The #18 Oregon Ducks were tested today in their first real competition of the season, against the #10 North Carolina Tar Heels. Did the Ducks pass the test? Yes. Did they fail the test? Also, yes.
In all four quarters, Oregon would pull out to sizeable leads, leaving fans to think “Wow, this team might be really special!” And then each time, the Tar Heels would close and make it a tighter game. Thing is, they surpassed the Ducks in the 3rd and 4th quarters and ultimately took the game, 85-79.
It’s only November. We very well may be on the cusp of a special season, but this is a young team with a lot of maturing to do. That Oregon could go up with double-digit leads multiple times on the #10 ranked team is heartening. It speaks to the talent of the younger players on which Oregon will rely this season.
The Ducks started the first period on a 7-0 run, but UNC did not flinch and took the lead, 7-8. Oregon regained the lead and held it to the end of the first period, up 23-20.
After trading baskets in the early 2nd period, Oregon went on a 10-2 run to go up by 11 on UNC.
After Oregon went up by 12, 39-27, UNC kicked in a different gear and ended the half on a 17-5 run and close the halftime score at 44-39.
The Ducks opened the second half well, and again advanced with an 11-point lead off the steal by Te-Hina Paopao, who passed it to Grace VanSlooten for the heads-up layup:
North Carolina would come back with an 8-0 run and cut Oregon’s lead to three:
The Tar Heels ended the third period with a 9-5 run that gave them the lead going into the 4th, 55-56.
Oregon came out strong in the fourth, and pushed ahead with an eight-point lead in the early going.
Halfway into the period, UNC muscled their way to the lead, 71-69, and kept the lead for the remainder of the game.
Oregon gave it their all, but had no answers against UNC, bringing us to our final score, 85-79.
The Ducks shot well enough from the field at 50.8%. Oregon was undone by poor shooting at the FT line, and only shot 6-14 for 42.9%. The Ducks also faltered on turnovers, committing 18 to North Carolina’s 8. UNC scored 17 points off those turnovers to Oregon’s four off of turnovers. The Ducks also did not rebound off the offensive glass as well as UNC.
Te-Hina Paopao lead all Duck scorers with 18, followed by Grace VanSlooten with 17, Jennah Isai with 15, and Endiya Rogers with 10. VanSlooten’s 11 rebounds gives her the first double-double of her young career. Phillipina Kyei also took in 11 rebounds.