Trojans Storm Ducks Friday

EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon fell behind No. 10 USC early and was never able to recover Friday night, as the Trojans handed the Ducks an 88-51 defeat at Matthew Knight Arena in the program’s annual Pink Game. 

Center Phillipina Kyei recorded her league-leading 17th double-double of the season with 10 points and 18 rebounds to go along with three assists. Chance Gray added a dozen points and Grace VanSlooten finished with 11 points, four rebounds and four assists to round out three Ducks in double figures.

“(It was) a little of everything,” UO head coach Kelly Graves said after the game. “I thought we were on our heels a little bit offensively early and didn’t get the looks I thought we needed early in the game. 

“They’re a good team. We have to play pretty close to our best, our maximum, to win these games. We’re certainly capable of that, that just wasn’t the case tonight. Once they got rolling it was hard to stop.”

Kyei scored the game’s first basket in the opening seconds, only to see USC then score the next 19 points on its way to a 29-7 lead after the first quarter. The Trojans continued their onslaught in the second quarter, building a 36-point halftime lead.

The Ducks put together their best quarter out of halftime, outscoring USC 21-13 in the third. In the frame, UO shot 47 percent while limiting the Trojans to 23 percent. Kyei hauled in nine rebounds and scored five points in the quarter.

“I’m proud of our effort in the second half, I thought we played harder,” added Graves. “I thought offensively there was a little bit more flow, we got a lot more aggressive.”

USC got a game-high 33 points from freshman phenom JuJu Watkins, including 24 in the first half. Watkins went 12-of-25 from the floor and gathered eight rebounds, four steals and three assists.

How It Happened: After Oregon scored the game’s first two points on a Kyei layup, USC scored the next 15 points to prompt a UO timeout with just under six minutes to play in the quarter. The run extended to 19 unanswered before VanSlooten knocked down a runner. The Trojans ended the first frame with a 29-7 lead.

USC hit on 4-of-8 3-point tries in the opening 10 minutes and shot 50 percent from the floor overall, compared to the Ducks’ 4-for-24 effort from the field. Watkins led the way with 14 points in the quarter.

The Trojans extended their lead to 36 at the half, getting 10 more points from Watkins in outscoring UO 28-14 in the second quarter. Gray scored all six of her first-half points in the quarter, as Oregon shot 47 percent from the floor.

Ula Chamberlin had five points, including her team’s lone 3-point basket, and Kyei had four points to go with six rebounds in the half. VanSlooten ended the half with four points, three rebounds and three assists. USC had a 27-18 rebounding edge and converted six Oregon turnovers into 14 points.

The Ducks put together a 10-0 run early in the third quarter, with Kennedy Basham scoring on back-to-back trips down the floor to trim the deficit to 27. Oregon outscored USC in the third 21-13 but trailed 70-42 through 30 minutes.

Notable: Kyei registered her Pac-12-leading 17th double-double of the season and has scored at least 10 points in 12 straight games (career long) … One more double-double and Kyei will move into a seventh-place tie in UO’s single-season list … The game marked the Ducks’ sixth straight against a top-25 team (0-10 against ranked teams this season) … Gray’s career-long stretch of 17 straight games with a 3-pointer came to an end … UO went 1-for-10 from deep and is a combined 2-for-18 over the last two games (11.1 percent) … USC’s 37-point margin of victory marked its largest in the series’ history.

Up Next: The Ducks host No. 9 UCLA Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena (2 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Network).