Ducks Roll in Exhibition Opener

EUGENE – Oregon played lock-down defense from start to finish while getting contributions all throughout the lineup offensively in a 93-26 exhibition win over Saint Martin’s before a crowd of 7,475 Thursday.

“I think they really enjoyed (playing in front of fans), said head coach Kelly Graves. “I think that makes you feel really good knowing that people support, they follow your team and they’re behind you. I thought it was a good crowd for an exhibition game and it was really neat to see.”

In the first women’s basketball in front of fans at Matthew Knight Arena in 606 days, the Ducks welcomed back four members of its 2019-20 Pac-12 title winning team in Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard, Satou Sabally and Minyon Moore.

Oregon put the clamps down defensively from the start, holding Saint Martin’s scoreless in the opening quarter to jump out to a 24-0 lead. The Ducks forced eight turnovers while holding the Saints to 0-for-11 shooting from the field while going 8-of-17 offensively to jump out to the big lead.

It was more of the same in the second period, as Oregon came away with eight steals in the quarter despite Saint Martin’s finally getting on the board with 5:20 to go in the half. Te-Hina Paopao kept her strong offensive first half going, scoring eight points in the second to hit halftime with 20 points on 8-of-10 shooting.

The Ducks continued to roll in the second half led by more balanced offense and suffocating defense. Endyia Rogers poured in 13 points after halftime while Chanaya Pinto delivered some energy off the bench, scoring seven points in the fourth quarter while ending the game with six rebounds.

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Paopao led the way with 22 points – 20 of which came in the first half – on 9-of-12 shooting from the field and 4-for-5 from downtown. Rogers added to the backcourt success with 17 points and six assists while Maddie Scherr added eight points and a team-high seven assists.

“I thought our starting backcourt was strong tonight,” said Graves. “I thought all three of those guys had really solid games. We haven’t played them much in practice together… so I thought they looked pretty good together.”

The Ducks came away with 18 steals, led by Nyara Sabally’s five while Rogers, Ahlise Hurst and Sydney Parrish had three apiece.

The Ducks have one more exhibition vs. Westmont on Nov. 6 in Matthew Knight Arena before opening the regular season on Nov. 9. Tip time for the Westmont exhibition is still TBD based on the start of the Oregon football game at Washington that day.