STANFORD, Calif. (AP) — Even with fans limited to family members because of COVID-19 precautions on Stanford’s campus, Lexie Hull put on quite a show for her parents.
Hull had career-bests of 33 points and seven 3-pointers, and No. 2 Stanford held off a late Oregon rally on the way to an 80-68 win Friday night.
Hull’s 3 with 4:05 to play put Stanford ahead 73-62 after Oregon had trimmed the Cardinal’s lead to single digits and made another timely shot from deep with 1:43 to play.
“It really came down to my teammates finding me in those open spots, pushing the ball up, me running my lane and then hitting me when I was open,” Hull said.
Hull and twin sister Lacie made consecutive 3-pointers to start the game for the defending national champion Cardinal (10-3, 2-0 Pac-12). But turnovers allowed the Ducks back into it in the fourth quarter with a 14-2 run. Anna Wilson dished out four assists and didn’t have a turnover.
“I guess this is our new normal. I would have loved to have our fans here to see Lexie have such a great game in person and Anna such a great game in person,” coach Tara VanDerveer said.
Endiya Rogers scored 22 points and Nyara Sabally added 19 points and eight rebounds to lead Oregon (7-5, 0-1), which had won the previous two on the Cardinal’s home floor in Maples Pavilion.
The Ducks had their three best players back on the floor together at last, but found out four hours before tipoff that 6-foot-7 Sedona Prince had tested positive for COVID-19.
Friday was Oregon’s delayed Pac-12 opener, after scheduled games with Colorado and Utah last weekend were postponed because of COVID-19 protocols. The Ducks missed six straight shots late in the first, when they went 5 of 20 overall.
The health challenges are daunting once more.
“It’s unfortunate,” Graves said. “Here we go again. I think it’s actually even worse this year because we don’t know, we don’t know from day to day. Last year it was different, we kind of knew what we were in for, we were getting tested every day and now it’s just the wild, wild West.”
Stanford made its final six shots before halftime, including Rogers just beating the buzzer to pull Oregon within 42-31 at the break.
In the third period, with 8:26 remaining, Stanford star Haley Jones went down hard under Oregon’s basket, went to the locker room and later returned.
In the same period, the Cardinal used a 9-0 run to build a 56-38 lead, with Graves calling timeout at the 4:52 mark.
Each of Stanford’s previous three wins against Oregon had been by seven or fewer points.
The Cardinal, who have held five opponents to their worst shooting performances of the season, kept Oregon in check at 36.4% from the field. It was the Ducks’ third-worst shooting game so far, going 1 for their final 10 and missing their last six over the closing 2:57.
With the increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant, Stanford changed its protocols for having fans in attendance for indoor events, limiting it to family members of the student-athletes. A few dozen people cheered from the elevated seats across from team benches.
Oregon: The Ducks played their second game of the season against a top-two team after losing 80-63 to No. 1 South Carolina on Nov. 21. They have never beaten a team ranked 1 or 2. … The Ducks shot 33.3% in a loss at Kansas State on Dec. 18 and 34.4% in a home defeat to UC Davis on Dec. 1.
Stanford: Lexie Hull also made six 3s vs. Oregon on Feb. 24, 2020. … Stanford won its 17th straight game against conference opponents in a streak that includes the postseason. … The Cardinal had their streak of holding Pac-12 opponents to 55 or fewer points snapped at eight straight games. … Stanford improved to 5-1 at home and hadn’t beaten Oregon on The Farm since 2017.
Oregon: At California on Sunday.
Stanford: Hosts Gonzaga on Sunday afternoon in a game that substituted for the previously scheduled matchup with Oregon State. The Beavers have COVID-19 protocols within their program, causing a postponement.
VanDerveer said she was grateful to both the Zags and Long Beach State, which also offered to travel to play.
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25
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