"I'm proud of our players," Coach Paul Westhead said. "Oregon State tried to scramble and scrap as hard as they could, but eventually I think our press forced too many turnovers for them."
With the win Oregon, which opened up the second half of Pac-10 play on Saturday, leads the all-time series versus OSU, 56-21.
Oregon shot 50 percent from the field while outmatching and overpowereing the slumping Beavers (9-12, 1-8), who are currently in ninth place in the Pac-10. OSU came into Saturday's game riding a nine-game losing streak.
At the end of the first half, Oregon's 47-30 lead wasn't at all indicative of the Ducks' dominating performance. Although Oregon shot 52% in the first half and shot 10-for-11 from the free throw line, Oregon State, which scored just four points in the first eight minutes, was able to keep the game somewhat close in the first half by getting to the free throw line and connecting on 12-of-18 free throws.
From the tip-off Oregon's defense stymied the Beavers, who were not prepared at all for UO's press. In the first half alone the Ducks recorded eight steals, and forced OSU into four five-second violations and 15 first-half turnovers. OSU finished with 29 turnovers and UO was able to score 35 points off of the Beavers' mistakes.
Nia Jackson, who left the game with 3:39 to play after a violent collision with OSU's Talisa Rhea, reaked havoc on the Beavers throughout the game with her aggressive defense and attacking mentality.
"Defensively she's scary," Westhead said. "We would not have been able to win this game, certainly by the spread without Nia Jackson. She just breaks people down. She's been doing that consistently. It was another banner game for her."
With Jackson, Micaela Cocks and Taylor Lilley leading the way, Oregon jumped out to an early lead, but cooled off mid-way through the first half. With 5:30 left in the first, OSU was able to trim Oregon's lead to 23-20, but that was as close as it ever got. With 5:00 left, Lilley ignited the crowd and the stagnant UO offense after emphatically rejecting Beavers' guard Julie Futch's layup attempt, and then knocking down a three-pointer. The basket helped jump-start Oregon's late first-half run.
"That really made Mac Court a little bit more alive," said Lilley, who ended the half with19 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the field, including 3-for-3 from three-point range.
"Taylor Lilley and Micaela Cocks made some timely baskets that kept them out of range," Westhead said.
Lilley finished game with 23 points to go along with Micaela Cocks' 18-point effort and Jackson's 14-point game.
"I was just kind of letting it come to me," Lilley said. "That's kind of been my mentality, you know, I'm going to get my shots I can't rush anything."
Westhead said that Lilley's shooting set the tone for the Ducks. "She's done that her whole senior year, but it seems like she's actually gotten even better in conference play trying to be an offensive leader of the team."
In Oregon's last road-game against USC, Senior guard Taylor Lilley set a new Oregon single-game record with nine three-pointers against USC, she also scored a career high 36 points. After Saturday's matchup, Lilley now has 80 three-pointers this season; she needed just two three-pointers to break the UO single season record and 13 three-pointers to set a new Pac-10 record.
Oregon, which remained in fifth place in the Pac-10 after the win, is still very much in the hunt as far as the post season picture goes. Behind first-place Stanford, UCLA and USC, who Oregon defeated 85-77 on the road on Jan. 30, are both tied for second with 7-3 conference records. Behind those two teams, sits Arizona State and California, which are both tied for third place with 6-4 records. Next up, Oregon has a crucial home-stand against Arizona and Arizona State, and though Oregon may be already thinking about their next opponents, Westhead and his players recognized the significance of Saturday's historic win.
"It's one of those things that will be irreparable," Westhead said. "It will be there in the books. I'm kind of happy I stumbled into it. I didn't know anything and all of a sudden I'm in this game that meant so much now and certainly in the future, in history."
Women Thump Oregon State
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