Oregon vs South Dakota State : Get a summary of the Oregon Ducks vs. South Dakota State Jackrabbits basketball game. for South Dakota State vs. Oregon, Women’s Basketball, 03/29/2019 for info on start times, The Ducks and Jackrabbits have faced once already this season. Get to know Oregon’s Sweet 16 opponent women’s basketball in the 2019 NCAA Tournament.
Oregon vs South Dakota State Live Stream : How To Watch NCAAW Basketball Game 2019 Online Free HD TV Coverage
The tournament run for Oregon women’s basketball continues as the Ducks face South Dakota State in the Sweet 16 Friday night for the Portland Regional. Oregon will look to move on to the Elite Eight for the third season in a row, and the third time in program history. The Ducks will be the favorite as a two-seed over the Jackrabbits as a six seed.
It will be the second time these two teams have faced off this season, with Oregon winning 87-79 on the road on Dec. 12. South Dakota State gave the Ducks a run for their money that night, with the Jackrabbits holding a lead for longer than Oregon, and even going up by as many as nine points. It took a clutch three from Sabrina Ionescu with 49 seconds remaining to ultimately put South Dakota State away.
Despite the previous matchup being relatively recent, all of the Ducks know that this is a completely different atmosphere.
“Both teams are different in a lot of ways. That seems like a long time ago, mid December,” Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said.
“Since that game I think we’ve grown in a lot of areas. Our defense has gotten better, our offense has became more efficient,” star forward Ruthy Hebard said. The junior scored 12 points on 6-for-9 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in the first matchup.
It will be a home atmosphere for Oregon, who will be playing just 100 miles north of Eugene in Portland. Because of this, the Ducks are expecting a great crowd in what is technically a “neutral” arena. “Any time you can drive to a regional, that’s a good thing,” Graves said. “I hope this is a good showcase for all of women’s basketball.”
While South Dakota State has made the NCAA Tournament in nine of the last 11 seasons, this is the first time the team has made it to the Sweet 16. Oregon is a team that is familiar with this feat, as the team made its first-ever Sweet 16 run in 2017 in a Cinderella run as a 10 seed.
“We didn’t know what the heck we were doing,” Graves said. “I think kind of being dumb helped us. The moment wasn’t too big because we didn’t really know what to expect.” With South Dakota State being an experienced tournament team, it’s not quite the same scenario, but it is its first time under the bright lights of the second weekend.
“They really do play basketball the way it’s supposed to be played,” Graves said of South Dakota State. “They share the ball, they play hard, they space the floor well, they execute at both ends of the floor. They’re all multi-dimensional.”
Now that Oregon is seasoned in the tournament, the team believes it can use its experience to its advantage. “Now that this core group of us Ducks have been in this position, I think we know what to expect,” said Ionescu, who had 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in the previous matchup with the Jackrabbits. “We know how hard and difficult it’s going to be to get to a Final Four, to get to a national championship. So I think that hunger is inside of us.”
Oregon and South Dakota State are set to tip off on Friday at 8PM, or following the other Regional matchup in Portland between No. 1 Mississippi State and No. 5 Arizona State. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2.
Ten years ago, the South Dakota State women welcomed Gonzaga to Frost Arena for a season-opening showdown between two of the nation’s top mid-majors. After the game, an overtime loss for his side, then-Zags coach Kelly Graves told assistant coach Jodie Berry to never let him schedule a game in Brookings again.
So naturally, Graves returned to South Dakota last December, this time as Oregon’s head coach. The game was predictably difficult for the visiting Ducks, who used a 25-9 third-quarter run to rally past the Jacks, 87-79.
“After the game, again, a hard-fought, really well-played game, I told Jodie the same thing,” Graves laughed during Thursday’s pre-Sweet 16 press conference. “This time, I’ll fire her if I ever go back to South Dakota State.”
Press Conference comments from Oregon Women’s Basketball Head Coach Kelly Graves and players Ruthy Hebard, Sabrina Ionescu, and Satou Sabally as they preview the Sweet 16 matchup vs. South Dakota State. NCAA
There will be a rematch between South Dakota State and Oregon, but (fortunately for Berry) it will transpire over a thousand miles away from Frost Arena.
“I remember that feeling like it was yesterday,” she explained. “They could definitely use that as an advantage, (but) this core group of us Ducks have been in this position and we know what to expect. We know how difficult it’s going to be to get to a Final Four, to get to a national championship. That hunger is inside of us.”
In terms of depth, the Ducks are limited with Lydia Giomi, Oti Gildon and Morgan Yaeger stepping up off the bench. Taylor Chavez could join the rotation against SDSU, but she will be a game-time decision after missing the last seven games with a foot injury.
“Lydia, Oti, and Morgan have really given us a lift when we needed it,” Graves said. “We’ve had a short bench all year, so we’ve had to rely on them, especially down the stretch…just those 12 to 15 minutes a game were really key.”
With respect to the rematch with SDSU, UO forward Ruthy Hebard said the team’s defense has tightened up (allowing just 62 ppg) and the offense is running more efficiently.
Graves said he admires SDSU coach Aaron Johnston, adding the Jackrabbits “play basketball the way it’s supposed to be played,” sharing the ball, spacing the floor and executing on both ends with a lineup that features versatile playmakers at ever position.
“They just know how to play and they’re tough as nails,” he said. “Yeah, this is going to be a heck of a battle tomorrow.”