Ducks Fall to Trojans

The Oregon Ducks (12-12, 3-10) hang tough for 30 minutes but the USC Trojans (15-8, 7-5) use a late 19-0 run to pull away in Eugene 85-63. The Ducks were outscored 47-28 in the second half.

Redshirt senior Jacki Gemelos scored 18 off the bench to lead the Trojans.

"No excuses. I thought our team played as hard as they could," said head coach Paul Westhead.

The Ducks were led by the inspired play of freshman Ariel Thomas who provided a spark for the offense in place of injured redshirt junior Nia Jackson.

Thomas finished with 16 points and five assists to lead the Ducks.

"I think we came out with great intensity," said Thomas, adding, "Our problem is sustaining it for 40 minutes."

Freshman Deanna Weaver had 15 points, as did junior center Amanda Johnson who also tacked on eight rebounds for the Ducks, who found little inspiration anywhere else on offense.

The Trojans had little problem getting the ball inside and they dominated the Ducks on the boards, allowing for many second chance opportunities that the Trojans capitalized on.

Freshman Cassie Harberts had a big game inside with 15 points and six rebounds. The Trojans had a 40-20 advantage in the paint, including 20 points off second chance opportunities.

"We need to get rebounds on their missed shots so we can quickly come down on the other end," said senior guard Tatianna Thomas.

While the Ducks played with an abundance of confidence to start, the younger Thomas noted that the Ducks began to falter when the Trojans started heating up.

"They started hitting shots, and that's when I think we started to hang our heads," she said. The Trojans started out hot behind the play of Ashley Corral.

The junior guard, coming off of a 14 point performance against Oregon State that also included her 1,000th career point, came out firing in the first half with 11 points including three 3-pointers. She finished with 16 points and eight rebounds.

In the second half it was the Ducks who started fast. Ariel Thomas scored seven straight points for the Ducks, the last three coming off of a deep three pointer to put the Ducks ahead 44-42.

A subsequent lay in by freshmen Deanna Weaver had the Ducks up four and the Trojans wanting a timeout.

"We played a high thirty minutes," said Westhead.

The Trojans regained the lead but Johnson's hustle play kept the Ducks even at 53 around the midway point of the second half.

But, the Trojans overpowered the Ducks in the last ten minutes to leave them in the dust.

"We had a defensive breakdown," said Westhead about the team's collapse.

"I am seeking a tiredness that leads to inappropriate shot taking on the offensive end. I ask myself ‘Which one do I want to change?' It's a hard one."

The Ducks have now lost four straight at home against the Trojans and eight of 10 overall.

POSTGAME NOTES

The Ducks wore jerseys adorned with pink stripes for breast cancer awareness.

The Ducks had three players in double figures after none scored in double figures against UCLA on Thursday.

The Trojans finished with four players in double figures.

The Ducks started three freshmen in Weaver, Danielle Love and Thomas, who is filling in for the injured Nia Jackson.

Westhead said he was pleased with the way the freshmen were playing. "Going forward we could surprise people," he said.


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