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Ducks' Second-Half Surge Falls Short
Release Date: 03/03/2011
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EUGENE – Amanda Johnson, Ariel Thomas and Kristi Fallin combined for 50 points to help Oregon erase a 17-point deficit, but the comeback bid lost steam late in a 75-66 loss to Arizona State at Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday night.

Johnson led the Ducks (13-15, 4-13 Pac-10) with 19 points (14 in the second half) and nine rebounds, Thomas poured in 18 points and Fallin finished with 13 points while making all four of her second-half shots in the setback. The trio scored 37 of the Ducks’ 40 second-half points. ASU’s Kimberly Brandon led all players with 20 points while Dymond Simon (17 points) and Becca Tobin (15 points) also reached double figures.

Oregon shot 49 percent in the game (55.6 percent in the second half) while Arizona State countered with 42.6 percent shooting. The Ducks drained 8-of-17 three-pointers (47.1 percent) compared to the Sun Devil’s 7-of-25 (28 percent) figure from beyond the arc. UO also outrebounded ASU, 34-28, but was done in by committing 24 turnovers, leading to 18 points, while forcing only 12 and capitalizing those for only eight points. Arizona State outscored Oregon by eight at the free throw line, making 16-of-22 (72.7 percent) of its freebies while Oregon made all eight of its attempts from the charity stripe.

Johnson scored the Ducks’ first seven points of the second half with a three-pointer and a pair of long two-point jumpers, but the Sun Devils scored on their first four possessions to extend their halftime lead to 45-33.

A Fallin three-pointer brought the Ducks within single digits for the first time since five and a half minutes into the game. After a defensive stop, Fallin dialed long distance from the corner once again to make it a 45-39 contest with 16 and a half left.

Thomas continued the Ducks’ surge with a jumper from just inside the arc to make it 45-41, the game’s closest margin since the first three minutes of the contest.

With the Ducks down five, Fallin connected from deep once again to make it a 52-50 contest with 11:14 to go.

The score was 54-52 with less than 10 minutes left, before Thomas drilled a fadeaway jumper from the baseline to even the score up at 54 apiece, marking the first time the score was tied since the opening tip.

Two possessions later, Johnson gave the Ducks their first lead with a step back three-pointer to make it 57-54. Danielle Love doubled the margin on the ensuing possession with a trey of her own, her first points of the game, to cap a 15-2 Oregon run.

The Sun Devils responded by scoring seven-straight points to regain the lead at 61-60 with 5:06 remaining. ASU’s run got to 10-0 to make it a 64-60 game with under four minutes left. Thomas banked in a jumper to bring Oregon within two, but Arizona State’s Kimberly Brandon answered with a long two-point jumper followed by a three to increase the gap to seven.

ASU opened the game with five straight points. The score was 8-4 at the 17:10 mark after a Fallin jumper in the lane, but the Sun Devils held the Ducks scoreless for the next 6:35 and went up 16-4 before Thomas drained a long jumper with 10:35 remaining in the opening frame.

Arizona State’s run extended to 17-4 to balloon its lead to 25-8, its largest of the game, with 7:20 to go in the first half. A 10-3 Oregon run cut the deficit to 10 points as Deanna Weaver and Johnson hit consecutive three-pointers, those buckets were followed by free throw makes by Victoria Kenyon and Johnson to make it 28-18.

The Sun Devils extended their lead back to 15 with 1:18 left in the first half, which the Ducks cut to 11 on a jumper by Thomas and consecutive buckets by Jasmin Holliday to make the score 37-26 at the break.

ASU shot 48.3 percent and made 5-of-12 (41.7 percent) three-pointers while UO connected on 41.7 percent of its shots and held a 19-12 advantage in rebounding in the first 20 minutes. Dymond Simon led all scorers with nine points while Thomas and Holliday each scored six to lead the Ducks.

Oregon closes out its regular season on Saturday when it hosts Arizona at Matthew Knight Arena. Opening tip is at 2 p.m.

Postgame Notes

Amanda Johnson (19 points) scored in double figures for the 23rd time this season and 56th time in her career…Kristi Fallin (13 points) was a double-digit scorer for the ninth time this season (10th career)…Ariel Thomas (18 points) scored in double figures for the sixth time this season…UO shot a season-best 49 percent from the floor…Johnson eclipsed 1,100 career points on a three-pointer at the 5:08 mark of the first half…Oregon outrebounded Arizona State, 34-28, the first time since Dec. 31 at Arizona (16 games) that UO has outrebounded its opponent.
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