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Ducks forward Erin Boley (21) scores a three-pointer. Oregon Ducks women's basketball takes on University of Washington at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. on Jan. 4, 2019. (Sarah Northrop/Emerald)

In the first quarter alone, it was clear that Erin Boley was in for a career day. With attempt after attempt from beyond the arc, the redshirt sophomore found a rhythm, shooting 5-of-6 from 3-point range which supported the struggling offense Oregon that saw only two other players score that quarter.

A game where the prolific offense of No. 5 Oregon women's basketball (12-1, 1-0 Pac-12) struggled to find its rhythm, it was Boley's consistency that drove the team. Despite zero bench points and an atypical performance from the field, Boley's career-high 28 points propelled the Ducks to their first victory in Pac-12 play this season, defeating the Washington Huskies (7-7, 0-2 Pac-12) 84-71.

Head coach Kelly Graves said that Boley's performance is a testament to the team's depth, who, when struggling, know to feed the "hot hand." Barring Boley's performance, the team shot a dismal 6-of-28 from deep, unusual for an offense that has shot 41 percent this season. 

"I thought we went in and out of lapses offensively and defensively throughout the game," said head coach Kelly Graves. "It was a bit of a roller coaster. We'll have to make sure we clean that up."

Boley attributes her performance to the open looks she received when the Huskies defense focused on her team's leading scorers.

"It felt great to get our first Pac-12 win," said Boley. "We knew we had to step it up when you get to conference play and come out strong from the start."

The Huskies, however, found success from the field with an 18-0 run between the first and second quarter. 

"I just didn't think we were that sharp," said Graves regarding the Huskies' scoring run. "We had some pretty good looks, didn't make them and defensively I thought we let it affect us."

Behind sophomore guard Alexis Griggsby, who lead the team with 21 points off 5-of-7 from 3 in the first half, the Huskies offense found success from deep. In a season where they have struggled with 27 percent from 3, the team ended the game with 40 percent.

"They shot really well and we were struggling on defense," said sophomore forward Satou Sabally, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds in the game. "We never really had a flow defensively, so it was hard to get fast break points because we didn't get as many stops."

As the reigning Pac-12 champions, Sabally recognizes that her team has a target on its back, but considers it important for her team to attain its championship mentality.

"It's good when everyone is hunting for us," said Sabally. "We're prepared for it."

Next up in Pac-12 play are the Washington State Cougars, who play the Ducks Sunday afternoon at Matt Knight.

Follow Bryce Dole on Twitter @DoleBryce

Sports reporter covering soccer, cross country, women's basketball, track and field and baseball.


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