Oregon Ducks

No. 8 Oregon Ducks blow out USC to remain perfect on the season

Oregon Ducks

Another evening at Matthew Knight Arena, another Oregon Ducks victory where Kelly Graves' team hasn't lost a game since 2019. 

This time, the No. 8 Oregon Ducks (8-0, 6-0) blew out USC (3-5, 1-5), 92-69, behind a stellar second quarter where Oregon outscored the Trojans 23-7 to take a commanding 42-19 halftime lead.  

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Ducks Podcast with host Jordan Kent]

Here are the key takeaways. 

The Good

Te-Hina Paopao is worth the hype.

As she's been all season, the five-star freshman guard is living up to being the first Oregon freshman guard to start a game since Sabrina Ionescu. On Friday, Paopao scored 14 points on 6-14 shooting but that included eight first-quarter points after making four of her first five shots. 

She showed the ability to score off the dribble in transition as well as spacing the floor for her four teammates. Helping off of her is the worst-case scenario for the Ducks opponent.

Nyara Sabally was worth the wait.

After missing back-to-back full seasons, Nyara Sabally entered the 2020-21 college basketball season fully healthy and has been a difference-maker for Oregon. Friday evening, she got the start at center and did well defending the rim and scoring in the paint herself, finishing with 15 points on 5-10 from the field and 5-6 from the free-throw line. 

While her sister was a unicorn, Nyara is more of a bull just pushing people over on her way to scoring. Between Sabally and Sedona Prince, there are few teams in the country who can handle Oregon's size down low.

 

The Bad

Taylor Chavez not with the team.

The Pac-12 Broadcast mentioned Taylor Chavez, reigning Pac-12 Sixth Player of the Year, is in Arizona for a family matter and not with the team in Eugene. Sedona Prince also did not play. 

The Highlight

Nyara showed off the muscle getting an and-one in the first quarter.

The Stat

Oregon more than tripled USC's score in the second quarter after holding the Trojans to 16.7% from the field, allowing just two field goals and three free-throws. 

The Quote

"We did some good things defensively," said Kelly Graves. "I thought in that first half we had them completely out of sync. I was really impressed with our effort and execution in the first half."

The Next Game

Oregon hosts No. 11 UCLA on Sunday, January 3rd at 1:00 p.m. PT.