Ducks

Oregon Ducks open the NCAA Tournament with rout of South Dakota

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Oregon women's basketball // Twitter

It's been a while since Ducks fans saw this Oregon team.

The No. 6-seeded Oregon Ducks dominated No. 11-seeded South Dakota, 67-47, in the first round of the women's NCAA Tournament in the Alamo Region.  

It was Oregon's first win in over a month. Their last victory came on February 21st on the road against USC. Entering the NCAA Tournament, Oregon had lost five-of-six games. 

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Erin Boley led Oregon with 22 points and surpassed 1,000 career points during the win.

The Coyotes had no match inside for the combination of Nyara Sabally and Sedona Prince, the latter of which made her first start since February 8th against Arizona. The two bigs combined for just ten first-half points, but they defended the rim on defense so well against a shorter South Dakota team, the Coyotes scored just one point in the second quarter.

Had it not been for an off-ball foul with 4.5 seconds left, South Dakota likely goes scoreless for an entire period. That's how overmatched the Coyotes were. 

Junior Taylor Chavez made her NCAA Tournament debut after missing the Final Four run as a freshman due to an injury and her sophomore season tournament being canceled because of COVID-19. She was one of three Ducks questionable for the contest. 

 

Nyara Sabally played and started while Jaz Shelley did not warm-up and was unavailable. After the game, Graves said he does not expect Shelley to play Wednesday, either. 

Starting point guard Te-Hina Paopao remains out for the foreseeable future with a foot injury. Three weeks ago, Kelly Graves made it sound like she could only return to the lineup if Oregon makes a deep run. 

Despite her missing the Ducks' last two games prior to Monday, she was the last starting Oregon point guard to score a point. Both Jaz Shelley and Maddie Scherr went scoreless in relief of Paopao in back-to-back losses to Oregon State.

However, Scherr did score in the third quarter to end the streak. 

Next, Oregon will play No. 3-seeded Georgia in the Round of 32 on Wednesday, March 24th at 12:00 p.m. PT on ESPN2 to advance to a fourth consecutive Sweet 16. 

Kelly Graves has not lost in the NCAA Tournament before the Elite Eight while at Oregon.