Duck Women Pelt Beavers

It wasn't a work of art, particularly the first half – but when the opponent is without a conference win four games into the schedule and has an overall record of 4-10, artistic merit is taken as it is found, teams do tend to play to the level of the opponent. That was the case Saturday as the Oregon women's basketball team traveled up I-5 to meet their arch rival Oregon State Beavers, coming away with an 82-58 win in front of 3,752 spectators at Gill Coliseum.

The win puts the Oregon record at 10-4 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Oregon State fell to 4-11 overall and 0-5 in the Pac-10.

Once again slow out of the blocks, Oregon didn't score their first points until Katherine Kraayeveld hit a trey after nearly five minutes of play, the third time this season it has taken that long to get on the board.

Oregon State also was able to establish an early rebounding presence Oregon should not have allowed and the Beavers used the boards to keep the score close through most of the first half. The Duck defense either didn't block the Beavers off the boards with a body, or established defensive position too far under the hoop only to have a missed shot rebound over their heads and back into Beaver hands. The first half ended with Oregon State holding a 21-17 advantage overall on the glass, and by a 10-5 margin on the offensive end.

Midway through the first stanza Oregon used a 12-4 run to establish some separation on the scoreboard, moving the lead from one point at 11-10 to 23-14 and in doing so demonstrated they had a working solution to the OSU defense.

Working the ball inside and out to find good shots, Chelsea Wagner hit a trey, Andrea Bills took the rebound of a missed Gabrielle Richards shot back up for a bucket, followed by another bucket off a pretty feed into the lane by Kaela Chapdelaine. Chapdelaine then assisted on Eleanor Haring's jumper, and the Ducks had control of the contest.

Wagner hit another trifecta; Bills, Kraayeveld and then Corrie Mizusawa all found points in the paint, the latter with a quick step between the left side Beaver defenders then a drive to the hoop. Two more lay-ups by Kraayeveld, who posted double figures in scoring for the ninth straight game, and the half drew to a close with the Ducks leading 38-25.

Early in the second half Oregon State was able to narrow the gap to six points, but that was as close as they would get as Oregon then went on a 23-10 tear and put the game away.

As the stanza unfolded and with scoreboard starting tilting more emphatically in Oregon's direction, the Ducks were able to spread the offense evenly with four players reaching double figures - Bills lead the team with 17 - and two more falling just short with 9 each. Oregon shot 55.4% on 31-for-56 from the floor (9-21 3-pt.) while the Beavers needed a 50% showing in the second half to finish the game at 39.3% (22-for-56 overall, 4-13 3-pt.). The Beavers did out rebound the Ducks by a margin of four, 34-30.

The second half was also an opportunity for Oregon coach Bev Smith to try new combinations of players as Cicely Oaks and Yadili Okwumabua both saw nearly ten minutes of playing time, Oaks going 3-for-4 from the field and 2-for-2 from behind the arch. Speaking to OSN Smith said, "It's a long season. We have a really deep bench and tonight it really showed. Their opportunity came tonight and they took advantage of it."

Shannon Howell led the Beavers with 19 points while Tiffany Ducker grabbed 7 rebounds to pace the home team.

Pac-10 play continues for Oregon this week as the Washington schools come calling to McArthur Court. The Huskies are in first on Thursday, with the Cougars to follow on Saturday. Game time for both contests is 7:00 pm.

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