It’s been a rough week for the Oregon women’s basketball program.
Since the 110-48 home victory over Long Beach State on Dec. 2, coach Kelly Graves was hit with a two-game suspension by the NCAA for rules violations the school self-reported, and the Ducks suffered their first loss of the season.
Oregon dropped from No. 3 to No. 7 in this week’s Associated Press poll after getting upset 88-82 by Michigan State on Sunday in East Lansing, Mich.
The Spartans are now ranked No. 23 after getting a signature win over the defending Pac-12 champions.
The Ducks (7-1) will try to get back on track against South Dakota State at 5 p.m. Wednesday at Frost Arena in Brookings, S.D.
“They are always good and they’re very good again this year,” Graves said. “It will be packed. They have a knowledgeable fan base and they are used to playing big-time opponents.
“This is nothing new for them.”
The Jackrabbits (6-3), the preseason favorites to repeat as Summit League champions, are coming off an 80-71 win over then-No. 21 Drake.
Madison Guebert led four players in double figures with 21 points. South Dakota State is led by preseason conference player of the year Macy Miller, who is averaging 17.0 points and 5.8 rebounds.
SDSU’s losses this season were at then-No. 19 Marquette (91-52) and in Las Vegas against then-No. 4 Baylor (72-66) and Buffalo (61-55).
The Jackrabbits are 8-26 all-time against ranked opponents, including a 4-5 record at home.
Sabrina Ionescu led Oregon with 29 points against Michigan State. The junior guard, who was 5-for-7 from three-point distance, needs one more triple-double to break the all-time NCAA mark she shares with BYU’s Kyle Collinsworth (12).
Erin Boley added 24 points, but the Spartans held Ruthy Hebard to 10 points while getting 27 points from senior center Jenna Allen.
After the defeat, Graves said the Ducks were not worthy of a top-five ranking.
Oregon will have to play a solid road game to beat SDSU ahead of next Tuesday’s showdown with No. 5 Mississippi State at Matthew Knight Arena.