UO clinched a share of the regular-season crown and No. 1 seed at the conference tournament with Friday's win at Arizona
No. 6 Oregon leads the NCAA in scoring, but Kelly Graves’ team took the old coaching cliche to heart on Friday night.
Defense wins championships.
The Ducks (26-3, 15-2) pitched a shutout in the fourth quarter, outscoring Arizona 19-0 over the final 10 minutes to put an exclamation point on the 83-54 win in Tucson, Ariz., which clinched a share of the Pac-12 title.
The Wildcats missed all 13 shots they took in the fourth quarter while Oregon went 9-for-16 from the field.
"It's been incredible watching this team mature over the last three and four years," Graves said. "This team has some big goals this season and we still have some work to do."
The Ducks, who will be the No. 1 seed at the conference tournament next week in Las Vegas, can clinch the outright Pac-12 championship with a win at No. 21 Arizona State in the regular-season finale on Sunday in Tempe, Ariz. (noon, Pac-12 Networks).
No. 7 Stanford (24-4, 14-3) will be the No. 2 seed and No. 9 Oregon State (23-6, 13-4) will be the No. 3 seed.
The Sun Devils (19-8, 10-6) are coming off a 66-54 win over the Beavers. Kianna Ibis scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the second half to lead the mild upset.
“I just thought we took it at them and really defended well and really got back to being who we are,” Arizona State coach Charli Turner Thorne said after sweeping the Beavers.
The Sun Devils, who lead the Pac-12 in scoring defense (57.7 ppg), are fighting with No. 25 UCLA (18-11, 11-6) for the No. 4 seed and an opening-round bye at the Pac-12 Tournament.
The Ducks, who lead the nation in scoring (88.0 ppg), have shown they can play championship basketball on both ends.
Earlier this season, Oregon held Arizona and Long Beach State to four points in a quarter and also held Colorado to two points in a quarter.
Before winning the conference regular-season and tournament titles last season, the Ducks’ only other championships in women’s basketball were Pac-10 regular-season titles in 1998-99 (shared) and 1999-2000 (outright).