That’s the win streak Stanford holds over the Ducks as Stanford came into Matthew Knight Arena to upset the No. 6 team in the nation 78-65.
After taking a 41-32 halftime lead, the second half was a much different story for Oregon. Ruthy Hebard dominated with 16 first half points, but was shut out in the final 20 minutes of action.
On the other end, Brittney McPhee torched the Duck defense over and over again as she scored a career high 33 points with 31 of those coming in the second half. At one point, she scored 17 straight points.
The frustrating thing was that McPhee didn’t do anything that special to score all those points. The senior guard kept coming off a screen and made open 15-foot jumpers all day long.
Stanford managed to erase that nine-point halftime deficit and turned it into a three-point lead at the end of the third quarter at 57-54. The Cardinal came into the game leading the Pac-12 in scoring defense, giving up 54 points per game. They didn’t play their defense in the first half, but they sure did after halftime.
Oregon shot just 28 percent from the field in the second half and was just 4-for-12 from long range. Besides shutting down Hebard, the Cardinal managed to hold Sabrina Ionescu in check. The sophomore guard ended up with 22 points, but they didn’t come easy.
Satou Sabally added 14 points, but the freshman was having a difficult time finding her range. She was just 1-of-8 from three-point land.
Stanford ended up shooting 47 percent (31-of-66) from the field, but McPhee was 14-of-22 shooting just on her own.
With the win, the Cardinal pulled into a tie for first place with Oregon as both teams are now 10-2 in league action. The Ducks also dropped to 21-4 overall.
The first half was a very different story as nearly everything worked for the Ducks, especially on the offensive end. Hebard took advantage of some one-on-one situations inside the key and she was took much for the Cardinal to handle with 16 points.
While Hebard was doing damage on the inside, Ionescu appeared to be well on her way to her 10th career triple-double. She had 10 points, five assists and four rebounds at the break, but wound up with just two more assists and three more rebounds.
The loss was also Oregon’s first defeat at home this season and broke a school record 14-game home winning streak.
Now the Ducks will need to regroup as a conference title is still in the realm of possibility. Oregon will travel up to Seattle to take on the Huskies on Friday for an 8 pm tip on the Pac-12 Network.
~ Don Smalley