EUGENE, ore. -- University of Oregon Ducks’ guard Ariel Thomas walked slowly to the court sideline, clenching her teeth together in disappointment, as the fans at Matthew Knight Arena cheered for her.
Thomas took a seat next to a few of her other teammates, and watched the rest of her team’s game against the Utah Utes on the bench. Thomas had fouled out, with two minutes left on the game clock.
The University of Oregon Women’s Basketball team played their last game of the regular season today, losing to the Utah Utes, 70-52.
Ducks’ guard Thomas said, “It’s not like we just gave up this whole season. We’ve been playing this whole season.”
To start the match-up, Utes’ forward Michelle Plouffe released the ball for a jumper, giving her team the upper hand.
By 18:28 in the first half, Ducks’ guard Thomas answered Plouffe’s jumper with a layup to tie the game.
The Utes soon began to pull away, early in the first, with three back-to-back three pointers. By halftime, the Utes led the Ducks, 41-25.
Ducks’ head coach Paul Westhead said, “I’ve said in the past, I thought we had a better than average zone defense, so we should have been able to cover [them] a little bit better. Sometimes, when you’re snake-pit, you’re snake-pit.”
To start the second half, the Utes continued their lead with two layups and another three pointer. Ducks’ forward Jillian Alleyne answered the Utes’ 7 points with a tip-in, putting the score at 48-27.
With 2:31 left in the game, Utes’ forward Plouffe hit a three pointer to put the score at 68-48.
Ducks’ center Megan Carpenter and guard Devyn Galland scored the last 4 points for the Ducks.
The Ducks were outrebounded by the Utes, 36-23, putting a huge damper on the Ducks’ scoring for the game.
“It just didn’t happen,” said Ducks’ head coach Westhead, on the lack of rebounding. “It shouldn’t be that bad. We should be a better [and] need to be a better rebounding team than having that spread.”
The game ended in a win for the Utes, 70-52.
Ducks’ head coach Westhead said, “Some credit goes to Utah. They shot the ball pretty well.”
Ducks’ forward Alleyne racked up 13 points and 8 rebounds. Ducks’ guard Thomas had 12 points and 4 rebounds before fouling out.
“I thought our young freshman, Jillian Alleyne, came out and was active, alert, kind of aggressive on the offensive end,” said Ducks’ head coach Westhead. “I thought she was very promising in her handling of the game.”
The Ducks travel to Seattle, for the PAC-12 Conference Tournament, to face #5 Washington in the coming week.
On the game, Ducks’ forward Alleyne said, “We just need to use the tournament to show what we can do next year.”
“Our players will show up to play their very best,” added Ducks’ head coach Westhead. “We’ll be ready to go on Thursday.”
The Ducks play the Huskies on Thursday in Seattle at 8:30 p.m.