Rice leads No. 10 UCLA to 82-74 win over No. 17 Oregon

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Chris Pietsch/USA TODAY NETWORK
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EUGENE, Ore. — Freshman Kiki Rice had 21 points and seven assists to lead No. 10 UCLA to an 82-74 victory over 17th-ranked Oregon on Friday night.

UCLA (13-1, 2-0 Pac-12) senior guard Charisma Osborne added 17 points before leaving the game in the fourth quarter due to an injury.

Senior guard Endyia Rogers had 18 points and five assists to lead the Ducks (10-3, 1-1). Freshman Grace VanSlooten and junior guard Te-Hina Paopao each had 17 points.

UCLA led 54-48 after three quarters and pulled away with a 9-0 run to start the fourth quarter.

Rice converted a three-point play to open the quarter before Gabriela Jaquez added a basket. Gina Conti converted back-to-back buckets to put UCLA ahead 63-48. Emily Bessoir made a 3-pointer that pushed the Bruins to a 68-50 lead before Oregon scored 11 points in a row.

Oregon closed within 70-64 on a 3-pointer by Paopao before UCLA’s Camryn Brown made a three-point play with 3:27 left.

Oregon rallied from a 38-32 halftime deficit and took a 43-42 lead on a basket by Phillipina Kyei early in the third quarter. UCLA responded with eight straight points, including four straight by Osborne for a 50-43 advantage. Brown capped off the quarter with a bucket to put UCLA ahead 54-48.

Rice scored 15 points in the opening half and Osborne added 11 as the pair combined to make 4 of 8 3-pointers. Rogers scored 12 to pace the Ducks in the half.

BIG PICTURE:

UCLA: The Bruins are tied for first place in the conference and validated their top-10 ranking with a road win over the Ducks.

UCLA’s only loss was 73-64 at No. 1 South Carolina, and the Bruins also have a 80-63 win over Tennessee, which was ranked No. 11 at the time. The Bruins have a showdown at home looming against No. 2 Stanford in two weeks.

Oregon: All three of Oregon’s losses have come against ranked teams as UCLA joined No. 3 Ohio State and No. 13 North Carolina as teams that have beaten the Ducks. Oregon has a win over No. 24 Arkansas as it looks to build its postseason resume.

UP NEXT:

UCLA: The Bruins visit Oregon State on Sunday.

Oregon: The Ducks host USC on Sunday.

Davis helps UC Irvine shock No. 21 Oregon

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Chris Pietsch/USA TODAY
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EUGENE, Ore. — DJ Davis scored 24 points, hitting six 3-pointers, as UC Irvine stunned No. 21 Oregon 69-56 on Friday night.

Dawson Baker added 11 points for UC Irvine (2-0), which is picked to finish fourth in the Big West Conference this season. The Anteaters made 12-of-28 3-pointers.

“Credit the guys in our locker room, they believed they could come in and compete and it is hard to generate that all the time, but we have a winning tradition,” UC Irvine coach Russell Turner said. “They had some guys out and it is not easy to play us early in the year, I know that. Give them credit for taking this game, it was a big deal for us to get an opportunity to come in here and play. This was a hell of an opportunity for us to play a team of their quality. We don’t take this for granted.”

The Ducks were led by N’Faly Dante with 20 points while Nate Bittle added 10. Oregon shot 32.7% from the field, including 4-for-21 on 3-pointers.

“We got beat in every facet of the game,” Oregon coach Dana Altman said. “Hustle, toughness, a number of our practices resembled that and I was fearful that at some point in time that might come. They were the aggressor from the start.”

It was UC Irvine’s first win over a ranked opponent since beating No. 18 Kansas State 70-64 in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The last time the Anteaters beat a ranked team in the regular season was over No. 20 Stanford in 2003.

“It is meaningful, unquestionably, to beat a program of this quality and players of this quality in an arena where they have such an unbelievable record in nonconference play,” Turner said. “It is special for us and I am grateful.”

Oregon played without transfer guards Brennan Rigsby and Jermaine Couisnard, who are out indefinitely due to injury. It matched the largest margin of defeat in a nonconference home game for the Ducks since a 67-54 loss to Virginia on Dec. 18, 2011.

“A poor mental effort,” Altman said. “We didn’t compete. I wish I had something positive to say, but really disappointed. The guys are disappointed. I’m disappointed. Got punched right from the start.”

UC Irvine built a 35-22 lead at halftime and stretched the margin when Bent Leuchten scored to open the second half and Devin Tillis added a three-point play to push the lead to 40-22.

Dante made a free throw to cut the lead to 42-26 with 18:03 left to play, but the Ducks couldn’t get much closer the rest of the game.

UC Irvine built an early 12-4 lead before Oregon took an 18-17 lead on two free throws by Kel’el Ware with 6:11 left in the first half.

The Anteaters closed out the half with a 18-5 run to take a 35-22 lead at the half.

BIG PICTURE:

UC Irvine: The Anteaters improved to 2-0 with a couple West Coast Conference teams ahead in Loyola Marymount and Pepperdine before hosting Life Pacific. There is not likely another ranked opponent on UC Irvine’s schedule this year.

Oregon: The Ducks opened the season with a win over Florida A&M and looked likely to start 3-0 with wins expected over UC Irvine and Montana State before the schedule gets tougher. Oregon’s nonconference schedule is loaded in the middle with a home game against third-ranked Houston on Sunday followed by a trip to the Phil Knight Invitational where they could face No. 1 North Carolina, No. 16 Villanova, or No. 20 Alabama. After that, Oregon opens Pac-12 play against Washington State and No. 8 UCLA before wrapping up nonconference games against four non-power conference programs.

UP NEXT

UC Irvine: The Anteaters host Loyola Marymount on Tuesday.

Oregon: The Ducks stay home to face Montana State on Tuesday.

No. 8 UCLA picked to win Pac-12 in preseason poll

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No. 8 UCLA has been picked to win the Pac-12.

The Bruins received 26 first-place votes from a 33-person media panel in the poll. No. 17 Arizona, No. 21 Oregon, Southern California and Stanford rounded out the top five. The Wildcats and Ducks each received three first-place votes and the Cardinal one.

UCLA has four of its top seven scorers back from a team that finished runner-up in the Pac-12 and reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last season. The Bruins also added a stellar freshman class, headed by Amari Bailey and Adem Bona, both top-20 recruits.

Arizona won the Pac-12 last season, its first under coach Tommy Lloyd, and also reached the Sweet 16. The Wildcats lost three players to the NBA for the second straight season, but have a strong core returning and added several veterans who should contribute right away.

Oregon is looking to return to the NCAA Tournament after struggling defensively last season. The Ducks added several transfers and 7-foot freshman Kel’el Ware, one of the top recruits in the 2022 recruiting class.

Belmont women knock off Oregon 73-70 in double OT in NCAAs

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Destinee Wells knocked down a pair of free throws with 1:02 left in double overtime, and the Belmont Bruins knocked off No. 5 seed Oregon 73-70 Saturday for their second straight win as a 12 seed to open an NCAA Tournament.

Belmont (23-7) upset 14th-ranked Gonzaga in the Texas bubble last year in the women’s NCAA Tournament. With plenty of Lady Vols’ fans hanging around to cheer a fellow Tennessee school, the Bruins won their 13th straight and 19th in their last 21 games overall.

They will play fourth-seeded Tennessee, an 80-67 winner over Buffalo, on Monday in the second round.

This was the first double-overtime game in the NCAA Tournament since Dayton and St John’s in the first round in 2013. This was a thriller from start to finish with 10 ties and Wells’ go-ahead free throws was the seventh lead change and the only time Belmont led in the second overtime.

After Wells split two free throws with 4.5 seconds left, Oregon had a final chance. But Sedona Prince’s long 3 bounced off the rim as the Bruins rushed the court to hug each other and Prince hung her head in dejection.

Oregon had the ball for much of the final minute in the second overtime and couldn’t get a shot to fall.

The Ducks won a jump ball situation with 29.8 seconds remaining. They kicked the ball out to Endiya Rogers whose 3 hit off the far rim, and Madison Bartley got the rebound with 6.5 seconds left to start the Belmont celebration.

The Bruins led 50-44 lead with 5:02 left in the fourth before Oregon rallied with a 9-3 run capped by Te-Hina Paopao’s 3 from the left corner with 7.9 seconds left tying it up at 53. All Pac-12 forward Nyara Sabally blocked Nikki Baird’s 3-point attempt at the buzzer to force overtime.

Both teams had a chance to win at the end of the first overtime tied at 64. Sabally missed a layup in the final seconds before the All-Pac-12 forward blocked a couple inside chances by Bartley before the buzzer.

Tuti Jones led Belmont with 22 points, making all four of her 3-pointers. Wells finished with 16, and Conley Chinn added 10. The Bruins came in 20th in the nation knocking down an average of 8.4 3s per game. This time, they set a program record making 12.

Oregon (20-12) snapped a streak of five straight wins in the first round of the tournament under coach Kelly Graves. The Duck also snapped a streak of four straight Sweet 16 berths after being one of only six teams to make the regional semifinals each of the last four tournaments.

Sabally finished with a career-high 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Te-hina Paopao added 18.

Belmont set the tone early taking a 9-2 lead with three 3s and led 13-8 after the first quarter. Oregon led 28-26 at halftime and 40-36 after the third.

BIG PICTURE

Belmont: The Bruins came into the tournament with a NET ranking of 50 and had the sixth-most difficult non-conference schedule in the country. They beat Mississippi early in the season and and also played Georgia Tech, Louisville, Auburn and Arkansas.

Oregon: The Ducks had been very strong in the fourth quarter this season, outscoring teams by an average of 19 to 14.5 points a game.

Oregon’s Richardson to miss Pac-12 tournament with illness

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EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon will be without guard Will Richardson for the upcoming Pac-12 tournament because of an illness.

Richardson is averaging 14.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists a game. He will not travel with the team to Las Vegas for the tournament, Oregon announced Tuesday.

A senior, Richardson did not play in the team’s regular-season finale at Washington State on Saturday because of the illness. The Ducks lost 94-74.

Fifth-seeded Oregon plays No. 12 seed Oregon State to open the league tournament Wednesday.

No. 2 Stanford women rally to beat Oregon 66-62

Chris Pietsch/The Register-Guard / USA TODAY NETWORK
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EUGENE, Ore.- Stanford snapped out of its funk against the Ducks just in time to stay unbeaten in the Pac-12.

Haley Jones scored 18 points and the second-ranked Cardinal rallied in the fourth quarter to remain undefeated in the conference with a 66-62 victory Sunday over Oregon.

Jones made a layup while falling to the ground and added a free throw with 36.4 seconds left to put the Cardinal up 63-60. Stanford (23-3, 14-0) hung on for its 15th straight win.

“We knew that we weren’t playing our best basketball, but we were able to snap out of it, focus on one another and stay tight,” said Jones, who had 10 of her points in the final quarter.

Te-Hina Paopao had 23 points, including four 3-pointers, for Oregon (18-9, 10-5).

Stanford extended its winning streak over Pac-12 opponents to 29 straight games, including the postseason. The defending national champions have won four straight against Oregon.

The Cardinal had clinched the team’s 25th overall Pac-12 regular season title on Friday with an 87-63 victory at Oregon State.

The Ducks led by as many as 10 points in the first half and went into the break up 36-31. Stanford closed within a point heading into the fourth quarter, but three consecutive 3-pointers, one from Sydney Parrish and a pair from Paopao, pushed Oregon to a 56-46 lead with 8:08 remaining.

Jones made a pair of layups to pull Stanford within 60-58 before Cameron Brink’s basket tied the game at 60 with 2:15 to go.

Jones’ falling-down layup and free throw put the Cardinal up 63-60, but Nyara Sabally made a pair of free throws to pull Oregon within a point. But the Ducks ultimately fell short.

“We didn’t give up. I’m really proud of our team’s resilience, our determination,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “We just stayed with it.”

Oregon was assessed a technical foul before the opening tip because of the LED lighting on one of the basket stands working improperly.

The Ducks jumped out to a 14-10 lead after the first quarter in a game that was physical from the start. Oregon was hurt by six turnovers in the period, but held the Cardinal to 2-of-17 shooting from the floor.

The Ducks extended the lead to 23-13 on Paopao’s 3-pointer. An 11-4 run got the Cardinal within 34-31, but Paopao closed out the half with another 3.

Sedona Prince’s layup pushed Oregon’s lead to 43-35 in the third quarter and Stanford struggled to close the gap until Agnes Emma-Nnopu’s corner 3-pointer got the Cardinal within 47-46 going into the final period.

“Tonight’s game was fun. The energy was insane. Stanford is a great team, they have a lot of talent, they play really well together,” Prince said. “And we’re learning, we’re still young. We’re going to keep working.”

BIG PICTURE

Stanford: Stanford has won 12 straight road games. … Russell Wilson, the older brother of Stanford’s Anna Wilson, and his wife Ciara were at the game. Afterward, they chatted with VanDerveer outside Stanford’s lockerroom.

Oregon: Prince announced on social media on Saturday that she would return to Oregon for another season next year. She’ll also pursue her master’s degree. … On senior day for the Ducks, junior Sabally was honored, so she won’t be back for her final season with the Ducks.

ROUGH NIGHT

Kelly Graves was in Spokane, Washington, on Saturday night to watch his son start for No. 1 Gonzaga. Unable to get a flight that would get him back to Eugene for pregame, he made the seven-hour drive.

He joked on Twitter: “If you have my number, feel free to call me w/jokes, interesting anecdotes, etc any time throughout the night. Gotta stay awake!”

Graves broke down after the game, praising his staff for preparing the team and allowing him “to be a dad.”

UP NEXT

Stanford: Hosts Washington State on Thursday.

Oregon: Visits Colorado on Wednesday.