Eugene, OR – The No. 13-ranked Oregon Ducks and No. 6-ranked Stanford Cardinal played their second game of the season on Monday evening in Eugene. Stanford won the first match-up 70-63 on January 4th. The Ducks were looking to rebound from a 20-point home loss to Arizona last Monday. Oregon was 0-4 this season against currently ranked Pac-12 teams. The Cardinal were undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation until mid-January when they lost two in a row to Colorado and UCLA. Since then they have gotten back on track, winning seven straight coming into tonight’s game.
Stanford held off an inspired second half defensive performance from Oregon and escaped with a 63-61 road win. Freshman center Cameron Brink connected on two free throws with 27.4 seconds remaining for the margin of victory. Kiana Williams led the Cardinal with 20 points and five assists while Brink added 16 points and nine rebounds. Taylor Mikesell led the Ducks with 13 points.
Stanford took a 16-10 lead after the first quarter. They shot slightly better than the Ducks with each team taking 14 shots but the Cardinal made seven compared to Oregon’s four. Freshman point guard Te-Hina Paopao (12 points) was the Ducks offense in the quarter scoring eight points on 3-of-3 from the field including two 3s.
The Cardinal continued to play efficiently on offense in the second quarter, eventually taking a 33-18 lead on a Williams three-pointer. Williams scored 11 first half points, making all five of her shots from the field. The 6-4 Brink was the recipient of some nice passes inside. Brink scored six of her eight first half points in the quarter and added six first half rebounds. Oregon made a game of it by scoring eight straight points in the last 2:49 of the half, to send the game into halftime with Stanford leading 33-26. Paopao led the Ducks at the half with 11 points, hitting 4-of-5 shots. Stanford shot 56 percent in the half and held the Ducks to 35 percent shooting.
Oregon stepped up their defense in the third quarter forcing the Cardinal into eight turnovers and limiting them to 5-of-13 from the field. The Duck closed the deficit to two points (43-41) on a Mikesell three-pointer and had a chance to tie the time on the next possession. Stanford’s Lexie Hull came back and hit a three to give the Cardinal a 46-41 lead at the end of the quarter. Oregon committed six turnovers of their own in the stanza.
Three-pointers from Mikesell and Erin Boley tied the game at 47 early in the fourth period. They took their first lead of the game at 51-49 on two Nyara Sabally (12 points, 7 rebounds, 7 turnovers) free throws. A Jaz Shelley three-pointer expanded their lead to 56-51. A three from Stanford’s Lexie Hull cut the Ducks’ lead to 58-56. Stanford tied the game at 61 on a three from Williams with 1:31 left. Two free throws by Brink gave the Cardinal a 63-61 lead with 27.4 seconds remaining. Mikesell then missed a three-pointer but Stanford’s Lacie Hull missed both her free throws giving the Ducks in last chance with 11.3 seconds left. Paopao then fell down trying to penetrate and was called for traveling with 2.5 seconds left and Stanford ran out the clock.
Oregon held Stanford to 37.9 percent shooting in the second half as they forced 11 second half turnovers to make the game competitive. The Ducks shot 10-of-21 on 3s while Stanford shot only 6-of-18. Each team had 18 turnovers while the Cardinal had a 30-20 edge in points in the paint.
Oregon (12-5, 9-5) will head to Los Angeles to face another national ranked team on Friday, the No. 10-ranked UCLA Bruins. Stanford (19-2, 16-2) returns home to play Arizona State also on Friday.