It was a rough outing for the University of Oregon women’s basketball team as they fell to Saint Mary’s 78-69 in their season opener at home. Shooting a dismal 30.6 percent from the field and 28.9 percent from three, the Ducks just couldn’t get anything going.
Saint Mary’s came out looking like they were in mid-season form as they jumped to an early 26-16 lead. They never looked back. Coming off an impressive 22-win season, Saint Mary’s looked like a mature and fine-tuned team as they outplayed the Ducks on both ends of the court, never losing the lead, or their momentum.
At the half, Saint Mary’s had a solid nine point lead as they led the Ducks 41-32. Saint Mary’s shot 46.9 percent from the field, while the Ducks shot only 26.2 percent from the field. Although the Ducks took open shots for the most part, it was just too hard to pull close while shooting such a low percentage from the field.
Leading the way for Saint Mary’s was junior Danielle Mauldin, who racked up a team high of 20 points and a team high of 16 rebounds.
For the Ducks, it was junior Danielle Love, who had a team high of 13 points and 3 rebounds. She has been one of the more consistent players of the season. The Ducks will look to her and senior Laura Stanulis for veteran leadership moving forward.
Takeaways: This Ducks team is still trying to mesh as a team and it was evident tonight. With a total of 45 attempted three pointers and only 13 made, it showed that the run-and-gun style Ducks have a long way to go before they can reach head Coach Paul Westhead’s expectations on the offensive side of the ball.
“I think we just gotta keep working on knocking our shots down because if we would have done that, we would have been OK,” Love said. “I thought we were getting open players the ball and making players open on the drive, but they just didn’t drop tonight.”
As for the Ducks’ defense, the team felt they made a significant improvement from their previous two games. ”I think we can take away that we are really improving on our defense,” Love said. “We took a big step from the last two exhibition games so I’m really excited about that.”
On the horizon: The Ducks will try and leave their first loss of the season behind as they prepare to take on the Portland State Vikings at Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday at 7 p.m.