EUGENE, Ore. – Ariel Thomas knocked down a pair of free throws with nine-tenths of a second remaining as Oregon held on for a win, 83-80, versus Pepperdine on Monday night at Matthew Knight Arena. Jillian Alleyne recorded her 15th career double-double, posting 21 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Ducks.
Oregon improved to 3-2 with the win while the Waves fell to 2-3.
“We had two losses (in a row) and turned around to get a win tonight,” head coach Paul Westhead said. “I’m happy for that and hopefully we can move forward.”
Katelyn Loper scored 10 of her 19 points in the second half to go along with six rebounds and 5-of-16 shooting from beyond the arc. Chrishae Rowe chipped in with 15 points and six boards. Rowe entered the game ranked No. 6 in the nation averaging 26 points per game.
After a big second half comeback by the Waves, Oregon needed to pull together at the end to secure the win.
With 1:20 on the clock, Rowe stole the ball above the free throw line and pulled up for a soft floater to give the Ducks an 81-76 lead, forcing Pepperdine to call a timeout. The Waves converted out of their timeout as Rowe had the ball taken away in the paint down on the other end. Ea shoushtari put Pepperdine within one, at 81-80, with a breakaway layup with 29 seconds on the clock.
Alleyne had an opportunity to extend the Ducks' lead with time ticking away but missed a pair of shots. Pepperdine pushed the ball toward its bench before calling a timeout with six seconds remaining. Alleyne redeemed herself following that timeout and stole the post-entry pass from Shoushtari with three seconds left on the clock.
Westhead called a timeout to regroup the Ducks before Thomas was fouled on the inbounds pass and knocked down two clutch free-throws to secure the win.
“I wasn’t here last year, but I heard one of the things this team struggled with was finishing,” said the freshman guard Rowe. “This is a big step, we shouldn’t have been in that position, but we came out with the win.”
“We need to defend better,” Westhead said. “Bottom line is, if the opponent has the ball, they need to feel the heat. If they’re not feeling the heat, then we’re at risk.”
Leading 48-32 at halftime, Oregon used a 10-2 run to start the second half that was capped off by Alleyne’s free throw to give the Ducks their biggest lead, 58-34, with 16:06 on the clock.
The teams exchanged some buckets before the Waves mounted a 21-6 run that lasted 5:48 before Alleyne hit a pair of free throws at the 7:02 mark to make it a 67-59 Oregon lead.
Loper gave Oregon a 79-73 advantage with a huge three-pointer from the top of the key at 2:09 but Shoushtari answered right back with one of her own from the left wing.As a team, Oregon shot 34.8 percent from the field and went 10-of-32 from downtown. The Ducks held a 23-7 edge over the Waves on the offensive boards.
Despite shooting 45.8 percent from the field and 5-of-14 from three-point range, a 20-8 Oregon advantage in second-chance points was too much for Pepperdine to overcome.
Bria Richardson led the Waves with 19 points on 9-of-16 shooting from the field while Allie Green chipped in with 12. Shoushtari ended the night with 17 points and 11 boards.
Oregon returns to action at noon on Sun., Dec. 1, at Matthew Knight Arena as the Ducks entertain Princeton.
POSTGAME NOTES: Jillian Alleyne posted her 15th career double-double and third of the season with a game-high 21 points and season-high 17 rebounds…Alleyne registered a career-high four assists…Ariel Thomas was close to a triple-double, tallying nine points, seven assists and tied her career-best with 11 rebounds…Katelyn Loper knocked down five three-pointers but needed 16 attempts…That did not break the school record of 21, set by Jamie Craighead against Iowa in 2001…Oregon is 3-0 when leading at halftime and 0-2 when down at the break…Oregon is also 3-0 when shooting better than 30% from three-point range…The Ducks lost to Sacramento State after shooting 18.9 percent from long range and 25 percent at No. 1 ranked UConn…Oregon went 9-of-11 at the free throw line, including two by Ariel Thomas on a 1-and-1 in the final second to ice the game…The Ducks’ 81.8 percent clip at the free throw line against Pepperdine was their best of the season, beating the 76.7 percent mark they posted against Portland.