Oregon Women’s Basketball: Ducks Slip By Pilots in 116-84 Battle

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| Photo by

It was a sloppy game — one that found both teams in significant foul trouble early and often. But new faces Katelyn Loper and Chrishae Rowe continued their hot starts and a 17-2 run to end the first half helped Oregon (2-0) to a double-digit advantage they wouldn’t relinquish.

The final score read 116-84, but it never felt that far apart as incessant whistles rang out all night long.

The MVP of the night, though, had four fouls for basically the entire second half: sophomore Jillian Alleyne. Her double-double and inside presence allowed the Ducks to bounce the Pilots in a gritty game.

Ariel Thomas drives to the hoop |  Photo by Eric Evans Photography
Ariel Thomas drives to the hoop | Photo by Eric Evans Photography

“We got ourselves in a lot of foul trouble early. In the end, they hung in and Jillian Alleyne played a very settled game,” head coach Paul Westhead said. “Looks like she’s going to play like a veteran.”

The teams combined for 50 fouls, 38 turnovers and 51 missed three-pointers, so that the game — with two teams capable of getting out on runs — plodded on.

Early on, sophomore Jillian Alleyne looked ready to replicate the second game of her frosh campaign against Portland State, where she set career highs in just about all key stats. But she started to accumulate fouls, and reached her fourth early in the second half.

Alleyne played through and logged good minutes late, finishing with her second double-double in as many games. The 25 points and 13 rebounds weren’t exactly the 38-27 line of a year ago, but it wasn’t in a double-overtime losing effort this time either.

“She had a good rookie year — she didn’t take over the team. She’s done it now in back-to-back games,” Westhead said.

Paul Westhead |  Photo by Eric Evans Photography
Paul Westhead | Photo by Eric Evans Photography

Nearing fouling out, Alleyne still forced the issue — shooting 11 foul shots and making 9 of them. She was joined frequently at the line by Ariel Thomas (7 for 10), Loper (7 for 8), Rowe (4 for 7).

“We play a fast paced game, so I feel like the fouls were not what we were looking for,” Rowe said. “Coach Westhead said if that’s how the game’s being called, then go to the rim hard and knock down your free throws.”

Rowe and Loper followed right along with 20+ point performances, scoring 22 and 23, respectively. Both were very key as the Ducks got off onto good runs late in both halves.

“I think (Rowe) is a very good basketball player,” Westhead said on Rowe, adding about her ability to create that, “she’s not quite there, but she will grow into that role. That’s really a nice thing for a coach to have.

Alleyne said after the game that the 2-0 start is greatly appreciated by a team room that went 4-17 last year.

The Ducks return to the hardwood to play Sacramento State on Sunday.

Franklin Bains, contributing sports writer for EDN, writes about Ducks volleyball, Eugene prep sports and Pac-12 football, as well as some odds and ends in Oregon sports. Previously wrote for the Oregon Daily Emerald. Bains writes a weekly Pac-12 recap, and his favorite place in the spring might just be the PK Park press box.

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