Oregon women’s basketball loses to Nevada 77-73, still winless on the year

Posted by Aubrey Wieber on Sunday, Dec. 9 at 5:01 pm.

The Ducks women’s basketball team nearly came away with a win, what would have been their first of the season, on Sunday afternoon when they took on the Nevada Wolf Pack at Matthew Knight Arena.

The game was close for nearly all 40 minutes both in score and statistically. Oregon shot 39.7 percent from the field compared to Nevada’s 40.3 percent, out-dished Nevada 15-13 and out-rebounded the Wolf Pack 50-42. But the Ducks couldn’t take care of the ball.

“We committed 28 turnovers,” Oregon head coach Paul Westhead said in his recap of the game. “It seems like I sit her every day and say, ‘It’s hard to win if you do this.’ Last week it was hard to win if you shoot 18 percent or whatever we shot. This time it’s hard to win if you turn the ball over 28 times.”

The turnovers allowed Nevada nine more shot attempts and 28 points. However, out of the 28 turnovers, the four in a row that Oregon committed to close out the game held far more weight than the previous 24.

Danielle Love once again stepped up as the leader of the short-handed club and had a career night, including a career-high 21 points. Sixteen was her previous high.

“Danielle Love had her career high and has blended into being a three after a couple of games,” Westhead said. “She has done a human job of becoming a wing player, which she hasn’t done in her career perhaps; certainly her career here as an Oregon Duck. It looks like it’s suiting her.”

Love wasn’t the only player who impacted the game. Jillian Alleyne and Ariel Thomas also played big roles.

Alleyne finished with a double-double with 19 points and 18 rebounds. Aside from pure statistics, she hustled for all 37 minutes she was on the court, frequently coming up with clutch rebounds and playing strong defense.

Thomas played in her first game of the year, coming back from a foot injury that was originally supposed to sideline her until the Pac-12 season. She was a solid contributor finishing with 10 points and five rebounds, as well as matching the physicality of the Wolf Pack.

Turning point. With just over three minutes left, Oregon was down 75-72. Ariel Thomas took the ball into traffic for a layup attempt and was met in midair by a Nevada defender. Thomas crashed to the ground while the referees held their whistles.

After that, Oregon turned the ball over on their final four possessions, letting the Wolf Pack ice the game.

“The last four of our possessions were turnovers on our behalf. That’s definitely something we addressed post-game. We’re working hard all game and giving the effort we need to give but little turnovers, well, big turnovers, like those that happen at critical moments in the game have been happening through out the game. We finished with 28 turnovers.”

On the horizon. The road to a win only gets more challenging from here as sophomore Amanda Delgado is added to the list of injured players. Delgado hurt her knee in practice and a late-night MRI revealed an injury that prevented her from playing in Sunday’s game and has ruled her out for the coming game against Illinois.

“It’s not something we think is going to be very long, but I can’t put a time frame on it,” Westhead said.

In desperation, the Ducks have added a player to the roster, track and field student-athlete Katie Gruys. An adjustment period will be necessary for Gruys, but Westhead believes that in time she will be able to contribute.

“We are out searching again — volleyball, track, wherever we can find them. I think she’s going to be a nice addition, but it’s way early to get a feel for where she will be slotted and how she will perform.”

The Ducks next game will be a road game against Illinois on Wednesday, Dec. 12.