NO. 3 DUCKS BLOW OUT NO. 13 ARIZONA 85-52 – Four Ducks Lead the Way with Double Figures Including a Record 24th Triple Double from Sabrina Ionescu
Matthew Knight Arena
After a long three game road trip and a big win at UConn, the Oregon women began Friday’s game at Matthew Knight Arena a little sluggish against No. 13 Arizona. In the first 20 minutes the Ducks turned the ball over ten times but still were able to build a 39-22 lead going into the halftime break. After the break, the Ducks returned to the floor looking more in control cutting their mistakes in half with only five turnovers and controlling the boards.
In front of 11,692, Oregon ( 21-2 / 10-1 ) raced to an 85-52 win over the Wildcats ( 18-4 / 7-4 ) led by Ruthy Hebard’s 22 points. Sabrina Ionescu also notched her 24th triple double of her career to help lead the way. The Ducks outscored Arizona 46-30 in the second half to get the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It wasn’t the start Kelly Graves wanted to begin this important home stand against the Arizona schools. No. 13 Arizona showed why they’re the leading defensive team in the Pac-12 forcing the Ducks into lazy passes and ten turnovers in the first 20 minutes.
The Ducks certainly didn’t show themselves to be the No. 3 team in the country, but they were still were able to build an impressive 17 point lead in the first half at 39-22. In the first half, Satou Sabally continued her blistering hot streak connecting on 3 of 4 shots from long distance and collecting 7 rebounds and 4 assists to lead the way.
The double digit first half lead came in the late stages of the second quarter when the Ducks went on a 13-2 run over the last 3:10 accentuated by Sabally’s three pointer with :03 on the clock going into the break.
In the second half the Ducks broke it open with a 25-12 run to push the score to 66-34 at the :55 second mark of the third quarter when guard Taylor Chavez drilled a deep three ball from the top of the circle. Chavez was one of four Ducks who scored double figures with 17 points on 7 of 14 shooting.
“Just trying to find where I could fit in,” Chavez said after the game.
“They find me in the corners, and off the penetration-and-kick. Just trying to knock them down.”
Ruthy Hebard contributed 22, while Satou Sabally added 17 and Sabrina Ionescu scored 15.
It was another stellar performance for Ionescu who notched her 24th triple-double of her career. ( 15 pts, 11 rebounds, 10 assists )
While the Wildcats came into the game with one of the best defenses in the conference, they simply couldn’t defend all of the Ducks moving parts, including Hebard in the paint.
From the outset the Cats never could find an answer for the Ducks inside attack. The Ducks scored 42 of their 85 points in the paint led by Hebards 22 points on 10 of 13 shooting.
Oregon also crushed Arizona 40-24 on the boards including a 15-2 margin on the offensive glass.
One of the biggest plays of the night was late in the third quarter with the clock running out, Ionescu drilled a deep three with her infamous step back move to push the Oregon lead to 72-38 which put the dagger into the Cats evening.
Oregon would go on to win 85-52 and push their conference record to 10-1 and 21-2 overall.
“That was the 12th-ranked team,” said Oregon head coach Kelly Graves after the game.
“This was the hottest team in the conference, along with us. And we took it to them.”
Oregon looks to get their revenge over Arizona State on Sunday when the Sun Devils visit Matthew Knight Arena at 2:00 pm ( Pac-12 Network ). ASU handed the Ducks their second loss of the season with a 72-66 loss in Tempe back on January 10th.
KELLY GRAVES POST GAME COMMENTS