SEATTLE (AP) — Something about playing the Washington Huskies has brought out the best this season in Oregon’s Erin Boley.
The sophomore forward scored a career-high 31 points, tying a school record with nine 3-pointers, to lead the No. 5 Ducks to a 76-57 victory over Washington on Sunday. Boley has been at her best this season in the two games against Washington. She had 28 points and made eight 3-pointers in the 84-71 victory over the Huskies on Jan. 4.
“I don’t know what it is,” Boley said. “Every night it can be someone different for us. That what makes us a really good offense is we have so many different weapons. Every single player on this team is unselfish and that’s what will to keep us going in the long run. It makes it really fun. I’m lucky to have people around me that are a big enough threats that it pulls defenders in other directions.”
Oregon (19-1, 8-0) has won 12 consecutive games and is the only team left with an unbeaten conference record in the Pac-12. It’s the best conference start ever for the Ducks. No. 6 Stanford suffered its first Pac-12 loss Sunday at Utah.
Sabrina Ionescu had 13 points and Maite Cazorla added 11 points for the Ducks.
Oregon coach Kelly Graves said the Huskies focused their defense on other players, which helped Boley.
“Boy, I’m going to give her a purple shirt (UW colors) to wear every game,” Graves said of Boley. “Obviously, she’s getting open looks. They do a nice job of trying to take Ruthy (Hebard) out, which gives (Boley) a little more room to operate. At that point, it just gets in her mind that she’s going to make baskets. And we needed it. We haven’t played well offensively in either game against them this year.”
The Ducks got off to a surprising slow start. They built a 12-4 lead with five minutes to go in the first quarter before the Huskies went on an 11-0 run to take a 15-12 lead after a 3-pointer by Montana Hagstrom, the first points of her college career.
After making only 4 of 33 shots from the 3-point arc in the 86-39 loss to Oregon State Friday, the Huskies made 4 of 8 shots from 3-point range in the first quarter Sunday and led 18-16 after the first 10 minutes.
The Huskies led 27-25 after a 3-pointer by Peterson with 4:40 to go in the second quarter before Oregon went on an 11-0 run, led by three consecutive 3-pointers by Boley, who had 19 points in the first half and made 5 of 6 shots from beyond the 3-point arc. The Ducks led 36-29 at the half.
“I thought our first-half focus was outstanding, said Washington coach Jody Wynn. “Really, really proud of them for being in tune to the game plan. In the third quarter, we missed some shots, number one. Then we just lost Boley a few times and that was the difference. She loves playing against us.”
The Ducks went on a 20-6 run in the final eight minutes of the third quarter to build a 58-38 lead. The Huskies never got closer than 15 points down in the final quarter.
Washington (8-13, 1-8) lost in fifth straight game. Sophomore guard Missy Peterson led the Huskies 13 points.
Oregon: The Ducks could move up in the poll this week with top-ranked Notre Dame’s loss at North Carolina.
Washington: With her 15-foot jumper to start the game Sunday, UW junior guard Amber Mendoza reached 1,000 points for her career, becoming the 28th player in program history to cross that threshold. … UW freshman guard T.T. Watkins has not played the last two games because of a concussion.
The Ducks return home next weekend to face Utah on Friday night and Colorado next Sunday.
The Huskies travel to Southern California to play USC Friday at UCLA next Sunday. The UW women will play five of their next seven games on the road.