Cal closes door on Oregon's WNIT hopes
EUGENE, Ore. - Although Jillian Alleyne posted her 67th career double-double with 33 points and 16 rebounds, the Oregon women's basketball team, which was playing without one of its starters, didn't have enough offense to beat No. 24 California.
The Ducks lost their fourth straight game, this one Thursday night at Matthew Knight Arena to the Golden Bears, 74-59.
The loss closed the door on a potential post-season WNIT appearance. In order to compete in the tournament, the Ducks would have had to win the two final games of their regular season and reach the semifinals of the Pac-12 tournament.
The Golden Bears had four starters in double figures; the Ducks had only Alleyne and Jordan Loera, who scored 10. The Ducks also committed 19 turnovers and were unable to slow down Cal's Brittany Boyd and Reshanda Gray, who are projected as top-seven picks in the upcoming WNBA draft.
"We are who we are at this point," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. "We've got a lot of holeswe're trying to plug them the best we can. If we go big, then we're slow. If we go small, then we're small. We're just trying to be the best we can with what we have."
The Ducks (12-16, 5-12 Pac-12) took on the Golden Bears (21-7, 13-4) without starting guard Lexi Bando, who was out with a shoulder injury sustained in practice. Bando has the third best three-point percentage in the Pac-12 (43.3).
Oregon led for more than six minutes early but ended the first half behind, 38-24. Without Bando, the Ducks were 1-of- 8 from behind the three-point line and allowed 10 turnovers in the first half.
The Ducks chipped the deficit down to nine points early in the second half. They were down only 50-41 after Loera's three-pointer with 14:41 to play, but Cal went on a 17-0 run over the next six minutes to take a 26-point lead, 67-41, with 8:51 to play. Cal led by double digits for the rest of the game.
The Bears shot 50.8 percent overall, including 44 percent on three-pointers. Oregon shot 22 of 57 from the field, and 3 of 14 from behind the three-point line.
"We all know we can score, we all know we can shoot," Loera said. "It's just playing for that other person."
Alleyne carried Oregon, shooting 11 of 18 from the field and 11 of 12 from the free-throw line.
"Boy, Jill was phenomenal tonight," Graves said. "She's getting so much better. I'm really proud of her effort tonight."
The Ducks will end the regular season at home on 1 p.m. Sunday against No. 19 Stanford (21-8, 13-4), which beat Oregon State on Thursday night.
"The thing about Stanford is they are just so consistent; they play the same every time," said Graves. "They don't beat themselves; you have to beat them."