EUGENE, Ore. – Freshmen Chrishae Rowe had 28 points and seven rebounds, but that wasn’t enough to propel the Oregon Women’s Basketball team to a win on Friday night. The Oregon Ducks lost 88-78 to the USC Trojans at Matthew Knight Arena.
With 18:44 left in the first quarter, the lights shut off in the arena, forcing the game to be halted for approximately 20 minutes. But, despite these uncontrollable circumstances, head coach Paul Westhead said it did not affect the team’s performance on the court.
“I don’t think it affected us because it was so early in the game,” Westhead said. “I’ve been in games where these things happen 15 minutes in, and you have to wait around for a while. With this, it was early in the game, so it didn’t bother us.”
The team struggled with turnovers, allowing 21 through the course of the game. Rowe said that this is a result of their defensive breakdown that occurs in the last four minutes of the game.
“I don’t think the problem is anything that we can call a timeout and fix. Everyone on the court knows what the problem is,” Rowe said. “We break down on the defensive end within the last four minutes of the game. Fixing this is nothing coach Westhead can do. Either we’re going to wake up and fix it, or it’s going to be a tough ending to the season.”
The team wore white uniforms with pink borders and pink shoes to raise money for The Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The Kay Yow Cancer Fund was established in honor of Kay Kow, who is a former head coach at North Carolina State University, located in Raleigh, N.C.
Kow passed away on Jan 24, 2009 as a result of breast cancer, and was a professional colleague of Westhead, who had coached against her on many occasions prior to her death.
“I knew Kay in the last year or two before she passed away. I knew she was a hard-working, tough-minded coach,” Westhead said. “She always had a lot of respect from her peers. And now, a lot of teams want to pay tribute to her memorial. We wanted to do that with out uniforms.”
In addition to Rowe’s 28 points, Jillian Alleyne had 19 points and 24 rebounds, giving her another double-double for the night, and team captain Ariel Thomas had 15 points and four rebounds.
The Ducks will host the UCLA Bruins on Monday afternoon at 4 p.m.