Oregon women’s basketball hosted Arizona Sunday as the Ducks played their final game of the regular season, winning 90-78.
“I told them after the game that I knew it was going to be a grind game,” head coach Paul Westhead told the media after the game. “This was a big weekend for us.”
The win comes on the heels of Oregon’s 98-90 victory over Arizona State on Friday. By beating Arizona (5-24, 1-17 Pac-12) as well the Ducks (15-14, 6-12 Pac-12) were able to pick up a two game win streak to close out the season.
“At the beginning of the season our goal was to win more than 16 games,” guard Ariel Thomas said. “We are one short, but having those two wins back to back gives us positive momentum heading into the Pac-12 tournament.”
Thomas, Danielle Love, Laura Stanulis and Chynna Miley were all recognized before the game with flowers and a standing ovation as part of senior day.
Thomas got things going early for Oregon, setting the tempo of the game. She scored the first eight for the Ducks, which also gave her 1000 career points. Thomas went on to finish with 17 points and seven rebounds.
“It definitely was a good feeling,” Thomas said. “I tried not to cry.”
Arizona struggled at times to keep up with Oregon’s pace, as their depth was severely limited. The Wildcats only had seven players suited up and able to play, forcing the starters to log heavy minutes. The lack of depth showed itself on defensive possessions, as Arizona was slow to close out Duck shooters.
Even with the lack of depth the Wildcats were only trailing 46-42 going into halftime due to 13 Oregon turnovers in the first. Turnovers remained an issue as the Ducks ended the game with 25.
Freshman Chrishae Rowe came off the bench for the second game in a row due to injury issues with her Achilles tendon.
“I’ve never had to deal with an injury before, so it has been pretty tough,” Rowe said. “But I am fighting through for my team.”
Rowe ended the game with 15 points.
Oregon sophomore Jillian Alleyne recorded her 26th double-double of the season, with 18 points and 16 rebounds, despite finding herself in foul trouble for most of the game.
Arizona was lead by guard Candice Warthen, who finished with a game-high 21 points. Warthen also had three assists and two steals.
In the second half Oregon began to pull away, finding themselves up by double digits late. This allowed the Ducks to empty the bench with the victory in hand.
Oregon will next take to the court Thursday as they face off against Washington State in the opening round of the Pac-12 Tournament. The Ducks are seeded No. 10, and if they can beat the Cougars will advance to take on California.
“Personally, I think this is a dangerous team,” Westhead said when asked about Oregon’s chances in postseason play. “We could play a lot of people and cause troubles.”
Follow Chris Keizur @chriskeizur