Eugene, OR – Two of the nation’s best teams in women’s college basketball faced each other on Thursday night. The No. 3- ranked Stanford Cardinal have been a long time power while the No. 6- ranked Oregon Ducks have been a recent national force. Both squads were trying to gain some traction in the chase for a Pac-12 regular season title. It was Sabrina Ionescu and the Ducks who made a statement with an impressive 87-55 victory in front of a packed home crowd of 12,218 fans at Matt Knight Arena.
Stanford led for most of the first half with the guidance of guards Kianna Williams and Lacie Hull. Williams, a junior point guard was able to get it going from the 3-point line hitting 3-of-6 to finish the game with a team high 15 points. Hull a 6-1 guard added 10 points (4-of-5) and four assists. The Cardinal trailed at halftime 36-30 after Oregon went on a 7-2 mini-run to end the half. The second half is where things fell apart for Stanford as they scored just 25 points, shot 25 percent from the 3-point line and turned the ball over ten times.
Oregon took charge and dominated the third quarter and outscored the Cardinal 51-25 in the second half. Oregon’s Ionescu, who would have been last year’s number one pick in the WNBA draft, made her presence known all over the court. The fiery guard finished the game with a career high of 37 points (14-of-26), eleven rebounds, and seven assists. She and Ruthy Hebard played the pick and roll to perfection. Hebard’s screen in the third quarter helped setup Ionescu for a pull-up jumper from 18 feet to break the all-time scoring record for Oregon women’s basketball with 2,265 points and counting.
Hebard finished the game with 11 points (4-for-8) and five rebounds. She is the only active player in Divison-1 women’s basketball to have over 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for her career. Fellow forward Satou Sabally, from Germany, pulled down 11 rebounds and chipped in 18 points with 13 coming in the second half. She shot 5-for-11 from the field including going 6-for-7 from the strike.
Minyon Moore played aggressive defense, which was key in slowing down Stanford’s point guard Williams. The senior contributed in a variety of ways for the Ducks as she finished the contest with 11 points (3-for-5 FG), three rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Ducks’ second half dominance started on the defensive end by scoring 15 points on ten second half turnovers while also scoring 15 second chance points on eight offensive rebounds.
Oregon (14-2, 4-1) will play another home game at Matthew Knight Arena against the California (8-7, 0-4) on Sunday January 19th. Stanford (15-2, 4-1) will continue to stay on the road as they will head up north to face another top ten opponent in Oregon State (15-1, 3-1).
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