Oregon rallies to beat USC: 'This is our house'

EUGENE, Ore. - For the second game in a row, the Ducks rallied late in the game to win, defeating the USC Trojans 63-57 Monday night in Matthew Knight Arena.

But it took most of the game for the Ducks to make it happen.

At half the Trojans led by two points, 25-23. For most of the game the score seemed to be perpetually tied.

With 7:17 left in the game the score stood at 44-44. Then the Ducks broke away, and for the final minutes added to their lead, ending the game with a six-point margin of victory.

Jillian Alleyne had another outstanding game and ran up yet another double-double, with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Drea Toler scored 11 points and Katelyn Loper added 12. Lexi Bando and Lexi Petersen each scored 9 points and Megan Carpenter scored 4.

Courtney Jaco lead the scoring for the USC Trojans with 14 points, Kaneisha Horn added 11 and Alexyz Vaioletama scored 10.

The Ducks led in the stats, with 47.6 percent from the floor to USC's 36.5 percent; 30.8 percent of three-pointers to USC's 26.7 percent, and 82.6 percent of their foul shots to USC's 63.6 percent.

It took a long time for the Ducks offense to jell, but the defense kept them in the game.

"I'm really pleased, really proud of our team tonight," Head Coach Kelly Graves said. "That was a fun game. The first half it looked like we were in quicksand offensively. But our defense kept us in it. That's been the case the last few games."

After coming off a six-game losing streak, the Ducks have now won two in a row.

"Two games in a row now, late in the game we've really done a good job of executing offensively, getting the shots we want," said Graves. "I think it was just a really solid weekend for us and a terrific game tonight."

Jillian Alleyne attributed some of it to home court advantage. "When it's our home court, we should not let anyone come in here and takes what's ours. I definitely think that's our pride thing. Home court advantage is always big. This is our house, we own Matthew Knight Arena."

In the last two games the Ducks seemed stalled in the first period. Katelyn Loper explained the halftime adjustment.

"It was same thing last game," Loper said. "Some of the shots were not falling in the first half. So we knew in the second half we had to knock them down, because it helps the team, and that's what it's all about. There were three things we tried to focus on. Getting back in transition. Not letting them get [offensive] boards. And no live ball turnovers. They killed us on the offensive rebounds last game, so that was a big focus for us."

The Ducks hit the road for the next two games, first against Washington State in Pullman on Friday, February 6, then against Washington in Seattle on Sunday, February 8. They return to Matthew Knight Arena to play Arizona Friday, February 13. Tip off is 6 p.m.

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