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Coach Graves on Civil War Spotlight: "It's Great for Women's Athletics"

Love Cross

It might be considered a rivalry, but the Civil War series between the Oregon and Oregon State women’s basketball teams is a celebration of Oregon as a whole. That was part of the message from Ducks coach Kelly Graves after his team topped the Beavers 76-64 on Friday night in a sold-out Matthew Knight Arena.

Coach Graves, addressing a large media crowd after the victory, said he has seen such an increase in attention and fans- and everyone is engaged. He was proud that even Duck fans were cheering for Beaver players during introductions. Graves said “I know it’s a heated rivalry, but we are all Oregonians- in terms of who we play for.”

This was the seventh straight crowd of more than 10,000 for Oregon this year, and the first to sell out all 12,364 seats. Graves, in his sixth year, said having the energy of the crowd, as well as WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, WNBA managers and coaches, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and Representative Peter DeFazio there helped make it a unique night. He said “I think it’s great for women’s athletics, it’s great for the University of Oregon, for Oregon State, it’s great for college basketball. This was an awesome night. This might not be duplicated anywhere in the country- what we just witnessed and saw.”

No. 7 Oregon State has a chance to even the 2-game series with No. 4 Oregon when the teams meet Sunday afternoon in a sold-out Gill Coliseum in Corvallis. The 1:00 game will be televised on ESPN2.

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