Home / Others / Austin Meek: a Civil War victory? It’s time for Oregon to turn the tide | sports

Austin Meek: a Civil War victory? It’s time for Oregon to turn the tide | sports

The dam finally exploded.

Let me speak for all and say: it was almost time.

Oregon beat Oregon State in women's basketball for the first time since 2011, breaking a 14-game losing streak with Sunday's 75-63 victory at Matthew Knight Arena.

The streak is prior to any current player or coach on the Oregon roster. Some of Oregon's youngest fans were not even born when the Ducks last won a Civil War game in 2011. But if you think the streak did not weigh on everyone associated with the Oregon side, you do not understand how the rivalries.

Once you inherit a streak like that, you have it. Kelly Graves was not the coach that started Oregon's fall against the Beavers, but for the Ducks to reach their goals, he needed to finish it.

Go ahead, say it. Graves removed the beaver from his back. After raising the ducks in many other ways, he finally put them on the right side of their biggest rival.

"I'm not really worried about myself personally," Graves said. "I'm glad we won the game, it's obviously great for our fans and great for college, because a lot of time has passed."

In Graves' first six losses to Oregon State, the Beavers clearly had the best team. On Friday night, he took a team to Corvallis that was up to the task, but could not overtake Oregon State at home.

Sunday's victory had no doubts. The Ducks stifled Oregon State with a defense in the first half – Graves called it the best defense Oregon has played in its four seasons – and responded with a big hit every time the Beavers tried to join.

"The history of the game was, we could not score," said Oregon State coach Scott Rueck.

The defense has not been the visiting card of Oregon, but the Ducks brought it on Sunday. And they kept their offense going despite having one of their most dangerous weapons in the bench, marginalized indefinitely by a foot injury.

The lost sniper Lexi Bando turns the Ducks into a different team. They still have a lot of firepower, but they can not extend the floor with a guard that shoots 45 percent from the three-point range, something that Graves has credited as a key factor in the opening of the painting for Ruthy Hebard.

Maybe that's something to do with Hebard's 2-for-15 night, an uncharacteristic performance for one of the most efficient pole scorers in the country. But even with Hebard fighting and Bando on the bench, the Ducks won easily.

"It's good to know that we can have a great game like that and (Hebard) was not as important a factor as it normally is." Graves said.

Mallory McGwire has a bigger role in Bando's absence, which means the Ducks will play bigger lineups and rely a bit more on their defense. McGwire made his presence felt with 14 points, six rebounds and three blocks, and freshman Satou Sabally unleashed the offense with 21 points and three triples.

It was further proof that, as much as the ducks depended on Sabrina Ionescu, they are far from being a show for just one person.

"You saw what Satou can do tonight," Rueck said. "She was the difference at the beginning, she made us pay every time we left her."

"Offensively, what's that, your fourth option in your initial lineup? Or fifth? There are many weapons. "

The Ducks needed this game for many reasons, and not just because it kept them one game ahead of Stanford and UCLA in the conference standings, they needed it because a win against Oregon State was the most obvious hole in a long list of recent accomplishments, and an initiation rite if they want to bring home a Pac-12 championship in March.

Even if the ducks did not do it In the conversation about the losing streak, I had to weigh on them. the cargo has been removed, they can talk about a rivalry that should only improve from here.

"It's not going to stop," Graves said. "We're really good and we're going to continue to be really good." The state of Oregon is really good, and they'll still be really good.

"I anticipate this will be a great rivalry."

It's about time.

Follow Austin Meek on Twitter [19659025] @ austinmeekRG . austin.meek @ registerguard.com .

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