EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Oregon’s Taylor Mikesell said it was good to come out of the holiday break with a solid win over USC.
Mikesell made four 3-pointers and scored 16 points, and the No. 8 Ducks remained undefeated with a 92-69 victory over the Trojans on Friday night.
It was Oregon’s 27th straight victory, the longest active winning streak in the nation. The Ducks (8-0, 6-0 Pac-12) have also won 24 consecutive conference games and 22 games at Matthew Knight Arena.
But Oregon has a big challenge looming on Sunday against No. 11 UCLA.
“I think we started really strong coming off a winter break, sometimes you see a little bit of a lull,” Mikesell said. “I think we played really well in the first half defensively and really set a tone. We were talking a lot and they kind of just gave us our run in the first half. I think we let up a little in the second half, but it’s all a learning experience for Sunday.”
Nyara Sabally added 15 points and six rebounds for the Ducks, who have won nine straight against the Trojans. Oregon led by as many as 26 points and had six players in double figures.
Endyia Rogers had 20 points and Amaya Oliver added 13 for USC (3-5, 1-5).
“They did a nice job,” USC coach Mark Trakh said. “We struggled against their zone defense. I thought we did a good job guarding for a while but they are a tough team to guard. If you take away 3 (pointers), they beat you inside and if you take away the inside, they shoot the 3 really well.”
After a four-game losing streak, the Trojans had won two straight, including a 71-65 victory over Long Beach State on Dec. 23.
USC’s Jordan Sanders was the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Week. She scored 23 points and had five 3-pointers against Long Beach. Sanders finished with 11 points against the Ducks.
Oregon was coming off a close call against Washington State in Pullman, but emerged with a 69-65 win.
Oregon jumped out to a 7-0 lead, and Mikesell’s 3-pointer stretched it to 26-12 in the second quarter. The Ducks led by as many as 24 points in the opening half and went into the break with a 42-19 lead.
The closest USC got in the third quarter was 62-45 on Madison Campbell’s 3-pointer. Rogers hit a 3 and made a pair of free throws to get the Trojans within 78-62 with just over five minutes left in the game. It was as close as they would get.
“We did some good things defensively. I thought that first half, we had them completely out of sync,” Ducks coach Kelly Graves said. “I was impressed with our effort and execution in that first half.”
USC: Sanders, a grad transfer, is the only true senior on USC’s roster. The Trojans managed just seven points in the second quarter, which wasn’t their lowest offensive output in a quarter this season — they had a five-point quarter against both Arizona State and UCLA.
Oregon: Sedona Prince, the Ducks’ 6-foot-7 forward, did not dress. Prince was averaging 8.7 points and 3.7 rebounds. Graves said Prince is “battling through a history of injuries” but nothing that should keep her out for an extended period of time. Oregon was also without guard Taylor Chavez, who was attending to a family matter.
USC was supposed to play Oregon State on Sunday, but that game was postponed when the Beavers paused their program because of COVID-19 protocols.
Oregon hosts No. 11 UCLA on Sunday.
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