Oregon women’s basketball, after losing their first eight games, enjoyed a two-game winning streak. The team took to Portland with their sights set on extending the streak to three but, alas, came up short against the Pilots due to erratic play down the stretch, losing 68-49.
Oregon started off hot, getting out to a 17-13 lead in the opening ten minutes of play. But after that opening stretch, the Ducks got caught falling back into old habits: Turnovers and poor shot selection led to a run for the Pilots who went up 19-17 with 11:36 left in the first half. The Pilots possessed the lead from that point on.
Jordan Loera put in a good effort for the Ducks, finishing with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Ariel Thomas led the Ducks in scoring with 12 but also had six of the Ducks 25 turnovers.
The 25 turnovers led to 24 Pilots points. Oregon only managed to convert the 10 Pilots turnovers into three points.
Jillian Alleyne finished with six points and 10 rebounds. While the 10 rebounds were a solid contribution, it was a far cry from the gaudy double-doubles she has been putting up lately and fell short of what the Ducks needed to come out with a third-straight win.
Turning point: Headed into the second half, the Pilots held a 10-point lead with a score of 45-35. Neither team was able to score in the first four minutes, despite the Ducks turning the ball over four times in that span.
Thomas hit the first two buckets, both threes, and with 14 minutes of play left, the Ducks had cut the deficit to five. That was the closest the game would be.
Oregon continued to turn the ball over and look scattered on offense. On defense, they continually lost position on the Pilots and resorted to fouling.
On the horizon: The Ducks will look to put this loss behind them when they take on perennial powerhouse University of Connecticut at home at noon on New Years Eve in what will be their final game before Pac-12 play. Connecticut is currently 8-0 and ranked second in the country behind Stanford, who Oregon will face Feb. 1.
The Ducks do have a bit of good news coming their way — multi-sport star Liz Brenner is expected to join the team in time to play UConn. She recently helped lead the Ducks to the title game of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament.