Welp. From what I gather, Cal played pretty well against Oregon State considering they lost by 22 points. But Oregon State shoots the ball really well most of the time, and Cal doesn't always do the same, and so it wasn't very close despite a decent rebounding and ball handling night from the Bears.
OSU was always going to be a tall order, but Oregon looks a bit more tractable. The Ducks are currently the RPI gift that keeps on giving - they went undefeated in non-conference play but are now 0-5 in conference play. Only one of those losses - Friday night against Stanfurd - was even particularly close.
Jillian Alleyne is such a mystery to me. She's going to likely break the career Pac-12 rebounding record in this exact game (Sorry Chiney!) and will end her career in the top 10 for career scoring in conference history. The Ducks are also currently 10-45 in Pac-12 play in her career. I get that her first two seasons were under a checked out Paul Westhead, and last year was a transition year under new coach Kelly Graves, but it's still a crazy stat. Usually transcendent players lead to a little bit more team success.
Can Cal assume a win here? No. The Ducks aren't a great Pac-12 team, but they aren't the worst either. Their opening schedule has been brutal, with the L.A. road trip followed up by two games against OSU, then Stanfurd. That's cruel and unusual punishment, far worse than Cal's tough early schedule. The Ducks will be looking at this game as the perfect opportunity to end their slide.
PG Maite Cazorla, 5'10'' Freshman
G Lexi Petersen, 5'11'' Senior
G Lexi Bando, 5'9'' Sophomore
F Jacinta Vanderberg, 6'5'' Junior
F Jillian Alleyne, 6'3'' Senior
F Liz Brenner, 6'1'' Senior
G Kat Cooper, 6'0'' Senior
F Oti Gildon, 6'1'' Freshman
G Jordan Loera 5'9'' Senior
Our Computer Overlords Predict
Sagarin Predictor: Oregon by 4
The computers see theses teams as mostly equal, with the home court nod going to the Ducks. Would be a great road game for this young team to steal away.
Keys to the Game
Send Anigwe right at Alleyne - Oregon's greatest statistical player of all time is certainly a great scorer and rebounder, but her defense has never been particularly impressive. Take advantage of that.
Keep Oregon from running - The Ducks aren't nearly the same running team they were under Westhead, and a handful of teams (including Cal) usually play faster than the Ducks now. But they are still faster than average and can punish Cal in transition much in the fashion that Utah did last week. Be wary of a player like Alleyne who can run the floor so well.
Find Bando around the arc - Cal has been getting badly burned by each team's 3 point sniper. Kuklok on Utah, Hanson for OSU, Hempen with ASU . . . Cal tends to lose players around the perimeter, particularly in the corner. Oregon has at least one player ready to do the same.