Eugene, OR – The No. 3-ranked Oregon Ducks women hosted the No. 12-ranked Arizona Wildcats Friday night at Matthew Knight Arena. The visiting Wildcats had won five consecutive games while the Ducks are coming off their most impressive win of the season by defeating national powerhouse UConn on the road. In front of 11,692 fans, Oregon was in complete control from the opening tip as they assisted 23 times on their 32 made field goals in route to an 85-54 conference win.
The big three of Sabrina Ionescu, Satou Sabally, and Ruthy Hebard were dominant again for the Ducks as they combined to score 54 points with most of the damage coming in the first three quarters. Ionescu continued to add to her all-time triple-double mark by recording her 24th of her career. The senior guard, who does it all, tallied 15 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. She shot 6-for-9 from the field including hitting three 3-pointers. One of her threes on the night was an incredible step back 3-pointer five feet beyond the men’s line at the buzzer to end the third quarter. She recorded her sixth triple-double of this season.
Junior forward Sabally gave the Ducks a spark early in the first half after Arizona went on an 8-0 run to cut Oregon’s lead to 20-18 with 5:47 remaining in the second quarter. Sabally got involved as the primary ball handler playing the pick and roll game with Hebard. She made a few precision points passes to Hebard for easy lay-ins. Oregon went on a 19-4 run to end the first half that Sabally capped off with a 3-pointer near the end of the first half. She finished the contest scoring 17 points (5-for-9), grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out six assists. It was her second straight double-double. In addition, Oregon as a team, dominated the boards, in part due to Sabally’s effort on the glass, with a 40-24 edge. They held a 15-2 edge on offensive rebounds.
Hebard shot 10-for-13 from the field scoring 22 points. The senior has incredible hands, catching the ball in traffic while rolling to the hoop. She uses her strength and innate touch to make shots in the paint. Another bright spot for the Ducks was sophomore Taylor Chavez, who came off the bench to score 17 points. She was aggressive on the offensive end making 7-of-14 shots from the field. Chavez is a scoring asset with a smooth shooting stroke and can get to the hoop with her quickness. She is one of many threats that teams have to account for when playing Oregon.
It was apparent that Oregon’s game plan was to slow down the Wildcats star player Aari McDonald. McDonald, who was honored this past week as the Naismith’s National Player of the Week for her efforts against UCLA and USC, was held in check most of the night. She went 5-for-13 from the field, totaling just 13 points. The sophomore guard has been averaging 20.8 points on the season. She dished out six assist, but in the process turned the ball over seven times. Arizona as a team had 19 turnovers in the game.
The Wildcats were efficient shooting the ball from the field by hitting on 44 percent of their shots. Sophomore Cate Reese quietly, but effectively, scored 17 points on 8-of-11 shooting. Turnovers and rebounds hurt the Wildcats on the night.
Oregon (21-2, 10-1) will host No. 19 Arizona State (16-7, 6-5) on Sunday, as they continue their quest for a third straight Pac-12 title. No. 12-ranked Arizona (18-4, 7-4) will travel north to take on another top ten opponent when they face No. 9 Oregon State (19-4, 7-4).
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