Louisville and star Dana Evans end UO women's season
Injuries and too much Dana Evans spelled the end of the season for the Oregon women on Sunday.
Evans, the two-time Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year, scored 29 points, including hit two long 3-pointers in a pivotal fourth-quarter stretch, and second-seeded Louisville ran away from sixth-seeded Oregon to win 60-42 in an NCAA Women's Tournament Alamo Region semifinal game at San Antonio, Texas.
Already down point guards Jaz Shelley and Te-Hina Paopao, the Ducks lost guard Maddie Scheer in the first half to an ankle injury and the Ducks fell behind by 15 points in the Sweet 16 game. Then, when rallying in the third quarter, the Ducks lost Nyara Sabally to an ankle injury.
Eventually, it was a blowout, but it was a game Oregon team (15-9) that went down to defeat.
Louisville (26-3) moves on to the Alamo Region final against No. 1-seed Stanford.
Louisville defense held Oregon to two droughts of six-plus minutes. Evans was sensational against the Ducks, despite being in a slump over the past couple weeks.
She hit 11 of 21 shots, including 3 of 8 3-pointers, for her 29 points.
"I played with poise," she told ESPN after the game. "Teammates are the best, always there for me, they keep me going. I came out ready to play. I didn't want to go home."
The Ducks made just 4 of 15 shots in the first quarter (.267), but Louisville only hit 5 of 20 and led only 10-8 after one quarter.
But, the Cardinals got cranked up the second quarter, especially Evans. She made five shots in a row, and then she fed Elizabeth Balogun for a last-second layup and a 29-15 Louisville halftime lead.
"Just letting the game come to me," Evans told ESPN. "For us to win, I have to have my head on straight."
The Ducks shot .259 in the first half, going 0 of 9 from the 3-point land. The Ducks had a scoring drought of 6:31. "We came out ready to defend," Evans said.
But, it wasn't over quite yet. Sabally played well, complementing Sedona Prince up front. Erin Boley hit a 3-pointer, ending the Ducks' 0-for-10 streak from long distance. Her layup capped a 9-0 run for the Ducks, making it a deficit of 34-25. But, with only 28 seconds left in the quarter, Sabally came down on a foot and hurt her ankle, and left the game for good.
It was 43-33 after three quarters, but the Ducks kept rallying. Prince hit a jumper and then two free throws and it was 43-37 with 9:13 left.
Evans took over. She hit a long 3-pointer, later made a free throw, and then capped a personal 7-0 run with another long 3-pointer. It was 56-37 after a 13-0 Louisville run.
Boley's basket with 2:53 left ended a 6:20 scoring drought.
Boley had 14 points and 11 rebounds in her final game for the Ducks. Sabally had 14 points and seven rebounds. Prince had 10 points. The Ducks went 2 of 18 on 3-pointers (.111), shot .321 overall and had 14 turnovers.
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