( POST GAME NOTEBOOK ) News & Notes From Oregon’s 85-52 Win Over Arizona – Ducks Look to Exact Revenge Over ASU Sunday and Capture the Weekend Sweep

POST GAME NOTEBOOK

24 FOR KOBE – It’s amazing when you witness remarkable greatness game after game that it almost becomes mundane when watching Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu.   We also tend to forget just how exceptional her play really is.   Fittingly, the senior guard racked up her 24th career triple-double Friday night in Oregon’s first home game since Kobe Bryant’s shocking and very untimely death.  Bryant was one of Ionescu’s best friends and mentor.

“Definitely a little bit more emotional for this one,” Ionescu said in her postgame interview.    “I’d probably be receiving a text at this time with him telling me something, …congratulating me and keeping up with it.   But he’s sending me a text in a different way.   I definitely can hear him congratulating me and our team.    I hope I can just stay at 24 for the rest of the year, but I don’t know if that’s gonna happen.”

Sabrina Ionescu drives to the basket during Friday's 85-52 win over No. 13 Arizona. ( Photo by Scott Kelley )

Sabrina Ionescu drives to the basket during Friday’s 85-52 win over No. 12 Arizona. ( Photo by Scott Kelley )

After the Civil War win in Corvallis, she said in a television interview the remainder of the season is being played in Kobe’s honor and the Ducks will continue to keep his memory alive and with them.    Ionescu scored 15 points, dished out 10 assists and grabbed 11 rebounds in the 85-52 rout over No. 12 Arizona.

SEASON NOTES ON SABRINA

  • NCAA-leading sixth triple-double of the season; now owns at least six triple-doubles in each of the last three seasons.
  • Second triple-double in the last three games; averaging 16.3 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 10.7 APG during that stretch.
  • 17th career triple-double at home, fourth vs. a top-25 opponent, 15th against a Power 5 team and 10th in Pac-12 play (3rd this season).

NO LETDOWN – One couldn’t blame the Ducks if they had come out a bit sluggish after a very long road trip that included their biggest regular season win in the history of the program.   Oregon came off a road trip that took them to the Mountain schools before a cross country trip to Storrs, Conn. where the Ducks smashed UConn 74-56.

Oregon appeared to have some rust and nerves in the opening 14 minutes of play and certainly wasn’t playing to their potential allowing Arizona to hang around ( 20-18 ) in the early going.    But after that, Oregon clamped down on defense, hit shots and the game was relatively over.   In the last 5:47 of the half, the Ducks outscored the Wildcats 19-4.

NO HAPPY MEAN FOR AARI – Arizona’s point guard, Aari McDonald, came into Friday’s game as the Pac-12’s leading scorer, averaging almost 24 points a game.   In the first contest between these two teams in Tucson where the Wildcats almost upset the Ducks, McDonald scored 25 points in the 71-64 loss to the Ducks.    But Oregon made some defensive adjustments and held the Wildcat point guard to just 13 points on 5-of-13 from the floor.   She also missed all four of her three-point attempts.

DUCKS LOOKING FOR PAYBACK – With a schedule as tough as the Pac-12 presents, no team can afford to look ahead. After tonight’s performance, the Ducks certainly were not looking ahead to Sunday.

But now they can.   Arizona State comes into Matthew Knight Arena for a 2 pm tip Sunday and the Ducks will certainly be looking for a little revenge.

The Sun Devils shocked the world last month when they upset Oregon 72-66 in Tempe. Since that loss, the Ducks have won nine straight games and are seemingly not looking back.

~ Don Smalley

SABRINA IONESCU & TAYLOR CHAVEZ POST GAME INTERVIEW

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