College women's basketball — No. 7-ranked Oregon (7-0, 5-0 Pac-12) made two huge 3-pointers down the stretch and survived a challenge from Washington State to extends its winning streak to 26 in a row with a 69-65 win over the Cougars in Pullman, Washington.
The Cougars (3-1, 2-1) led for more than 30 minutes, putting Oregon in an unusual position. Ducks' coach Kelly Graves could not recall the last time his team was in a tight game late, but was pleased with the way his young team responded down the stretch.
A banked-in 3-pointer by Jaz Shelley with 1:27 on the clock and a corner 3 from Erin Boley with 35 seconds left proved decisive. Boley's basket put the Ducks up four, their biggest lead of the game. WSU's Krystal Leger-Walker made a contested 3 with 26 seconds to make it a one point game.
Boley, who finished with 18 points, made one of two foul shots with 21 seconds left to make it 67-65 Oregon.
Washington State's Ula Motuga had a good look at a corner 3-pointer with six seconds left that bounced off. Freshman Maddie Scherr made two foul shots with less than a second on the clock to seal the victory.
Nyara Sabally had 19 points, 14 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Oregon, led by 5-for-5 shooting from Boley and 3-for-4 from Shelley, finished 11 of 18 from 3-point range. The Cougars were 8 of 24 from behind the arc, but made some timely shots.
Washington State got off to a fast start and led 20-14 after the first quarter, 37-32 at halftime and 50-49 after three quarters.
Charlisse Leger-Walker led four Cougars in double figures with 20 points.
"I know a lot of people wondered how we would handle playing in a close game," Graves said. "Well, I think we showed them that we'll be fine. We've got playmakers. We've got kids that can execute when we need to at both ends of the floor. I was really proud of the team."
• Oregon's Sydney Parrish was named Pac-12 women's basketball freshman of the week for her 18-point performance in the Ducks' Dec. 19 win at Washington.
Blazers' fan opportunities — With fans not allowed at Moda Center for the season that begins Wednesday against the Utah Jazz, the Trail Blazers have developed several new ways for fans to engage with the team.
Among them are purchasing a photo cutout to benefit the Trail Blazers Foundation. The club will produce a digital version of Rip City magazine for all games this season.
The team also is seeking national anthem singers who will perform virtually.
The team is forming a new Blazers Fan Club and Rip City Kids Club to further engage with fans.
To learn about all of these programs, visit Trailblazers.com.
College football — Oregon nickel back Jamal Hill was named Pac-12 defensive player of the week and Ducks defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux Pac-12 defensive lineman of the week. Hill had two interceptions and Thibodeaux one sack, five tackles (two for loss) and 12 quarterback pressures in Oregon's win over USC in the Pac-12 championship game.
WHL moves draft — The Western Hockey League announced Monday it is moving its 2021 draft of players born in the 2006 season to December. Formerly called the WHL Bantam Draft, and usually held each May, the renamed WHL Draft was moved due to COVID-19.
"Moving the 2021 WHL Draft from May to December allows additional time for players in the 2006 age group to be evaluated following a challenging season due to the COVID-19 pandemic," said WHL Commissioner Ron Robison in a news release. "We anticipate minor hockey leagues and tournaments will be fully operational in the fall, which will allow players to compete at a high level once again."
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