EUGENE – A 15-0 UCLA run erased an early Oregon lead as the Ducks’ women’s basketball team fell to the ninth-ranked Bruins, 75-48, at Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday night.
The loss is the Ducks’ (12-11, 3-9 Pac-10) fifth-straight while the Bruins improve to 20-2 on the season and 10-1 in the Pac-10.
Both offenses clicked on their first possession of the night as UCLA’s Darxia Morris drilled a jump shot to open the scoring and Amanda Johnson followed with a three-point play on a hoop and a free throw to stake the Ducks to an early 3-2 lead. Deanna Weaver found her stroke from long range two possessions later by drilling a three-pointer to make it 6-2 with just over a minute gone by.
UO’s extended its lead to 11-6 two minutes later as Tatianna Thomas connected on her first attempt from beyond the arc. The Ducks held a 13-9 lead with 15:34 to go in the opening stanza before the Bruins stormed in front with a 15-0 run over the next 2:10 to make it 24-13.
A Kristi Fallin three-pointer capped the UCLA surge and brought UO back with single digits at 24-16 with 13:24 left in the first half, but the Bruins answered with consecutive buckets to go up 12. UCLA’s lead was 32-20 with under seven minutes remaining until Ashley Buis hit a three-pointer to draw the Ducks within nine.
The trey would be the last Oregon points of the frame as UCLA closed the half on a 12-0 run over the final 6:09 to secure a 44-23 lead at the break. The Bruins shot 43.2 percent while the Ducks connected on only 26.5 percent of its field goal attempts. UCLA also enjoyed a 35-12 edge on the glass in the opening 20 minutes.
UCLA opened the second half with six-straight points to take a 50-23 lead and cap its 18-0 run, putting the game effectively out of reach. The Bruins’ led by as many as 29 and their advantage was never less than 19 the rest of the way.
With Nia Jackson missing her second-straight contest due to injury, the Bruins were able to bottle up Johnson, who finished with nine points and seven rebounds, both team highs. UCLA had two players score in double figures with Rebekah Gardner scoring 18 off the bench and Atonye Nyingifa pouring in 12. Markel Walker led all players with 13 rebounds.
The Bruins shot 39.4 percent from the floor on the night while the Ducks struggled to the tune of 25.4 percent shooting. Oregon made 6-of-29 (20.7 percent) of its three-pointers compared to UCLA’s 1-of-9 (11.1 percent) mark from beyond the arc. The Bruins made 22-of-28 free throws (78.6 percent) while the Ducks made 12-of-16 (75 percent). UCLA held a 62-29 edge in rebounding and both offenses turned the ball over 15 times.
The Ducks wrap up their week of play on Saturday when they host USC at 2 p.m.
The Oregon Track Club will have a table set up at Saturday’s game on the concourse prior to the game with Oregon senior Brianne Theisen signing autographs. The OTC will hold a drawing for two tickets to the 2011 World Championship Trials, and the Oregon ticket office will be selling season ticket packages for the UO 2011 and 2012 seasons. If fans purchase both packages, they will be in the priority group for the 2012 Olympic Trials.
At halftime on Saturday, former Oregon women’s tennis player Helen (Zech) Higgins will receive the Becky L. Sisley Award, which recognizes professional achievement, community service and support to the University of Oregon. Higgins lettered for the Ducks from 1985-88 and was voted ‘Most Inspirational’ following the 1985 season.
Notes: Oregon was without junior Nia Jackson for the second straight game as the guard is day-to-day with a left knee strain and right bruised knee…before the game, Oregon presented junior Amanda Johnson with a 1,000-point game ball. Johnson scored the 1,000th point of her career at Washington on Feb. 3…Oregon’s 48 points were a new season low, and it was the Ducks’ lowest scoring total since scoring 43 points against Washington on March 12, 2009 at the Pac-10 Tournament…UO's 29 rebounds tied a season low, which also occurred against California on Jan. 29…Oregon has currently lost 20 consecutive games to top-10 teams...Oregon’s last win over a top-10 team was the Ducks 62-58 upset over Stanford on Dec. 29, 2004…UCLA leads the all-time series 30-24, and has won the last five meetings between the two squads…for the first time since Feb. 28, 2009, not one Oregon player reached double-figures in scoring…Johnson led the Ducks in scoring for the 14th time this season (25th career) with nine points…Johnson converted two 3-point plays in the game.
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