Courtesy: Oregon Sports Information
EUGENE, Ore. – After battling back from a double-digit deficit to tie the game up with 57 seconds remaining, the Oregon women’s basketball team couldn’t close it out and fell, 81-75, to Colorado on Monday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
“Colorado did a good job,” head coach Paul Whitehead said. “They got a big win against us on the road. There are some specific areas I can look at and see problems. I’m big on making free throws and we missed some big free throws tonight, but it was more than that. I think Colorado earned the win. I’d say they won the game more than we lost.”
Chrishae Rowe led the Ducks with 23 points on 4-of-8 shooting beyond the arc while Jillian Alleyne was one rebound shy of a double-double (9) to go along with her 15 points.
“I think their effort is what got to us because they definitely had at least three of four players rebounding every time and that was to our disadvantage,” Alleyne said. “Not getting a double-double showed that I didn’t do what I needed to do for my team to win today. I’d rather have a win than my individual stats.”
The Ducks had three players in foul trouble including Alleyne, who picked up her fourth foul with 11:55 left in the game.
“(With four fouls) I’m a little timid because I know I can’t get that fifth foul, not for myself, but because my team needs me in the game,” said Alleyne.
After being down by as much as 15 points in the first half, Oregon started the second half hot thanks to a pair of threes from Lexi Petersen and Ariel Thomas followed by a fast break layup from Rowe. That cut Colorado’s lead to just 41-38, forcing the Buffs’ to call a timeout. Oregon took the lead at 46-45 after Thomas completed a three-point play, but it was short-lived as Colorado responded with a 9-0 run.
The Ducks slowly chipped away at the Buffaloes 10-point lead, 61-51, and eventually cut it down to 64-60 heading into the under-eight media timeout.
Buckets were exchanged with the score tied twice at 73-73 and again at 75-75 before Colorado hit a jumper followed by four-consecutive free throws from Ashley Wilson to seal the victory.
“They kind of gutted us a few times in the lane,” said Westhead. “A tie score with a minute-and-thirty seconds counting is a four possession game. When your defense doesn’t get a stop and the offense doesn’t score, the game will get away quickly.”
The Buffaloes started the game off with a 7-0 run and built on that lead through the first half thanks to Wilson’s hot hand beyond the arc. Colorado was 5-of-8 from downtown in the first half compared to the Ducks, who were 4-for-13.
“I felt like we were playing our game,” Thomas said of Oregon’s sput to start the second half. “It was just a matter of effort, which I guess wasn’t there in the first half. We saw what happens when we’re giving it our all. If we would have matched their effort from the beginning, I think we would’ve been up.”
Oregon returns to action at 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Matthew Knight Arena. The Ducks meet USC in Pac-12 Networks game before playing host to UCLA on Monday night in another televised game.
“We have a monster weekend coming up,” Westhead said. “In some respects, this will be the biggest weekend of the season for us. We’ve got two teams that beat us in Southern California coming to town for rematches.”