Oregon vs. Washington State Women’s Preview


The 8-4 Oregon Ducks will take on the 6-6 Washington State Cougars at the Matt Court tonight at 10:00 ET today, as Pac-12 conference play has started for women’s basketball. The Ducks are looking to avenge their 96-90 loss the last time these two teams played on February 5th of this year. Amanda Johnson led the way with 22 points, 9 boards, and 3 blocks; but she is still out with a fractured left thumb and won’t play for a few more weeks.  However, the Ducks should be able to defeat Wazzu, and they are the 6th best scoring team in the nation averaging 82.4 points per game. Washington State’s biggest scoring threat is swingwoman Ireti Amojo who averages 9.5 points per game. Even without Amanda Johnson (20.1 PPG), the Ducks have two ladies who average more point per game in Jasmin Holliday (16.8 PPG) and Nia Jackson (9.7 PPG).

Although the Ducks should win this game, they can’t sleep on the Cougars; this is, after all, the first game in conference play for both teams. You don’t need me to tell you that anything can happen in college basketball, but I say this because Oregon’s offense is so potent in women’s basketball as well as in football.

Averaging 82.4 points per game shows that you are a juggernaut offensively, and the Ducks can also make it rain; they are 49th in the country with a 34.4 3PT%. However, they aren’t quite as good from downtown without Johnson who averages two made threes per game and hits 39.1% of her shots from behind the arc. Oregon is also trigger-happy in 3-point land and throw up 7.7 threes per contest, but, again, Amanda Johnson is responsible for about 5.1 of those per game. Still, Danielle Love and Ariel Thomas both shoot more than 4 threes per game, despite only connecting on 27.6% and 22.5% of them respectively. Guard Jordan Loera takes the most threes (5.3) and shoots 32.8% from 3-point range.

Defensively, Oregon averages a top 30 mark of 5.2 blocks per game behind Jasmine Holliday (1.8 BPG) and Danielle Love (1.1 BPG), while the Cougars don’t have anyone who averages over one blocked shot per game. Both teams are proficient at stealing the basketball, and Oregon is among the 25 best teams in the nation in this regard with 12.6 per contest as a team with all seven players who have started in at least one game averaging at least one. Holliday and Jackson once again lead the way with 2.5 and 2.6 steals per game respectively. The Cougars are just outside the top 40 in steals per game (42nd) and average 11.8 per contest. Jazmine Perkins has 2.8 thefts per game to go with 8.8 PPG (2nd on Wazzu) and a team-high  7.1 boards per game.

The Oregon Ducks are easily the more talented team and should be able to put up points in a hurry. I see them winning 82-70 against Washington State with Nia Jackson being the star of the night. It’s too easy to pick Jasmin Holliday as the MVP, but both of them will have good offensive nights. They are also two very good defensive players, and I see the Ducks going 9-4 after this and pushing the Cougars under .500 en route to winning the first Pac-12 game of the 2011-2012 season.

You can follow me on Twitter @SorianoJoe and Autzen Zoo @Autzen_Zoo.