Women’s basketball in the state of Oregon has been historically competitive for not just the teams that pass through either Eugene or Corvallis, Oregon, but between the Oregon Ducks and the Oregon State Beavers.
Both squads have consistently been a challenge to face and an NCAA Tournament team.
This was No. 8 Oregon’s first test against a ranked opponent and they passed with flying colors with a 79-59 win over No. 15 Oregon State.
Head coach Kelly Graves said this was his best shooting team he’s had during his tenure at Oregon. That includes a team that featured Sabrina Ionescu and Satou Sabally and led the nation in PPG last season.
It showed tonight and from some new faces. Junior guard Taylor Mikesell, who transferred from Maryland this offseason, finished with 21 points hitting 5-of-8 from three-point range. So far through five games, Mikesell is shooting over 50% from downtown.
Freshman guard Tehina Poapoa recorded a career-high 22 points, hitting 9-of-15 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3PT range.
For the first time all season, the Ducks were outscored in a quarter. Oregon State outscored Oregon 18 to 12 in the fourth quarter. Yes, the Ducks had an already commanding lead over the Beavers, but the great teams know not to maintain a lead and even build upon it.
The future at the point guard position is bright for Kelly Graves and the Oregon women’s basketball program. She can do it on both ends of the court as a defensive “energizer bunny” and control the pace of the offense. Paopao currently leads the Pac-12 conference in assists per game (5), and she’s just a freshman.
The win-streak stays alive. With this win, the Oregon Ducks now have 24 straight wins. The Ducks’ last loss came on January 10, 2020 on the road, 72-66, to the Arizona State Sun Devils.
“My staff did an awesome job in preparing. Mark Campbell - this was his scout - he nailed it. I thought he did an awesome job. Plus, he spent some time talking to the team about this rivalry. He’s been through it on both sides and I thought we were ready mentally as well as we were physically.” — Kelly Graves
The Next Game
The Ducks will head up north to face the Washington Huskies (4-2, 2-1 Pac-12) on Saturday, December 19. Tip-off time still TBD.