No. 2 Stanford women rally to beat Oregon 66-62
EUGENE, Ore.- Stanford snapped out of its funk against the Ducks just in time to stay unbeaten in the Pac-12.
Haley Jones scored 18 points and the second-ranked Cardinal rallied in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated in the conference with a 66-62 victory Sunday over Oregon.
Jones made a layup while falling to the ground and added a free throw with 36.4 seconds left to put the Cardinal up 63-60. Stanford (23-3, 14-0) hung on for its 15th straight win.
“We knew that we weren’t playing our best basketball, but we were able to snap out of it, focus on one another and stay tight,” said Jones, who had 10 of her points in the final quarter.
Te-Hina Paopao had 23 points, including four 3-pointers, for Oregon (18-9, 10-5).
Stanford extended its winning streak over Pac-12 opponents to 29 straight games, including the postseason. The defending national champions have won four straight against Oregon.
The Cardinal had clinched the team’s 25th overall Pac-12 regular season title on Friday with an 87-63 victory at Oregon State.
The Ducks led by as many as 10 points in the first half and went into the break up 36-31. Stanford closed within a point heading into the fourth quarter, but three consecutive 3-pointers, one from Sydney Parrish and a pair from Paopao, pushed Oregon to a 56-46 lead with 8:08 remaining.
Jones made a pair of layups to pull Stanford within 60-58 before Cameron Brink’s basket tied the game at 60 with 2:15 to go.
Jones’ falling-down layup and free throw put the Cardinal up 63-60, but Nyara Sabally made a pair of free throws to pull Oregon within a point. But the Ducks ultimately fell short.
“We didn’t give up. I’m really proud of our team’s resilience, our determination,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “We just stayed with it.”
Oregon was assessed a technical foul before the opening tip because of the LED lighting on one of the basket stands working improperly.
The Ducks jumped out to a 14-10 lead after the first quarter in a game that was physical from the start. Oregon was hurt by six turnovers in the period, but held the Cardinal to 2-of-17 shooting from the floor.
The Ducks extended the lead to 23-13 on Paopao’s 3-pointer. An 11-4 run got the Cardinal within 34-31, but Paopao closed out the half with another 3.
Sedona Prince’s layup pushed Oregon’s lead to 43-35 in the third quarter and Stanford struggled to close the gap until Agnes Emma-Nnopu’s corner 3-pointer got the Cardinal within 47-46 going into the final period.
“Tonight’s game was fun. The energy was insane. Stanford is a great team, they have a lot of talent, they play really well together,” Prince said. “And we’re learning, we’re still young. We’re going to keep working.”
Stanford: Stanford has won 12 straight road games. ... Russell Wilson, the older brother of Stanford’s Anna Wilson, and his wife Ciara were at the game. Afterward, they chatted with VanDerveer outside Stanford’s lockerroom.
Oregon: Prince announced on social media on Saturday that she would return to Oregon for another season next year. She’ll also pursue her master’s degree. ... On senior day for the Ducks, junior Sabally was honored, so she won’t be back for her final season with the Ducks.
Kelly Graves was in Spokane, Washington, on Saturday night to watch his son start for No. 1 Gonzaga. Unable to get a flight that would get him back to Eugene for pregame, he made the seven-hour drive.
He joked on Twitter: “If you have my number, feel free to call me w/jokes, interesting anecdotes, etc any time throughout the night. Gotta stay awake!”
Graves broke down after the game, praising his staff for preparing the team and allowing him “to be a dad.”
Stanford: Hosts Washington State on Thursday.
Oregon: Visits Colorado on Wednesday.