Buckeyes Bash Lady Ducks

It was hoped the inaugural Nike Classic and a marquee match-up with the #7 ranked Ohio State women's basketball team would serve as an opportunity to evaluate the 7-0 record the Lady Ducks have enjoyed to start their season. Ranked #24 by one poll, the Ducks were hopeful a win against a top ten team such as the Buckeyes would elevate both their position in the survey and their expectations for the coming conference schedule.

Instead, Ohio State's comfortable 73-58 victory served to illustrate the amount of work necessary for the Ducks to compete with the highly ranked teams and to fulfill those lofty aspirations. The loss highlighted a need for Oregon to shoot more accurately and to rebound more forcefully when facing a quality opponent such as the Buckeyes.

The Lady Buckeyes held Oregon to 31.8% shooting as the Ducks suffered their first loss of the season. Only three players, Catherine Kraayveld, Andrea Bills and Brandi Davis were able to score more than one field goal for the Ducks. Kraayveld led all scorers with 21 points in addition to leading the Ducks in rebounding with seven.

Excellent interior passing and ball-handling paved the way for the Buckeyes to shoot 52% from the field. With an emphasis on getting back on defense quickly, Ohio State was also able to negate any transition game the Ducks hoped to create, forcing Oregon into a half-court game and perimeter shots for most of the contest.

Ohio State enjoyed a balanced scoring attack with 4 players posting double figures in the scoring column. Caity Matter led the Buckeyes with 19 points on 7-11 from the floor. Jessica Davenport added 10 points to go along with her 11 rebounds.

The Buckeyes jumped out to a 14-3 lead, as Oregon wasn't able to score a point in the opening 4 minutes. After that 11-point deficit, the Ducks put together a run to narrow the gap to four at 17-13, but the visitors were able to reassert their control of the game and the first half ended with them holding a nine-point lead, 31-22.

Midway through the second stanza, Oregon clawed their way back into the contest closing a 14-point deficit at 39-25 to four points at 51-47 with 8:23 left in the game. The Buckeyes regrouped however, and outscored the Ducks 22-11 down the stretch to put the game away.

Speaking to the media after the game, Ohio State coach Jim Foster indicated he was pleased with his team's composure in withstanding the Oregon run in the second half saying, "This is the kind of environment you love to play in, where good teams show how good they can be. We did a great job taking care of business." The victory was the 10th of the season and seventh straight for the Buckeyes, with only a loss to Notre Dame to blemish the season.

Compounding a cold shooting night from behind the 3-point arc for the Ducks (7-22), the 4,471 in attendance saw several shots from the within the paint refuse to fall as well. Most of those missed shots found their way into the hands of the red-shirted visitors as the Ducks were out-rebounded by twenty, 42-22.

Speaking to OSN, Oregon coach Bev Smith credited the difficult shooting and rebounding deficit to Ohio State's tenacious defense. "Ohio State is a good team" she said. "They were tough to crack…".

The last non-conference contest for the Ducks is Tuesday night versus Arkansas in Fayetteville. Game time is 5pm.


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