EUGENE, Ore. -- After a five-game losing streak, the Oregon Ducks Women’s Basketball Team dominated 20th ranked Arizona State in an upset 98 – 90 winFriday night in Matt Knight Arena.
It was a night in which all the intricate parts of Head Coach Paul Westhead’s “System” seemed to fall into place. Arizona State seemed incapable of making any adjustments to slow the Ducks down. In the process, Jillian Alleyne racked up her 25th double-double of the season with 29 points and 16 rebounds, making her not only the new owner of the record for double-doubles, previously set by Bev Smith in the 1981-82 season, but Alleyne also has now reached 1000 total points faster than anyone, ever.
The only worrying moment of the evening came when Danielle Love fouled out with several minutes left in the game. But even that did not slow down the Duck momentum. The Ducks had an answer for everything the Sun Devils threw their way.
Coach Westhead played nine players and five of them scored in double digits. Jillian Alleyne finished the game with a team high of 29 points; Ariel Thomas got 22 points, including three 3-pointers; Katelyn Loper ended with 10 points, as did Lexi Petersen; Chrishae Rowe finished with 25.
“I don’t think I have ever been more happy for my team,” said Head Coach Westhead. “You lose games and it’s really tough to hang in. But this win gives them credibility that they can play hard and play this way against a very good team. I’m very happy for them. It could mean a lot for them on Sunday and going forward into the playoffs.”
“I thought Megan Carpenter came in and played well. Megan did a nice job defensively, clogging the middle, and she stopped [Arizona State 6-foot, 5-inch senior] Burke, who was kind of rolling on them. And Laura Stanulis made a couple of nice plays. It’s not so much how many minutes you play, it’s like when you step in, can you do a couple of real good things for your team?”
“This was a great achievement for these women,” Westhead said. “This is a group of young women who work their hearts out and they really haven’t gotten a lot to brag about. So tonight is a nice night for them to enjoy and celebrate.”
Jillian Alleyne said, “The difference between this game and the past six games was the passion that we had. Going into this game we were honestly just tired of losing. Just from the jump we were passionate about it.”
For Team Captain Ariel Thomas the win over Arizona State was especially satisfying. When asked if the win felt good, Thomas smiled and said, “Yeah, it does. Especially because I was recruited by them and then dropped.” More seriously, she said, “To be a senior and to beat a ranked team is worth a pat on the back. I’m definitely proud of myself of my team.”
Alleyne summed it up by giving credit to Coach Westhead’s System, saying, “We ran The System, we played good defense, we go the results we wanted.”
The Ducks play Arizona Sunday at 1 pm in Matt Knight Arena for their final season game.