Ducks flat againt Bruins: 'We need to pull everyone together'

Ducks flat againt Bruins: 'We need to pull everyone together'
Oregon Ducks head coach Paul Westhead addresses the referee after a questionable decision during the second half of Oregon Women's Basketball 83-103 loss against the UCLA Bruins. Max Laenge, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. - If you’re a glass half full kind of person, then the Oregon Ducks Women’s Basketball Team had a memorable game against the UCLA Bruins on Monday.

Danielle Love ran up 19 points, with nine rebounds.

Ariel Thomas finished the game with a team high 28 points, including five three-pointers.

And Jillian Alleyne ended the game with 12 rebounds, which gave her a total of 388 rebounds for the season, a new single-season record, which broke Bev Smith’s record that stood for 33 years.

On the other hand, if you are the kind of person who thinks the empty portion of the glass is important, well …

The Ducks fell to the Bruins 103-83 in a game in which the Ducks never had the lead and only managed to get within nine points of their opponent during their third straight loss.

The Bruins now stand at 6-7 for the conference, and the Ducks stand at 4-9.

Oregon Ducks Head Coach Paul Westhead seemed resigned to his streak of bad luck.

“They shot it so well,” Westhead said, “especially fields. And then we couldn’t make a basket. Then we started playing pretty well. But give anybody 20, you’re going to have a hard time getting back. Turnovers really hurt us tonight. A couple of times we were making a decent comeback and then we’d kick the ball away three or four times. It was a bad time for that to come out.”

Westhead also gave credit to the Bruins. “On the other end, [Atonye] Nyingifa and Nirra Fields were a pretty good inside-outside punch.” 

Nyingifa scored 34 points and Fields ran up 26. “They’re pretty good players.”

Oregon Ducks team captain Ariel Thomas blamed the loss on the same problem responsible for the last two losses – lack of effort.

“It was a lack of effort carried over from the USC game,” Thomas said. “We were really flat. Granted they were shooting, I think, 74 percent in the first half, but still, I think effort can stop, or at least change their shots. Make them think twice about shooting open threes.”

Thomas went on to say, “We have to play hard. That’s the number one goal. Until we can come together as a team… It’s not just me. As team captain I understand I have that roll, but it’s a team effort at the end of the day.”

The effort can’t be taught and has to come from within, according to Jillian Alleyne. “As a team we have great leaders. We just have to work on everybody jumping on board. We need to pull everyone together. We have to do this together. It can’t just be one person. It can’t just be Ariel always like, ‘Let’s go. Let’s go.’ We need everybody to be into it.”

“And if we get that,” Alleyne said, “we’ll finish out strong with the last four games that we have in Pac 12 play.”

The next two games for the Ducks are on the road, facing Washington Friday, Feb. 21, and Washington State on Sunday, Feb. 23. 

The Ducks return to Matt Knight Arena Friday, Feb. 28, to play Arizona State. Tip off for the Arizona game is 7 p.m.