
Oregon will try to continue their momentum and next will face the No. 10-ranked UConn Huskies at home on Monday afternoon.