Dec. 8, 2007
PORTLAND, Ore. - UC Santa Barbara held a 37-34 lead with 11:50 remaining, but the University of Oregon scored 11 unanswered points to pull away and went on to defeat the Gauchos 65-56 Saturday afternoon in the 10th Annual Papé Jam at the Rose Garden. Freshman center Ellyce Ironmonger led the Ducks with a game-high 17 points and 12 rebounds in the win.
After defeating the Gauchos twice last season - first in the Thunderdome on November 17 and then again the WNIT Second Round in Eugene March 17 - Oregon improved to 5-3 with the Saturday's victory, while UCSB fell to 3-5 after suffering its second straight defeat for the first time in 2007-08.
Senior guard Chisa Ononiwu scored 16 points on 6-for-10 shooting to lead the Gauchos, while Jessica Wilson also went 6-for-10 from the field and finished with 12 points. After scoring 14 points in Thursday's loss at Portland State, junior forward Kat Suderman was in the starting lineup and tallied 10 points, finishing 4-of-7 from the field. She also led the team with six rebounds.
Junior forward Whitney Warren also hauled in six boards for UCSB off the bench.
Playing its second straight game without senior center Jenna Green, Santa Barbara struggled to contain Oregon's bigger post players. 6-foot-4 Ironmonger, a native of Perth, Australia, was an impressive 7-for-10 from the floor and scored 10 of her 17 points in the first half. 6-foot-3 Ellie Manou, another freshman from Australia, gave the Ducks a huge lift off the bench, scoring all 14 of her points in the decisive second half. Senior guard Kaela Chapdelaine scored 11 points, with eight coming at the free-throw line to round out the scoring for Oregon.
Ononiwu hit a jumper from the wing to give the Gauchos a three-point advantage with just under 12 minutes to play, but Santa Barbara missed its next four shots and the Ducks scored 11 straight points - six of which came at the free-throw line - to build a 45-37 lead with 9:14 remaining. After Ononiwu broke the run with one of her two 3-pointers on the afternoon, the Ducks knocked down six straight free-throws to build a commanding 51-40 lead with 7:01 left on the clock.
Oregon outscored UCSB 17-3 over the decisive 3:51 stretch and Santa Barbara could never recover.
The Gauchos did cut the deficit to six with 4:31 left to play following a Sha'Rae Gibbons triple, but Chapdelaine sank a pair at the line and Manou scored inside on the next possession to put the game out of reach, 60-50.
Fatigue was a major factor for UCSB down the stretch and the Gauchos sent the Ducks to the free-throw line a total of 31 times in the second half. The Ducks converted 23 of those, while Santa Barbara shot just five second half free-throws, making four.
For the game UCSB shot 38.6% (22-of-57) and Oregon finished 40% from the field, making 18 of 45 shots. The Ducks won the battle of the boards, 37-27 and recorded 13 assists on 18 made baskets.
Oregon was 27-for-35 at the foul line for the game, while Santa Barbara was just 6-of-7.
The teams battled through a spirited first half, with neither team leading by more than six points. The Ducks shot just 29.6% in the first 20 minutes, but still managed to take a 20-19 lead into the locker room at intermission. UCSB shot just under 26% in the first half.
Santa Barbara held its biggest lead at 35-30 following a Wilson steal and layup seven minutes into the second half.
The Gauchos will now have nine days off for final exams before returning to the court Monday, December 17 when Pepperdine visits the Thunderdome. Tip-off for that contest is slated for 7:00 p.m.