Eugene, OR – The No. 2-rated Oregon women opened Pac-12 conference play, in arguably the toughest conference in the nation against an undefeated Colorado Buffaloes squad. Colorado reeled off 12 straight wins to open the season but they were no match for the high-flying Ducks tonight at Matt Knight Arena.
Oregon took off to a 23-6 first quarter lead and rolled to a 104-46 win before 10,483 home court fans. The Ducks were lead by their three All-Americans, Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally. Ionescu finished with 21 points, six rebounds and seven assists. Hebard scored 21 points on 9–of-11 from the field and Sabally added 17 points. Grad transfer Minyon Moore was effective facilitating the offense with seven points, five assists and no turnovers.
Oregon closed the first quarter with a 26-11 lead and entered halftime leading by 51-22. Sabally and Hebard, both 6-4, were particularly active early for the Ducks with each scoring 10 first half points. Hebard scored her points in only ten minutes of action as she sat after picking up her second personal foul. Oregon was content to work the ball inside with 23 of their first 27 shots from two-point range. The Ducks played tight defense on Colorado holding the Buffaloes to 28.6 percent first half shooting including a poor 2-of-13 on 3-pointers. Ionescu was active as usual and completed the half with 14 points, four rebounds and four assists. Ionescu connected on two three-pointers late in the second quarter, the last giving the Ducks a 25-point lead. Jaz Shelley then hit two three-pointers in the final two minutes of the half extending the Duck lead to 29 points.
The second half started in a similar fashion with Hebard scoring three times inside and the Ducks hitting on six of their first seven shots as they expanded their lead to 64-25 before Colorado called a timeout. Sabally thrilled the crowd with a Pete Maravich type move as she switched hands on a driving lay-up that she made and was fouled on. The third quarter ended with a 47-point Oregon lead as they cruised to the 58-point win. Head Coach Kelly Graves played his substitutes extensively during the entire fourth quarter. Things didn’t slow down much at that point for Oregon as they extended their large lead helped by three 3-pointers from Taylor Chavez (10 points) and good shooting from Shelley (10 points).
Oregon was efficient offensively throughout the contest as they made 58 percent of the field goal attempts with 8-of-17 successful from distance. Colorado couldn’t get going at all on the offensive end finishing with 27 percent shooting including a paltry 4-of-24 on 3s.
Oregon (11-1) looks to go to 2-0 in conference when they face Utah (7-6) on Sunday afternoon. Colorado, now 12-1 will have another tough game at No. 3-ranked Oregon State (13-0), also on Sunday.