Oregon women defeat Utes 93-71 despite rescheduled game

Oregon women defeat Utes 93-71 despite rescheduled game
Oregon Ducks head coach Paul Westhead instructs his players on the sidelines. Max Laenge, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. — Without two starters, and after their game was rescheduled from Friday night to Saturday afternoon because of inclement weather conditions, the Oregon Women Basketball team defeated the Utah Utes 93-71.

Chrishae Rowe (#21) dominated the Ducks offense, scoring 38 points. Oregon Ducks head coach Paul Westhead was very pleased with Rowe’s performance on the court.

“Chrishae is a very, very, skilled and clever player who will get better,” Westhead said. “She caught it and she shot it. There was no fluff or mess around in her offense. And she’ll become more and more efficient as we go.”

In addition to Rowe’s offense statistics, Jillian Alleyne (#14) aided the Ducks in their win with a double-double, scoring 18 points and securing 17 rebounds. Alleyne recently tied the Oregon field goal percentage record when she went 11-for-11 during the Oregon Women Basketball’s game at Arizona on Jan. 31. 

Alleyne noticed a larger than normal amount of physical play from the Utah players, but said that it didn’t phase her.

“I realize that a lot of teams are going to start doing that,” Alleyne said. “But, I have three options. One, I can kick it out to my teammates, two is that I can go up strong, or three is that I can get fouled.”

The Ducks went into the second half 36-36, which put Westhead on edge as to what the second half would look like.

“There was a tie at the half, and I was concerned about what we were going to do,” Westhead said.  “I made a decision to get the highly energized Drea Toler out there, and she did exactly what we wanted her to do. She ran the ball.”

In addition the Ducks were without two of their key starters, Danielle Love (#2) and Katelyn Loper (#31), who did not dress out because of medical reasons. But, he said that he’s developed his team to have multiple people who can fill each position.

“Since the beginning, we’ve really had six starters,” Westhead said. “Lexi has always been a starter for us since day one.”

Westhead was wary about the status of the game because he said that up until a few hours prior, the only confirmed staff member they had who could attend the game was their scorekeeper. 

The rescheduled game forced Westhead to modify their training schedule for the coming week. The team will practice on Sunday to prepare for their game on Monday against Colorado. After that, they will take Tuesday off, and prepare for the following game on Friday against USC. 

Alleyne said that although they had to reschedule practices next week, the team would not let that change their performance on the court.

“We’re going to come into practice tomorrow to try and get that win [on Monday],” Alleyne said. “We’re going to come into practice and play basketball, Oregon basketball that is.”