Paul Westhead

Alleyne Sets Record, But Bruins Bust UO

Oregon head coach Paul Westhead:

Oregon forward Jillian Alleyne and guard Ariel Thomas:

EUGENE, Ore — Despite Jillian Alleyne’s record setting night, Oregon was beaten handily by UCLA 103-83 Monday night at Matthew Knight Arena. Alleyne, a sophmore forward, set the school and Pac-12 record for rebounds in a single season with 377. She finished the night with 12, bringing her total on the season to 388.

Ariel Thomas led the Ducks with 28 points. Atonye Nyingifa led the Bruins with 34. Oregon (13-12, 4-10), has now lost three straight games. The Ducks play at Washington on Friday.

Oregon women’s basketball lose 88-78 after late run by USC

Tonight, Oregon women’s basketball hosted USC in a game that went down to the wire, with the Ducks ultimately falling to the Trojans 88-78.

“With any loss there is frustration,” senior point guard Ariel Thomas said. “I don’t think anyone ever smiles after a loss.”

Unlike most teams who face Oregon (13-11, 4-9 Pac-12), the pace of play didn’t seem to bother USC (16-9, 9-4 Pac-12). The Trojans pushed the ball and were able to run with the Ducks all night. In fact, Oregon struggled with their transition defense, giving up 17 fast break points.

Many of the Trojan’s fast break opportunities came via the numerous Duck turnovers, an issue for the home team all night. Coming in they were averaging 14.7 turnovers per game, though they ended the night against USC with 21.

It was a strange start to the game as there was a delay early after some of the lights went out in the arena. The delay lasted for about 20 minutes as the lights apparently overheated and had to cool off before they could be turned back on.

“It was so early in the game that it really wasn’t a factor,” head coach Paul Westhead said after the game. “I have been in some games where you are 15 minutes in and you have to sit around, that really bothers players. Tonight it was so early in the game that I don’t think it affected either team.”

Several of the Oregon players were playing in foul trouble as the Trojans were able to get to the free throw line often. Jillian Alleyne, Thomas and Lexi Petersen all ended with four fouls while Danielle Love fouled out of the game.

For Oregon the player of the game was Alleyne as she was able to record her 21st double-double of the season with 19 points and 24 rebounds.

“Obviously Jillian was our outstanding player,” Westhead said.

The leading scorer for the Ducks was freshman guard Chrishae Rowe who ended with 28 points, though she struggled with efficiency, taking 32 shots in the game.

“Everybody on the court knows exactly what the problem is,” Rowe said. “We break down on the defensive end in the last four minutes of the game. Scoring is not our issue.”

Things fell apart for the Ducks at the end of the first half as after playing a close game for most of the way they gave up an 18-2 run to the Trojans, heading into halftime down 41-32.

Oregon was able to make a late push with five minutes left in the game; pulling ahead by three before letting the Trojans go on a 10-0 run.

“When you stop rebounding and stop defending, you’re not going to win,” Thomas said.

The Ducks tried fouling late but USC kept hitting shots, shutting the door on any chance of a comeback.

The teams were playing for a good cause as both participated in Play 4 Kay by wearing pink during the game.

Oregon will next play UCLA at home on Sunday.

Follow Chris Keizur on Twitter @ChirsKeizur

Oregon women’s basketball fall to Colorado 81-75 in the final minute of play

The Oregon women’s basketball team made up a nine-point deficit in the second half and remained competitive down the stretch, but the Ducks were unable to close the game out against Colorado, falling 81-75.

Oregon (14-9, 4-8 Pac-12) was powered by a 23-point performance, including 4-0f-8 on three-pointers, from freshman Chrishae Rowe. The Ducks had four players score in double digits: senior Ariel Thomas (18 points), sophomore Jillian Alleyne (15), junior Lexi Petersen (12) and Rowe.

Alleyne failed to record a double-double (15 points and nine rebounds) for the first time in 19 games. She recorded double-doubles in her previous 18 games.

The Ducks were outrebounded 54-41, outscored on second chance points 25-11 and outscored in the paint 42-24.

“I think Colorado earned the win,” head coach Paul Westhead said, ”so there’s no sense in me saying four or five things that I think my team or my coaching contributed to that.”

Westhead stressed that he wasn’t preoccupied with Alleyne’s streak, saying that how the team as a unit does was more important to him than an individual performance.

“She’s (Alleyne) human,” Westhead said. “Sometimes you don’t get everything that you have done over and over in the past. She’s a very good player. She will respond and probably start anther streak of double-doubles.”

Alleyne, who shot just 5-of-12 from the free throw line, echoed Westhead’s sentiment.

“It does mean something to me,” Alleyne said. “I know when that happens, I know I’m working hard and playing my role for the team. I would rather have a win than my individual stats. It was fun while it lasted, but that just shows I need to get in the gym and shoot more free throws.”

Oregon went on an 8-0 run to begin the second half to take the team’s first lead of the game at 46-45. Oregon once again tied the game at 5:23 to go after a free throw from Alleyne. The game was tied with 57 seconds left in the game after Rowe scored on her own rebound.

Colorado received a jumper from Jen Reese with 43 seconds left and Oregon missed a scoring opportunity on its ensuing possession. The Ducks fouled on the next Buffalo possession and Ashley Wilson made both free throws to bring to game to a 79-75 Colorado lead with 14 seconds left. Colorado’s Wilson made the two ensuring free throws, sealing the 81-75 win for Colorado.

The Ducks got in foul trouble down the stretch. Senior Danielle Love fouled out with 9:13 left in the second. Alleyne and Rowe both played the final minutes of the game with four fouls.

Thomas said that if the team can effectively run the system for the entire game, the Ducks will find a way to win.

“You saw what happens when we play hard and we’re giving our all”, Thomas said. “We immediately erase leads. If we would have matched effort from the beginning, I think we would have been up — easily.”

This weekend, USC and UCLA will be in town to play the Ducks. Westhead said that this weekend is vital to the team’s success.

“We have a monster weekend coming up. In some respects, it may be the biggest weekend of this season for us,” Westhead said. “Two Southern California schools coming up and two teams that beat us in the LA area. It’s a terrific opportunity to get a pair of wins. Big weekend. And because of tonight, maybe bigger.”

Oregon returns to Matthew Knight Arena this Friday against USC for a 7:30 p.m. tipoff on the Pac-12 networks. The Ducks will host UCLA in another televised game on Monday.

Noteworthy: Katelyn Loper missed her second consecutive game due to a medical issue. Westhead said he did not have any additional information about her availability against the Southern California schools.

Follow Jonathan Hawthorne on Twitter @Jon_Hawthorne

Oregon women basketball’s Jillian Alleyne and Chrishae Rowe sweep Pac-12 player of the week honors

Oregon women’s basketball won its first two Pac-12 games this season over the weekend, and two of its star players are being recognized for the team’s success.

Sophomore forward Jillian Alleyne and freshman guard Chrishae Rowe were named Pac-12 player and Pac-12 freshman of the week, respectively, after sweeping the visiting Washington schools this weekend.

Oregon women’s basketball loses to Oregon State 84-70, now 0-4 in Pac-12

In the second straight game against Oregon State, the Oregon women’s basketball team found themselves on the losing end once again, this time by a score of 84-70 on the road in Corvallis.

After winning the opening tip, the Beavers (10-6, 2-2) never looked back, controlling most of the game. The pace of play was in their favor as they were able to slow down the Ducks (9-6, 0-4) enough to force them into more half-court situations than they wanted.

“Oregon is a good basketball team, they’ve got a lot of talent,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said after the game. “I have a lot of respect for them.”

As a team Oregon struggled to hit open shots, going 27-of-85 (31.8 percent) from the field. The two star players for the Ducks, freshman guard Chrishae Rowe and sophomore forward Jillian Alleyne, especially had trouble connecting on looks they usually capitalize on. Rowe was able to find her rhythm in the second half, finishing with 15 points.

Unlike her teammate, Alleyne (6-of-21 shooting)was never able to right the ship, struggling to get position against Oregon State starting center Ruth Hamblin, who is listed at 6-foot-6. Hamblin was able to control the paint, forcing the Ducks post players away from the basket. She finished with a triple-double, recording 23 points, 12 rebounds and 10 blocked shots.

“Our players were encouraged not to run away from her,” Oregon head coach Paul Westhead said when asked about his strategy regarding Hamblin. “We wanted to go hard to the rim with or without her.”

Hamblin is now the record holder for blocked shots in a game for the Beavers. Her triple-double is also only the second in school history.

Monday’s loss increased Oregon’s losing streak to four games in Pac-12 play after a 9-2 start. The Ducks have also lost the last seven games to the Beavers, the worst losing streak either team has faced throughout their rivalry.

“We have played three of the four on the road, we have played good teams,” Westhead said about what has changed for his team during this losing streak. “If a team can beat you twice, they are good quality.”

Rebounding the ball was an issue for both teams on the defensive end. Both the Ducks and Beavers gave up too many extra possessions by not boxing out and securing the ball. Oregon ended up with 27 offensive boards while Oregon State had 16.

Another problem for the Ducks was their struggles from downtown. They went 4-22 from deep (18.2 percent).

Oregon was able to work their way back into the game in the second half thanks to the strong play of Rowe down the stretch. After struggling in the first half Rowe was able to work her way inside for higher percentage shots.

After a made floater from Rowe cut the lead to a 62-61, Oregon looked like they may be able to take the lead. However, a timely three from Oregon State freshman Gabriella Hanson regained control for the Beavers, who went on a 14-2 run to put the game out of reach.

Hanson also had a career night, scoring 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting.

The Ducks will look to rebound as they still search for their first win in league play. They next travel to Los Angeles, where they will take on UCLA and USC on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

Follow Christopher Keizur on Twitter @chriskeizur

Ducks lose to Oregon State 88-80 in 91st women’s basketball Civil War

When the Oregon women’s basketball team cannot control the pace, things don’t go smoothly.

That’s exactly what happened for the Ducks in a 88-80 loss against Oregon State in the 91st Civil War game at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday night.

Up 42-41 at halftime, the game was close until the waning minutes of the second half. Oregon State (9-6, 1-2 Pac-12) engineered a 11-2 run that began with 7:32 left in the game. Oregon pulled to within five on a layup by senior Ariel Thomas with 2:37 left to play, but Oregon let the visiting Beavers open their lead to 11 with 1:43 to go, which proved to be too much for the Ducks to handle.

Oregon (9-5, 0-3) has yet to a win a game in Pac-12 play.

Sophomore Jillian Alleyne finished with 26 points and 12 rebounds, good for her tenth consecutive double-double of the season and 12th overall this year. Freshman Chrishae Rowe and Thomas finished with 19 and 11 points, respectively.

“I thought Jillian Alleyne did a terrific job inside,” head coach Paul Westhead said. “I think she made a gigantic step forward from anything that she did in the past last year to this kind of game.”

The Ducks shot just 3-of 17 (17.6 percent) from three-point range, far below their season average of 32.1 percent.

“It happens, you have off nights and I think when our shots are off and not hitting, we have to crash the boards, the offensive boards,” Rowe said.

The game was dictated by a series of runs as the lead changed 15 times in the 40-minute contest.

Oregon State’s Ruth Hamblin exploded for 27 points and 16 rebounds from the center position. Coming into the game, she averaged just six points per game. Oregon was unable to find a way to stop the 6-foot-6 sophomore from Houston, British Columbia.

“We anticipated a few things, her (Hamblin’s) presence defensively, her ability to influence shots coming at her, potentially rebounding,” Westhead said. “I don’t have the stat sheet, but it has to be a career high. Kuddos to her. … We can make some adjustments [for Monday]. It’s not as easy as it sounds.”

Westhead’s system relies on speed, on being faster and better conditioned than the opponent in order to wear down the opposing defense in the second half.

“I think we started off the game at our pace,” Rowe said, “but we slowly allowed them to slow us down and we ended up playing a half court game, which is not how we play. That hurt us.”

Westhead said after the game that he believes when Oregon State began to control the tempo in the second half, the Ducks began to lose control of their style of play.

“We weren’t able to answer back with a faster pace,” Westhead said. “They’re a very good team, they’re very efficient. In this system, pretty good doesn’t work.”

Oregon has the opportunity to avenge Saturday night’s loss in Corvallis with a rematch less than 48 hours away.

“I think we’re just going to come out even harder,” Rowe said. “We know what we did. We know the way we played. Tomorrow, we’re going to go in and fix what we did not do try and get a W on Monday.”

Follow Jonathan Hawthorne on Twitter @Jon_Hawthorne

Oregon women’s basketball improves to 8-2 with 124-87 win over Cal Poly

Once a rarity, Oregon scoring 100 points in a game is now becoming an every game occurrence.

The nation’s top scoring team used it’s quickened pace to easily defeat Cal Poly (6-6) 124-87 on Friday night to improve to 8-2 on the season. The victory gave the Oregon women’s basketball team their sixth consecutive win and fifth straight game hitting the century mark in the scoring column.

It was a career night for redshirt sophomore guard Lexi Peterson as she set career-highs in points (25), three-pointers made (4) and field goals made (7).

Peterson, who’s previous career best was 17 points against Arizona in January of her freshman year, had 16 points at the half and set her record at the 15:55 mark of the second half with a pair of free throws.

“I felt really comfortable tonight,” Peterson told reporters after the game. “I think we are really starting to gel as a team and be confident in each other and what our roles are. I think it’s really paying off and showing in games now.”

It wasn’t just Peterson doing the damage. Four other Ducks scored in double figures, none more than starting guard Chrishae Rowe and her 27 points. Rowe went 10-for-19 from the field and 5-f0r-9 from three-point range while adding seven rebounds.

Jillian Alleyne posted 19 points and 16 rebounds for her 20th double-double of her career but added to her stat line with three steals and three assists.

Ariel Thomas added 16 points, six assists and a game-high four steals while Danielle Love posted her second consecutive game of double digit scoring with 13 points and added four assists.

“I’m pleased with their 40-minute effort,” Oregon head coach Paul Westhead said. “Again, I keep saying, I do not look at scoring stats but I still am impressed that we have five people in double figures. We have a chance to be a better scoring team than that.”

Oregon used its pressure defense to force 19 Cal Poly turnovers that turned into 27 points for the Ducks while also grabbing 26 offensive rebounds that became 23 second-chance points.

The game started out in favor of the Mustangs as they took a quick 5-2 lead but that would be the largest they would get the rest of the game. The Ducks rallied with a 21-5 run over the next four minutes with a Peterson three-pointer as the exclamation point.

Oregon continued to keep its foot on the gas pedal as it built a 23-point lead at the end of the first half. Peterson hit another three-pointer with 34 seconds left to complete the scoring at 60-37.

The Ducks used the second half to slowly extend their lead and it finally reached it’s peak at 37 when Rowe hit a three-pointer, her fifth of the night and the team’s 12th overall, to put the score at 108-71.

The game would stay in that range the rest of the way as the final scoring margin was 37.

Oregon now has nine days off before the next game and the players will have a few days off from all basketball-related activities to see their families for Christmas.

The Ducks return to action on Sunday, Dec. 29 when they host Cal State Northridge at 4 p.m. in their final non-conference game of the season.

Follow Ryan Kostecka on Twitter @Ryan_Kostecka

Oregon women’s basketball dominates Portland State, 113-78

The Ducks improved to 6-2 on Saturday afternoon after a 113-78 win over Portland State at Matthew Knight Arena.

Freshman Chrishae Rowe kept her early-season productivity up, leading all scorers with 24 points and sophomore Jillian Alleyne led all rebounders with 13. Alleyne also tallied 18 points from the floor to pick up her sixth double-double of the season and 18th of her career. The Ducks rely on Alleyne to be a threat on the boards and in the paint and the team has gone 6-0 when Alleyne has recorded a double-double.

Oregon nearly broke the school record for most points scored in a half. They were just one shy of the record of 69 points and led the Vikings 68-35 at halftime.

“We come out hard with our press and tried to get steals and create points,” Rowe told GoDucks.com. “We have to execute on the steals and turnovers (in this offense), and we did a good job of that.”

The Ducks benefited from a balanced scoring attack with seven players reaching double figures in scoring. Sophomore Lexi Peterson and senior Danielle Love both added 13 points to the Ducks’ total. Senior Ariel Thomas and junior Amanda Delgado each recorded 12 points. Junior Katelyn Loper added 10 points to the mix.

Junior Megan Carpenter made her first basket this season with 3:06 left to play in the contest after sitting out for nearly a month with an ankle injury.

The team maintained a healthy lead in the second half, never seeing the margin dwindle to less than 27 points. Oregon benefited from Portland State’s 25 turnovers, which led to a 32-10 advantage in points off turnovers for the Ducks.

“I’d say we’re just getting started,” Lexi Petersen told GoDucks.com about Ducks’ potential this year. “I don’t think we’ve played a full 40 minutes of the press and run game like we should be. We showed flashes of it in the first half when we went up really fast. If we could keep up that pace for 40 minutes I think that we can show our full potential.”

After UO scored the first 10 points of the game, Portland State rallied a bit before Oregon went on a 21-5 run to bring the lead to 33-10 with 11:35 left in the first half.

Both teams shot 43.2 percent from the field, but Oregon benefited from a strong rebounding effort while holding PSU to a 29-9 margin in second-chance points and a 34-15 advantage in fast break points.

On the horizon: The Ducks return to Matthew Knight Arena next Wednesday, Dec. 18 for a 7 p.m. tip-off against Southern University.

Ducks Women’s Basketball: Oregon Dispatches Oregon Tech with Ease, 116-51

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Oregon made some appearances Monday night — in front of a sparse, second-exhibition crowd — that Paul Westhead‘s system could work this year. Sure, it was against NAIA Oregon Tech and the competition will soon get much more stringent, but the offense clicked and the defense forced errors. The team still has a lot to prove, but they said a lot with a 116-51 exhibition win.

“Another exhibition, tried to get some of the kinks out,” Westhead said. “We had reasonable success, we have a good bit of work to do. … If we can get (offensive rebounding) into their blood, we’ll be fine.”

Chrishae Rowe
Oregon freshman Chrishae Rowe dribbles down the court past defenders in a preseason win | (Eric Evans/GoDucks)

Oregon enjoyed a 62-24 advantage for the intermission, as the Ducks were excellent early at both hitting threes and preventing the Hustlin’ Owls from distance buckets. Oregon was 8/20 from deep in the first half and held Tech to an 0/10 clip — which ended up 0-for-24.

Chrishae Rowe again led the Ducks with a silly offensive first half — knocking in 9 of her 14 field goals (2 of 3 from deep) and collecting 4 offensive rebounds to pair with her 20 points. Rowe finished with 35.

“She has a good sense of her game,” Westhead said. “She’s going to eventually be a crowd-pleaser, I can see it coming.”

To say that the freshman might be a go-to option for Oregon this fall is likely going to be an understatement. The game might as well have been a backdrop as Rowe’s performance stood out on a larger stage, hitting from deep and banging around for rebounds from both sides of the floor.

“I tend to do whatever I have to to make my team successful,” Rowe said.

Following her in scoring were teammates Katelyn Loper (26), Jillian Alleyne (15) and fellow freshman Drea Toler (16).

Both Rowe (14 rebounds) and Alleyne (11) put up double-doubles as well. Alleyne added three blocks in another gritty defensive effort.

In addition to keeping the Owls without a three-point connection in 24 attempts, the Ducks also restricted Tech to just 14 makes on 77 total attempts. The 46-18 advantage in FG percentage favoring Oregon told the tale the best in this one.

Ariel Thomas didn’t bunch up stats in any category, but finished with 6 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals. Westhead praised her hustle after the game.

“We need a whole bunch of Ariel Thomases,” he said. “She might be our best offensive rebounder, she’s fearless and she goes for it. She sacrifices her body on every possession.”

The coach called Thomas the best player on his team, and sees returner-to-the-roster Laura Stanulis’ return as creating a good problem to have — a glut of good point guards.

Oregon starts its regular season with a home opener against Cal State Bakersfield this Saturday at 7 p.m. The Ducks’ first road game is in Hartford, Conn., against the top-ranked Connecticut Huskies on Nov. 20.

Ducks Women’s Basketball: Freshmen Effective Scorers in Putting Away Western Oregon, 103-58

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The Ducks turned the ball over 12 times in the first half alone, and missed 21 three-pointers overall, but an excellent effort from freshman guard Chrishae Rowe was enough to put the Western Oregon Wolves away, 103-58.

Chrishae Rowe
Oregon Ducks true freshman Chrishae Rowe dribbles down the court past Western Oregon defenders in the Ducks’ 103-58 preseason win on Wednesday night | (Eric Evans/GoDucks)

Oregon was never able to get on a very long run, as the 18 turnovers created opportunities for WOU that they were only too willing to capitalize on. However, WOU gave the ball back 33 times, which allowed Oregon the easier exhibition win.

“Exactly what we were looking for, the good and the not so good, so we had things to work on,” head coach Paul Westhead said. “I liked our two freshmen.”

Rowe tied for the Ducks’ scoring lead with 17. She added 6 rebounds and 3 steals. Junior Katelyn Loper added 17 herself, and fellow freshman Drea Toler scored 15.

“She’s got a good shooting trigger and she’s not bashful. I think Katelyn’s going to be a good addition to this team,” Westhead said on Loper.

“It was fun, it was good to finally get to the court against someone,” Rowe said. “It’s a lot more running, about executing the little things. (Scoring) is part of the reason why I’m here.”

Toler struggled in the first half, putting up an 0-for-7 before the intermission. She scored 5 within a short window and ended up with 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals on the night.

“I had no concern that she wasn’t going to turn that around,” Westhead said. “She’s fearless, she runs into you, well, she runs into you.”

Toler fueled Oregon’s second big run of the night with her five-straight points, just under 12 minutes to play. Backup center Megan Carpenter added four straight to put the Ducks up 79-40 late.

Veteran guard Ariel Thomas compared the freshman guard’s quickness to the men’s team senior guard Johnathan Loyd.

Drea Toler
Another true freshman, Drea Toler, saw extensive play time for the Ducks against Western Oregon | (Eric Evans/GoDucks)

Meanwhile, last year’s freshman sensation Jillian Alleyne remained the force on the boards that she gained acclaim for last year. She finished the night with 11 hard-fought boards and 7 points.

Rounding out the roster, Thomas piled up 12 points and 7 assists, Carpenter scored 10 and had 8 rebounds, and starting forward Danielle Love scored 8.

“I hope it’s day-to-day, rather than see you next week or see you in december, but my guess is it’s not tomorrow. Neither has returned to what you would call practice,” Westhead said.

The Ducks get one more warmup when Oregon plays in-state Oregon Tech on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. The first true game takes place Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at Matt Knight when CSU Bakersfield comes to town.

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