EUGENE, Ore. – The Oregon women’s basketball team used a 40-20 run in the last 12 minutes of the game en route to a 110-90 victory over Princeton on Sunday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena. Five Ducks reached double figures in the comeback win.
"Sometimes the sign of an improving team is how they regroup and come together for the second half," said head coach Paul Westhead. "Forget the individuals, in the second half we scored 64 points and they scored 35. That's the way we want to play."
Jillian Alleyne scored 19 of her 27 points in the second half to go along with her 12 rebounds for Oregon (4-2). The 27 points was a season-high for Alleyne, who also knocked down a career-high 11 free throws on 12 attempts. Katelyn Loper shot 4-of-6 from three-point range in the second half and 6-of-13 overall.
"I don't think we had what we have this year, in terms of players and confidence," said Alleyne in regards to differences from this season and last. "That wouldn't have been a game we would've won last year, but because we won it now shows that our team is growing. We're getting better every game."
"Jillian [Alleyne] was really steady," said Westhead. "When we were in doubt, we kicked it in to her so she could do her work. She's more durable and confident in the low post this year. The real proof is that she made six or seven in a row, then she missed one, but she came right back and made the next one. There's been a big change in her from last season to this season."
Loper recorded 24 points on 6-of-13 shooting behind the arc. Chrishae Rowe finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for her second double-double of the year. Danielle Love and Lexi Peterson each chipped in with 15 and 13 points respectively for the Ducks.
Loper knocked down a deep three from the right wing to cut the Tiger’s lead to two, 70-68, and forced Princeton (3-4) to call a timeout with 13:50 left to play in the game. The transfer from Hofstra then completed a 7-0 run for the Ducks with a pair of free throws to tie the game up for the 10th time at 70-70 with 11:59 on the clock.
Rowe gave the Ducks their first lead since the 2:48 mark in the first half with a steal and fast break layup making it 74-73.
It was all Oregon from that point on as the Ducks blew past the Tigers with a 27-11 run after Alleyne’s tip in with 4:27 remaining and Ariel Thomas knocked down a pair of free throws.
"I told our players at halftime that I would be calm and easy with them," Westhead said. "I think we all have to be in this together."
Princeton took a 55-46 lead into the break thanks to a 7-0 run spanning 1:17 that was capped off by Michelle Miller’s free throws. Blake Dietrick of the Tigers had a career-high first half, rattling off 21 points on 8-of-8 shooting including a 5-of-5 effort from three-point range. She went 4-of-4 from three-point range on Saturday at Portland State.
Princeton jumped out to a short lead in the opening minutes taking a 10-8 lead at the 15:55 mark before both teams began exchanging three-pointers. Loper hit 2-of-3 from the free throw line to bring the Ducks even with the Tigers at 26 with 9:51 left in the first half.
As a team, Oregon shot 45.6 percent from the field and went 14-of-34 from downtown. The Ducks held a 34-7 edge over the Tigers in fast break points to go along with a 25-9 advantage in second-chance points.
Whilte Princeton’s Dietrick surpassed her career-high in scoring in the first half with 21, she had a much quieter second half finishing with 26 points. The Tigers had three other players in double-figures and finished the day shooting 44.4 percent from the field.
The Ducks hit the road to face Seattle U on Wed., Dec. 4, at Key Arena in Seattle, Wash. for a 6 p.m. tip-off before returning home for a four-game homestand.
"I said that we would begin to identify the personality of our team somewhere around six or seven games in," said Westhead. "We just completed game six and we have a big game away in Seattle on Wednesday. This is a crucial time where we become who we are."
POSTGAME NOTES: Oregon reached 100+ points for the 10th time under head coach Paul Westhead and the third time this season…The Ducks are 9-1 in those games…After being down by 11 points, its biggest deficit of the game, 57-46 with 19:23 left in the second half, Oregon outscored the Tigers 64-33 the remainder of the game… Katelyn Loper went 2-of-7 from long range in the first half but shot 4-of-6 in the second half… Oregon entered the game leading the Pac-12 in team free throw percentage at 73.0 percent, but shot just 58.3 percent in the first half (7-of-12)…They bounced back by shooting 94.4 percent in the second half (17-of-18)…Jillian Alleyne recorded her fourth double-double of the season and 15th of her career with 27 points and 12 rebounds…She made a career-best 11 free throws (11-of-12)…Princeton point guard Blake Dietrick shot 5-for-5 from three-point range and 8-of-8 from the floor overall in the first half…Dietrick was 4-for-4 on three-pointers against Portland State on Saturday…Dietrick’s 21 halftime points eclipsed her previous (20) single-game career-high…Dietrick made her first three-pointer of the second half but missed her last two.