Arizona Women's Basketball

No. 8 Arizona dominates No. 19 Oregon to avenge OT loss last month

Arizona’s starting five of Lauren Ware, Bendu Yeaney, Sam Thomas, Shaina Pellington and Cate Reese (Andy Morales/


No. 8 Arizona played well enough Friday night that the boos from McKale Center’s crowd directed to No. 19 Oregon and its coach Kelly Graves were overcome by the cheers.

The Wildcats trailed for only 1 minute and 14 seconds early in the game and were in control throughout in the 63-48 victory over the rival Ducks, avenging the controversial overtime loss three weeks ago at Eugene, Ore.

Adia Barnes was reprimanded for complaining about the officiating, and she and Graves allegedly got in a spat afterward of that game.

It was apparent the coaches wanted to smooth things over before Friday’s game with both of them embracing before and after speaking to each other.

Nothing out of the norm occured with the Zona Zoo and McKale’s crowd, and part of that had to do with an increased presence of University of Arizona police close to Oregon’s bench and the tunnel that led to the Ducks’ locker room.

The only realy noise centered around the cheering for how Arizona (16-3, 6-3 Pac-12) played from start to finish.

The crowd of 10,413 was the largest for a regular-season game and second-largest in program history (the 14,644 that attended the WNIT championship game against Northwestern on April 6, 2009, is the largest).

The attendance also increased Arizona’s average to 7,457 this season, close behind Oregon’s mark of 7,609 that leads the conference.

Cate Reese led Arizona with 13 points against Oregon (Andy Morales/

Cate Reese led a balanced scoring effort with 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. She was the only double-figure scorer.

Nine of Arizona’s players scored at least four points.

The story of the game was Arizona’s defense forcing Oregon (14-6, 7-2) into 21 turnovers while shooting only 36.4 percent from the field (season-low 2 of 15 from 3-point range).

The Ducks had only six assists while Shaina Pellington and Helena Pueyo combined for eight with four apiece and only one turnover for Arizona.

Oregon may have suffered some from jet lag after arriving in Tucson in the afternoon after its charter flight out of Eugene was canceled on Thursday.

“I’m sure it was an impact — but it wasn’t 20 points worth of an impact,” Graves said of the potential jetlag. “They just played better than us, and I give them credit.”

Oregon’s standouts in its win in Eugene — Sedona Prince and Te-Hina Paopao — were held to seven points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field. They had 40 points on 14-of-24 shooting from the field in the win at Oregon.

Arizona held the lead for most of the first half in Friday’s game, including going ahead 26:18 with 3:26 left before halftime after an 8-0 run.

The Wildcats managed to build that lead despite Reese and Bendu Yeaney on the bench with two fouls.

Reese had a team-high nine points in the first half while Yeaney was instrumental as a defensive presence that helped force Oregon into 12 turnovers by halftime.

Lauren Ware’s 3-pointer with 1:46 left in the half, her fourth of the season, gave Arizona a 29-21 lead. Ware was Arizona’s second-leading scorer with nine points.

Arizona took a 30-24 lead into halftime behind the production of Reese, Ware and Pellington (Ware and Pellington each had seven points in the first half).

The Wildcats had 14 points off Oregon’s 12 turnovers in the half. They finished with 22 points off the Ducks’ turnovers and also dominated in the paint with a 34-18 scoring margin.

Oregon’s post player Nyara Sabally finished with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting, but she had only four points in the second half in between going to the locker room twice wincing in pain while grabbing her stomach. Graves said after the game Sabally may be “under the weather” and should be able to play Sunday at ASU.

Endyia Rogers, who was a target of Barnes when she transferred from USC, had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks.

Pellington was honored before the game with a commemorative ball signifying her 1,000 career points with Oklahoma and Arizona.

Sam Thomas, who was 17-of-24 from 3-point range in Arizona’s five previous games, made 1 of 4 from beyond the arc and had five points. She was a catalyst in Arizona’s half-court trapping defense with four steals.

The Wildcats host Oregon State on Sunday at noon. The Beavers (11-6, 4-3) are coming off a 67-57 loss at ASU on Thursday.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top