For the second time this season, the No. 11 Oregon Ducks (12-4, 9-4) have been blown out by the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats (12-2, 10-2), this time a 79-59 defeat at Matthew Knight Arena Monday evening on national television.
After being down just a point at halftime, the Ducks were outscored 27-14 in the third quarter alone leading to the lopsided defeat.
Oregon was without guards Taylor Chavez and Maddie Scherr presumingly due to COVID-19 protocols who may not be eligible to return for next weekend's games either. Scherr was in street clothes on the sidelines while Chavez was absent from the event.
Here were the key takeaways.
Nyara Sabally kept Oregon in the game along with the other posts.
During the first half, Nyara Sabally was the Ducks' best player and it was not close. She was posting up efficiently, protecting the rim with two first-quarter blocks, and even played impressive perimeter defense at times.
She finished the game with 17 points on 7-10 from the floor and making all three of her free-throw attempts.
In addition, Sedona Prince joined Sabally as the only other Duck in double figures with ten points on 4-7 from the floor. Senior Lydia Giomi added six points off the bench by running the floor and making smart cuts.
In total, Oregon had 38 points in the paint including 20 of Oregon's first 21 points (the free-throw was off of an and-one layin from Taylor Mikesell).
Good defense on Aari McDonald
During his pregame interview, Kelly Graves said for Oregon to have a chance they needed to slow down All-American Aari McDonald who averaged 18.8 points and 4.76 assists per game for the Wildcats.
Overall, the Ducks did a nice job not allowing her to beat them holding McDonald to just 13 points on 4-16 from the floor and four assists.
Oregon could not contain Cate Reese.
The 6'2" junior forward was the key difference maker Monday evening completely wrecking the Ducks drop pick-and-roll coverage on her and Aari McDonald. Rather than hedge the ball screen, Kelly Graves elected to have Sedona Prince and Lydia Giomi stay back to protect the rim in Oregon's zone defense which gave Reese three wide-open three-pointers. She made all of them.
In total, Reese shot 11-14 from the floor for a game-leading and season-high 25 points in 30 minutes.
Oregon could not buy a basket outside the paint.
Oregon's post players all had efficient shooting nights (Sabally 7-10, Prince 4-7, and Giomi 3-3) and they were the only Ducks to shoot the ball well.
Jaz Shelley failed to make a basket missing all six attempts. Taylor Mikesell made just two of her nine shots. Star freshman Te-Hina Paopao shot 4-16 from the floor including an air-balled three-pointer off the dribble.
It took until 8:40 remaining in the second quarter for the Ducks to get their first bucket from outside the paint when freshman Sydney Parish made a three-pointer to tie the game at 24. It was her lone make in ten shot attempts.
For the game, Oregon made just nine shots that were not layups at a clip of 25%.
Nyara got a key and-one to try and keep Oregon in the game.
Oregon shot 32.4% from the floor and 20% from behind the three-point arc.
Quotes will be added after the post-game press conference
The Next Game
Oregon hosts California on Friday, February 12th at 4:00 p.m. PT on Pac-12 Network at Matthew Knight Arena.