Oregon women power past Arizona, 90-78 in season finale

Oregon women power past Arizona, 90-78 in season finale
Oregon Ducks Women's Basketball Seniors line up with with thier loved ones to commemorate senior night ahead of the game against the Arizona Wild Cats. Kyle Mickelson, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Women Ducks ended their regular season with an impressive win over the Arizona Wildcats, 90 – 78.  Both Ariel Thomas and Katelyn Loper ran up their 1000th career point, and Thomas was chosen MVP in the game on Senior Day, the last game at Matt Knight Arena for four of the women: Danielle Love; Chynna Miley; Laura Stanulis; and Ariel Thomas. 

With the exception of a couple of minutes in the first period, the Ducks held the lead throughout the game, scoring 46 to 42 in the first period and 44 to 36 in the second.

The Ducks shot 48.4 percent in the game, compared to the Wildcats 42.5 percent. Head Coach Paul Westhead played 11 of his players, while the Arizona only put in seven. Five of the Ducks managed double digits: Danielle Love 11; Jillian Alleyne 18; 

Ariel Thomas 17; Katelyn Loper 11; and Chrishae Rowe 15. 

Jillian Alleyne added to her record with her 25th double-double, 18 points and 16 rebounds. Both Danielle Love and Ariel Thomas shot three 3-pointers, while Katelyn Loper and Chrishae Rowe got two, and Lexi Petersen also got a 3-pointer.

It was a solid performance and gave the Ducks a 15-14 regular season record. Perhaps more importantly, the two straight wins this weekend put the Ducks in a positive position going into the Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle later this week.

For obvious reasons, Head Coach Paul Westhead was pleased with his team’s performance.  “I told the team it’s all survival. You gotta learn how to survive. Sometimes you play a great team and you have to survive that. They did that Friday night. And sometimes you have to survive yourselves. And they did. I’m happy for them.”

Team Captain Ariel Thomas admitted the game had special meaning to her. “It means the world. Especially because in the four years of me being here I don’t think we have ever won on senior night. So I’m happy they sent me out with a win, and it definitely was a good feeling. I tried not to cry. But I’ll probably be teary-eyed later. I’m glad you guys won’t be there.”

“We’ve had a lot of ups and downs this season,” Thomas said, “and a lot of adversity. So for us to make some kind of post season is definitely a blessing and an opportunity.”

“This win just tops it all off,” Thomas said, “at the end of the day it’s about winning, and to be able to share that with my teammates is amazing.”