Eugene, OR -- Utah appeared to be adamant, kicking off the ball game with Emily Potter and Danielle Rodriguez putting the team on a quick 6-0 run to display their fast offense as they continuously drove to the basket. On the other end of the floor, the Ducks were able to gain momentum of their own, closing the ball game down and with a big three by Lexi Bando, the Ducks proved they were coming into this game to win it.
The teams performed relatively equal on both ends of the floor, both shooting 50% in the first quarter, with mirroring numbers across the board matching the same amount of assists and turnovers.
However, going into the second quarter, the momentum began to shift as Oregon powered up. Defensively they were holding the Utes, running down the shot clock, while their offense began to soar. With the score tied, Bando sunk in another three to boost the Ducks ahead, and it was the Ducks’ ability to get the tree-point shots in this quarter to set them apart thus far in the ball game.
The Utes attempted to match these three’s, however, their inability to get the shots in the basket hurt them. Utah was shooting 14% from the three-point range going 2-14, as the Ducks shot 56% going 5-9. The Utes were failing to utilize their ability to drive to the basket as their shooting began to slump, bringing them down to shooting 38%, while the Ducks maintained their solid 50%.
The Ducks outscored the Utes 20 to 6 in the quarter, which gave them a solid lead going into the half, 35-24.
Utah brought a lot more energy coming into the third, going on a 6-2 run; working to keep the ball on their end of the floor. However, they were diffused by Oregon as Jillian Alleyne fought to keep their lead, collecting six points in the first five minutes of the quarter.
Potter worked extremely hard to bring Utah back up following their problematic first half, scoring nine of the team’s 19-point in the quarter. Katie Kuklok closed it out big with a big three with the final seconds remaining, but their efforts alone weren’t enough as the Ducks kept a lead of six points going into the fourth.
"I really liked how our team settled down and defended much better in the second quarter, and kinda got control of the game," said Oregon coach Kelly Graves. "Second half just a little up and down but we maintained it. That’s a sign of a good basketball team."
Jillian Alleyne took charge in the fourth quarter protecting the basket and getting the ball in. In the first five minutes of the quarter, Alleyne gracefully grabbed four rebounds and nine points, which put her at her 89th career double-double.
"When she goes after a rebound, it’s a beautiful thing to watch," said Graves. "It really is."
Potter and Rodriguez kept fighting for the Utes, but once Lexi Petersen hit a huge three, the game had come to a conclusion. With a quick "money" layup by Alleyne, the crowd began to roar as Oregon dominated in the final minutes of the game. Boclair attempted at one last shot, however, was denied by a huge Alleyne block, and the clock ran down as Oregon took their second win over the Utah Utes in Matthew Knight Arena, 69-58.
"Was a great win for us. A great win; it was hard fought. We knew it would be," said Graves. "I think both us and Utah being tied in the standings really needed this one, so we knew we were going to get their best and I think we did."
When Alleyne was asked about her new record, she couldn’t be more humble as she thanked her team for her success.
"It feels good, it does feel good. I think right now the wins are coming. With the records that’s not a big deal for me; the team wins are more important, and I couldn’t get those records without my teammates," said Alleyne. "Bev Smith is a great player here, and I know that record stood for a long time so, it’s a really good feeling. And credit to my teammates for getting me the ball."
Alleyne closed the night with a double-double of 27 points, 13 rebounds, followed by Bando with 13 points, Cazorla with nine, and Petersen with seven points, five rebounds.
Potter was the leading scorer for Utah with 23 points, seven rebounds, followed by Crozon with a double-double 10 points, 12 rebounds, and Rodriguez with 10 points.