Oregon women's basketball rolls past Carroll College after 15-day layoff

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Kelly Graves
    American basketball coach
Oregon's Endyia Rogers, center, drives to the basket Carroll College during the first quarter in Eugene Jan. 2, 2022.
Oregon's Endyia Rogers, center, drives to the basket Carroll College during the first quarter in Eugene Jan. 2, 2022.

After having their last three games canceled or postponed due to COVID-19, the Oregon Ducks wanted to have a tune-up before beginning Pac-12 play Friday.

That's why the Ducks scheduled NAIA opponent Carroll College after a 15-day layoff. Against an opponent like the Fighting Saints, the Ducks dominated exactly how many would expect.

Oregon (7-4) rolled past Carroll College 88-57 at Matthew Knight Arena Sunday.

"I liked the energy that Chanya Pinto bought defensively and on the boards," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. "I thought fourth quarter, defensively, we looked like we were more engaged and wanted to defend these guys."

Graves said the team's 13 turnovers were "too many but not too bad overall."

Getting more experience together

The result of the game wasn't as significant as was getting three of the Ducks top playmakers back on the floor at the same time.

Te-Hina PaoPao, Endiya Rodgers and Nyara Sabally were all in uniform for the first time this season.

PaoPao had played in just three minutes in the Ducks second game of the season against Dixie State. Rodgers also had limited action this season as she made her season debut in the loss to Kansas State Dec. 18. In that game, Rodgers scored 14 points and registered five rebounds and five assists.

Sabally previously played in just three games because of a lingering knee injury she sustained in the season opener against Idaho State. She led all scorers against Carroll College with 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting.

'A little more like Oregon basketball': Men's win vs. Utah a blueprint for the Ducks

PaoPao finished with 12 points in 12 minutes. Rodgers also had 12 points, plus two rebounds and two assists.

After such a long time away from the court PaoPao said it was great to be back playing with her teammates. But she said it has been difficult to get back into playing shape.

"I was tired," PaoPao admitted. "I was limited with the amount I was able to practice. But slowly, after a few weeks, I was able to get back into it. Just being out there with my teammates, it was fun."

A rusty start

At this point in the season, Oregon was supposed to have played two Pac-12 games.

But the Ducks' games against Utah and Colorado were postponed due to COVID-19. Also, Oregon's Dec. 22 game against Northwestern was canceled because of positive COVID-19 test results within the Wildcats program.

Following a long break between games, the Ducks were rusty to begin the game.

After leading 29-15 at the end of the first quarter, Carroll College closed the deficit to eight in the second quarter. Eventually after halftime, the Ducks were able to pull away.

Against Carroll College, the Ducks at times looked like a team that hadn't played in two weeks. Carroll College shot 47% from the field and 48% beyond the arc as the Fighting Saints made 10 3-pointers.

Headed to the draft: Oregon safety Verone McKinley III has declared for the 2022 NFL Draft

After both the Utah and Colorado coaches said they couldn't come to Eugene due to COVID-19 issues, Oregon scrambled to find an opponent because Graves didn't want to go into Pac-12 play with such a long layoff.

Graves has a great relationship with Carroll College coach Rachelle Sayers and that's how the two were able to set up the game.

Heading towards Pac-12 play, the Ducks will need to improve.

"I don't think we did a good job in transition and it was way too choppy early," Graves said. "We looked like we were in cement on both ends of the court, especially offensively in that first half. We looked a little tired."

Up next

Oregon will play its Pac-12 opener Thursday against No. 2 Stanford Cardinal at Maples Pavilion. The team will remain in the Bay Area next week as the Ducks will play at California Jan. 9.

Oregon's next game at Matthew Knight Arena will be Jan. 13 against Arizona State.

Contact Register-Guard sportswriter Antwan Staley at astaley@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.

This article originally appeared on Register-Guard: Oregon women's basketball beats Carroll College after 15-day layoff

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting