Eugene, OR – In a battle of top ten teams, No. 8 Oregon outlasted No. 10 UCLA 101-94 in overtime in front of 7,098 loud fans. Freshman forward Satou Sabally led Oregon with 25 points, connecting on her first seven three-pointers. Junior guard Matie Cazorla connected on five of her first six three-pointers in scoring 24 points. However it was Sabrina Ionescu who came through in the clutch for the Ducks. She tied the game in regulation with a free throw, then scored seven of her 23 points in overtime. She added 12 assists against no turnovers. Jordan Canada (26 points, 13 assists) and Monique Billings (26 points, 10 rebounds) were impressive for the Bruins.
Oregon came out of the gates extremely hot on the offensive end. They scored 31 first quarter points and led 57-41 at the half after shooting 71.4 percent from the field including 9-of-13 from distance. They extended their lead to 19 points on a Sabally three-pointer with 7:26 remaining in the third quarter. Then UCLA came storming back on a 22-10 run to cut Oregon’s lead to 78-71 at the close of the third quarter. Billings (11-of-15 shooting) scored 11 points in the UCLA run while Canada added seven.
The Ducks had a nine-point lead at 85-76 after another Sabally three-pointer with 6;18 left in the game. Once again, the Bruins came back and scored the next nine points tying the game at 85 on a Lajahna Drummer inside basket. The teams battled from there with UCLA scoring their last basket in regulation on a three-pointer from 5-6 Japreece Dean to take a 90-87 lead with 2:18 remaining. Ionescu then made 3-of-4 free throws in the last two minutes to tie the game at 90. UCLA had the ball with 26 seconds remaining and one last chance to win the game in regulation. They got the ball to Drummer who had a good look from five feet, but her bank shot was off the mark and the game headed to overtime. It looked like Drummer might have been fouled on the play.
After the game was tied at 94, the 6-4 Sabally made a fall-away jumper from the wing to give Oregon a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. Ionescu scored the next three Oregon points while UCLA did not score again after missing two shots and committing a turnover. In this contest Sabally and Cazorla were the difference for the Ducks. They made 12 of their first 14 three-pointers and Cazorla had 17 points and six assists at halftime.
With the win Oregon (25-4, 14-2) is on top the Pac-12 race and will take home the conference title if they can win on the road at Arizona and Arizona State. UCLA (21-6, 12-4) dropped into a third place tie with Oregon State with Stanford still a factor with a 13-3 conference record. The Cardinal have the tie-breaker edge on Oregon as they defeated the Ducks in their only meeting this season.
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