Oregon never trailed as Catherine Kraayeveld and Andrea Bills both scored 22 points and garnered 11 rebounds. Corrie Mizusawa contributed nine assists, as the Ducks appeared to find their full potential as a team.
It started on the defensive and on the glass, as it usually does. Kraayeveld and Bills demonstrated a ferocity in attacking the glass that USC simply had no answer for. Once the ball was secured, Mizusawa directed an offensive game plan with an enthusiastic intent to attack and to penetrate. Not content with a perimeter game, crisp interior passes into the lane and well-executed lob passes over the top of the defense consistently allowed the Ducks to shoot the ball from an advantageous position, both in terms of location and in match-up.
The shooting percentage statistics fully illustrate the degree of success the Ducks enjoyed with this approach, finishing the day shooting 61.7% from the field on 29-for-47, and a scorching 69.2% on the trey-ball, 9-for-13 on the day and 6-for-7 after the halftime break.
An active Duck defense held the Women of Troy to 34% shooting on the night, 23-for-67.
As they had against the Bruins on Thursday, the Ducks established a significant advantage on the glass, out rebounding USC 44 to 28.
The Ducks quickly established an 11-point lead in the first ten minutes of play, stretching the margin to 16 at the half, 45-29.
After the break, the Women of Troy used a trapping full court press to disorient the Ducks and forced a number of turnovers as the second half evolved. Especially when in bounding the ball Oregon became tentative, and once the ball was in play USC was able to trap effectively deep in the backcourt. After losing only six possessions due to turnovers in the first half, the Ducks committed 15 in the second, which in large measure was responsible in allowing USC to twice close within 14 points.
The Women of Troy would get no closer. Andrea Bills split two defenders on a drive down the lane for a bucket and free throw, then scored another pair on a nice assist from Kraayeveld from deep in the corner. After a USC basket, Corrie Mizusawa took the inbounds pass coast-to-coast for a driving lay-up, then a three pointer by Brandi Davis and the game was back in hand.
Eshaya Murphy led USC in both scoring with twelve, and in rebounds with eight.
In scoring her 22, Catherine Kraayeveld became the 18th Oregon player to surpass 1000 career points. Fittingly, the milestone basket was the result of a Mizusawa thread-the-needle pass into the lane for an easy lay-up. With the 11 rebounds, it was Kraayeveld's 26th career double double, and seventh this season. Bills' double double was the tenth of her career and the 22 points tied her career high.
After the game, a justifiably pleased Oregon coach Bev Smith told OSN it "was a super weekend. We really felt coming back from the desert that we had this opportunity to step up. We needed to get back to playing some aggressive basketball… and just being a little bit more in synch both offensively and defensively."
Mission accomplished, Coach. And in fine fashion.
Next for the Ducks is a Civil War match-up with the Beavers at McArthur Court, Saturday, February 5. Game time is 7:00 pm and will be televised by OSN.