The Ducks entered the second round of the NCAA tournament with a big challenge in front of them: a No. 3-seeded Georgia squad loaded with impressive seniors. Sedona Prince helped get the offense going and led all scorers with 10 points at the half.
Kelly Graves emphasized the importance of minimizing turnovers and getting after it on the offensive glass, but sloppy play in those areas helped the Bulldogs have the better start.
Mikayla Coombs and Que Morrison were a solid duo for Georgia and each had six points in the first half, taking what the Ducks gave them on open shots and running in transition after turnovers.
Erin Boley still had the hot hand. Both her and Taylor Mikesell knocked down a pair of threes to fuel the offense. Kelly Graves really needed freshman Maddie Scherr to step up, as the Ducks were without guards Te-Hina Paopao and Jazz Shelley for the second straight game.
Scherr didn't score in the first half but made a big impact with her stellar defense and four assists to set up teammates.
Neither team gained much of an edge and Oregon and Georgia headed to the locker room tied at 27 at halftime.
Oregon was getting a great game from Sedona Prince, who played 37 minutes. The Ducks play best when the other half of the duo, Nyara Sabally is also scoring. She flipped a switch at halftime and was on a mission in the second half, adding 10 more points and snagging 3 rebounds and dishing out 3 assists.
The difference in the second half was Sabally's dominant offense coupled with great defense, allowing only 6 points in the third quarter. Georgia is loaded with upperclassmen, and a young flock of Ducks looked much more composed in the second half.
Jenna Staiti, the Bulldogs' leading scorer, exploded for 14 points in the second half, but the Ducks limited the support she got from her teammates. Oregon went on a 6-0 run late in the fourth and entered the bonus.
Clutch free throws slammed the door shut on the Bulldogs and the Ducks won 57-50. They now await the winner of Louisville vs. Northwestern in the Sweet 16.
Sedona Prince: 22 pts (9-14 FG), 5 reb, 4 blk, 2 stl
Nyara Sabally: 15 pts (7-14 FG), 9 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl
Taylor Mikesell: 11 pts (3-6 FG, 2-4 3PT FG), 5 reb, 4 ast, 1 stl
Erin Boley: 9 pts (3-8 FG, 2-3 3PT FG), 3 reb, 2 stl
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