There is no question in my mind that Oregon Women’s Basketball Coach Paul Westhead is a great coach. So far in 2013 he has the Lady Ducks sitting at 2-1 after a less than perfect performance on Sunday against Sacramento State 97-85. After winning their first two games with 100+ point performances vs Cal State Bakersfield and Portland the road gets a lot harder starting Wednesday as the Ducks will travel to Hartford, Connecticut to take on the #1 team in the nation in the UConn Huskies. The Huskies showed another team over the weekend that they still had work to do this season. The Penn State Lady Lions were stifled by the UConn Defense. The 15th Ranked Team in the Nation lost 71-52 and were down 37-22 at halftime. The loss broke Penn State’s 22 game home winning streak.
The game against Sacramento State was sloppy for Oregon. The Ducks committed 23 turnovers in the game and 15 before the end of the first half. They shot just over 37 percent for the game and were 7 for 37 from three point range. If they do that on Wednesday night they won’t have a chance. Oregon needs to hold onto the ball, do their best to control the clock and land their shots.
A victory on Wednesday Night against the #1 team in the nation would go far in showing the progress of the program under Westhead. The problems have not all been his fault. I’m not going to fault a man or a program that has had to deal with not just injuries but significant injuries over the last few years. Sophomore Jillian Alleyne went down with a leg injury on Sunday night. It is not known if she will be available for the game on Wednesday.
The reason you Coach the game is for games like this – to see if your team can stand up to the pressure. If Oregon can keep it close and play their game the Lady Ducks may just find the relevance that could take them through the rest of the 2013 season.
Wednesday’s Game Tips off at 4pm PT and can be seen on SNY. It can also be heard on Oregon’s Official Site at GoDucks.com
Oregon Ducks This Week:Oregon Men’s Basketball Moves Up to #17 in Latest Associated Press Poll, Face Utah Valley Tuesday