EUGENE, Ore. – Turnovers played a crucial role as Sacramento State ran past the Oregon women’s basketball team, 97-85, Sunday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena. Chrishae Rowe led Oregon with a career-high 28 points on 13 boards, notching her first-career double-double.
Danielle Love chipped in with 10 points and 13 rebounds for her first double-double of the year while Ariel Thomas scored 18 points on 9-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line. Oregon played without forward Jillian Alleyne for most of the game, after going out with a first half injury.
Both teams combined for 182 field-goal attempts and broke the NCAA women’s basketball record for three-point attempts, combining for 86 shots from long range. That mark was last set on Nov. 26, 1999 by Ole Miss and Bowling Green. The 86 attempts also broke the school record of 66, which was previously set on Nov. 20, 2011 with Portland State.
“Sacramento State came out and beat us,” said head coach Paul Westhead. “I give them all the credit. Hopefully Jillian will be back soon.”
The Ducks (2-1) got as close as 84-78 with 3:55 remaining in the game behind Rowe’s three-pointer. Sac State’s 23-4 advantage in points off turnovers however was a huge blow to Oregon’s late push.
“We are not a turnover team; at least we are not supposed to be,” said Westhead. “Tonight we were.”
“We haven’t really been pressed like that by a team this year and we’re pretty young still, we’re just trying to figure it out,” said sophomore guard Lexi Peterson.
Shanti Smith of Sacramento State (3-1) found an opening in the paint for an easy layup at 17:58 for the first points of the game after both teams were 0-10 from the floor. Peterson, in her first game action of the year, scored her first points since a season-ending injury last season, sinking both of her free-throws, as Oregon took a 10-7 lead at the 15:15 mark.
Thomas put an end to the Hornets’ 6-0 run with a breakaway layup at 11:34 as the Ducks regained a 16-15 lead. But it was short-lived as Sacramento State took the lead back moments later.
Trailing 33-25, the Ducks mounted a 13-5 run capped off by back-to-back three-pointers from Love to tie the game up at 38 with 4:17 left in the first half. Oregon trailed the Hornets by one with less than a minute to play but a shot from downtown by Sacramento State’s Sadie Clements gave the Hornets a 52-48 lead heading into the break.
Rowe kept Oregon within striking distance of the Hornets with 15 points in the second half.
“She filled into spots she hadn’t been playing,” said Westhead. "She wasn’t as fluid as that spot sometimes demanded which is understandable. We had to move people today on the fly. She is a very good player and I’m confident she’ll continue to play well.
Alleyne went down with six minutes left in the first half with an injury.
“I wouldn’t want to be in many games without Jillian,” Westhead said. “We were playing small and had some of our shorter players playing our 4 and 5 positions. We had to do that.”
“Jillian’s a very big piece to our puzzle; she’s a double-double, easy, every night,” said Thomas. “But, if you worry about losing Jillian you’re not going to play well, so we just had to keep moving on and try to play for her.”
Peterson finished with six points on five rebounds in 18 minutes in her return to the floor.
“I think I just need to get in better shape in general,” said Peterson. “I don’t have the best stamina yet, and once I get better stamina I can play better defense and hit those shots.”
As a team, Oregon shot 33.7 percent from the field and 7-of-37 from downtown. The Ducks held a 67-49 edge over the Hornets on the boards.
Sacramento State outshot the Ducks beyond the arc, sinking 11-of-49 three-pointers. The Hornets’ bench also outscored the Ducks 49-14. Sadie Clements led Sacramento State with 18 points on 4-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc with three other Hornets in double-figures.
The Ducks now fly across the country for a battle with top-ranked Connecticut at 4 p.m. (PST) on Wed., Nov. 20, at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn.
“The timing is never good to play Connecticut,” said Westhead. “Maybe this [loss] is what we needed to have an edge. I’ll tell you what, we better not play scared.”
POSTGAME NOTES: The Ducks and Hornets combined to shoot an NCAA record 86 three-pointers…The old record was 75, set by Ole Miss and Bowling Green in 1999…The previous school record was 66, set on Nov. 20, 2011 by Oregon and Portland State…Lexi Petersen, making her first appearance of the season after suffering an ACL injury in last year’s season opener, was fouled on her first shot attempt, but she made both free throws…She finished with six points and five rebounds in 18 minutes…Both teams started out shooting a combined 0-10 from the floor.