The biggest game on Oregon women’s basketball 2020-2021 schedule is finally just a few days away.
After dropping three spots in the latest AP Poll Top-25 rankings following their first loss of the season to the UCLA Bruins, the No. 11 Ducks turn the page to the No. 1 Stanford Cardinal in Santa Cruz, California.
On Monday, it was announced that the Ducks and Cardinal will tip-off at 11:30 a.m. (PT) on Friday, January 8. The game will be on Pac-12 Network.
These two teams have been at the top of the Pac-12 Conference for some time now, each reloading year after year with top recruiting classes and being two of the most dominant programs in all of women’s college hoops.
Head coaches Kelly Graves and Tara VanDerveer have a mutual respect for one another. This season, VanDerveer passed the great Pat Summitt for most wins in Division I women’s basketball (1,099 career wins).
This will be an intense matchup featuring some of the best in not just the conference but in all of women’s college basketball with one-on-one battles at every position.
It’s a game that the Ducks could really 6’7” redshirt-sophomore forward Sedona Prince and junior guard Taylor Chavez on both ends of the court. And it sounds like Oregon will get at least one of them back.
Chavez was reportedly back in her hometown of Surprise, Arizona for a personal matter last weekend and thus unavailable for UCLA on Sunday. According to Graves, who was the latest guest on Talkin’ Ducks with host Jordan Kent, she is now back with the team and available for Stanford.
“Taylor is back in Eugene. She has to now quarantine for three days, but I think she’ll be able to practice later in the week,” said Graves on Tuesday.
Prince suffered an ankle injury in the conference-opener against Colorado on December 4, 2020. While she played minimal minutes the next three games at Oregon State, at Washington and at Washington State, the injury has been lingering and Prince hasn’t played since December 21 at Washington State in Pullman, Washington.
Now, she’s back and just in the nick of time.
“Sedona is still day-to-day, week-to-week kind of process. We’re gonna get her back here soon, but when, I don’t know. We sure need her because she brings something so unique to our team and it’s a matchup advantage for us every game,” said Graves.
Not exactly the start of a debut season that Prince would have liked, but injuries happen and now she’s back.
Redshirt-sophomore Nyara Sabally is also having one heck of a debut season for Oregon currently averaging 12.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game.
It was the combination of Sabally and Prince that have been dominant on the defensive end of the court. For example, holding Oregon State forward Taylor Jones to just 14 points in Oregon’s 79-59 victory at Oregon State back in December.
Now, the two - along with senior Lydia Giomi - will have to bring their A-game once again because these Stanford forwards are very, very good: 6’1” forward Francesca Belibi, 6’4” forward Cameron Brink and 6’5” forward Ashten Prechtel.
This is going to be a good one folks!