EUGENE, Ore. -- It’s a good place to be for a basketball team when their fans are sad that they only scored 96 points.
Coming off a six game streak of scoring over 100 points, the Oregon Women’s Basketball team defeated the Cal State Northridge Matadors 96-61 on Sunday night at Matthew Knight Arena.
Going into the game, the Ducks lead the nation in scoring with 106.2 points per game. The victory over the Matadors is the seventh straight win for the Ducks, bringing their overall record to 9 – 2.
Head coach Paul Westhead played all 15 players on the bench, the second time he’s done so this season, with Jillian Alleyne hitting her ninth double-double of the season with 2:32 left in the second half, scoring 22 points and securing 18 rebounds.
“I just get the rebound. I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s just something that I do,” Alleyne said.
Westhead said that while he felt the team played a successful game, he said the inability to score over 100 points could be attributed to one main factor.
“The reason we didn’t break 100 was because we had 23 turnovers. If you don’t turn the ball over, you can have 140 points,” Westhead said. “If you turn it [the ball] over, you’re lucky if you get 70. If you miss three-pointers, somebody like Jill can get offensive rebounds, but if you turn the ball over, you can’t recover from that.”
He also attributed the lack of points to being a bit rusty. The team has had a break since they last defeated Cal Poly 124-87 on December 20.
“I thought be played reasonably well. My assistants forewarned me that we haven’t played since the 20th of December,” Westhead said. “They said that we’re going to be a little rusty and it’s going to be a little ragged. I think that attributed to some of our defensive breakdown. We weren’t as sharp as we have been.”
Alleyne agreed with Westhead, and said that while their team chemistry is at an all time high, they need to improve on their defense if they’re going to do well during the season.
“Our defense can be a little bit better, but everything else is good. I think we should work more on our defense and our traps,” Alleyne said.
In addition to Alleyne’s 22 points, Chrishae Rowe was the leading scorer with 28, Katelyn Loper had 17, and team captain Ariel Thomas had 11 points.
As the tempo increased during the second half, so did the roughhousing on the court. Lexi Petersen, who was 2-for-4 with four points, fouled out with just under five minutes left in play.
The Ducks will resume practice on December 31 in preparation for their season opener against the Stanford Cardinals on January 3 in Palo Alto, Calif. Coming off a successful preseason, Westhead says he’s going to continue to find ways to increase tempo so they’ll have the edge against the other teams in the Pac-12.
“I don’t ever put a lot of stock in the opponent. My emphasis will always be on our break and how we can find faster outlets,” Westhead said. “Stanford is the best team in our conference. But, what we’re doing is more important than who they are. We won’t make a bunch of adjustments.”