Ducks non-stop drive tops Cal Poly 124-87: 'Another Halley’s Comet'

Ducks non-stop drive tops Cal Poly 124-87: 'Another Halley’s Comet'
Oregon Ducks Drea Toler (#1) puts her shoulder into Cal Poly Mustangs Paige Brown (#20) as she drives to the basket. Dan Morrison, Oregon News Lab

EUGENE, Ore. -- The Ducks beat Cal Poly decisively Friday night at Matt Knight Arena, 124 – 87. The victory over Cal Poly is the sixth straight win for the Ducks and the fifth straight game in which the Ducks have scored more than 100 points, and put the women at 8 – 2 for the season.

The Ducks came into the game leading the nation in scoring, at 104.2 points per game. With the win over the Mustangs the Ducks move their average up to 106.4 points per game.

Head Coach Paul Westhead played 13 players and they all scored. Chrishae Rowe led the team with 27 points, Lexi Petersen came in with 25, Jillian Alleyne got 19, Ariel Thomas scored 16 and Danielle Love added 13.  Alleyne also pulled down 16 rebounds. Lexi Petersen and Ariel Thomas were perfect at the free throw line, 7-7 and 4-4 respectively. Rowe was 5-9 at three-pointers and Petersen was 4-6.

As always, Head Coach Paul Westhead was low key in his postgame remarks. “Well,” Westhead said, “I’m kind of pleased with their 40-minute effort. I keep telling you I don’t look at scoring stats but I am impressed that we still have five people in double figures. I’m happy for them.”

Lexi Petersen had her best game of the season. “I’m starting to feel comfortable,” Petersen said. “I’m starting to trust my knee.”

Ariel Thomas said it was great to have Petersen back at full speed. “As you know, Lexi P is very fast,” Thomas said. “She was made for this system. She’s always working hard. You don’t question her work ethic. I’m just happy to see her out there, running around, and running around opponents.”

Westhead said his team is beginning to “crack” teams. “This system that we are trying to put in, that ultimately is what happens. You get into it so well, you believe in it so much, you run it so hard, on every possession, that it’s almost humanly impossible for the other team to keep up.”

“We’re only a couple of weeks away from playing some competition,” Westhead said. “We’d better crack them. If we play them straight up, we’re in trouble. This system is going to try to pull down stronger teams.”

Ariel Thomas, the floor general for the team, explained how the team pushes to the limit even when up by 20 or 30 points. She tells her teammates, “Gas pedal. Push it to the metal. There’s never time to settle. You have to keep going, keep going, no matter what the score it, it’s not good enough. You gotta keep going.” 

Westhead said his players can’t let up. Ever. According to Westhead, if his players let up even for a minute, it allows the other team’s players to catch their breath.

“You might say doesn’t sound realistic. Well, this system is not realistic. It is otherworldly,”  Westhead said.

A team with the ability to sprint non-stop for 40 minutes doesn’t come around often, perhaps as often as Halley Comet, once every 75 years, according to Westhead. But the coach thinks this year’s team may be it. “This may be another Halley’s Comet.”

The Ducks next game is against Cal State Northridge, Sunday December 29, at 4 pm in Matt Knight Arena.