Oregon Ducks

Oregon Ducks

After an emotional, hard-fought weekend, the Oregon Ducks (17-2, 7-1 Pac-12) left victorious on both occasions over their rival Oregon State Beavers (16-4, 4-4 Pac-12).

Their reward? A No. 3 ranking by the Associated Press.

Previously, the Ducks had been ranked No. 4 heading into the back-to-back games against the then-No. 7 Beavers. After walking away from both contests the victor, Oregon showed they belong in a higher tier than their rivals from the north. 

The Beavers dropped to No. 10 after getting swept. 

Let's recap the weekend.

Versus No. 7 Oregon State: 

The Ducks opened up the Civil War weekend with a home game that they looked quite dominant in for stretches. 

After falling behind 10-2 early, the Ducks would storm back to take a 45-29 halftime advantage. The lead would get as high as 21 points in the fourth quarter before a late Beavers rally made things more interesting.

Sabrina Ionescu showed why she's the best player in college basketball by scoring 23 points along with four rebounds and nine assists; including two buzzer-beating three-pointers to end the first and third quarters. 

[RELATED: Instant Analysis: The Ducks break open the floodgates against the Beavers]

@ No. 7 Oregon State: 66-57 WIN

The Ducks persevered through one of the most emotional environments you'll ever see. Just an hour before tipoff, both teams learned that NBA legend Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna tragically passed away. The loss especially affected Ionescu who had developed a relationship with both Bryants.

 

[RELATED: Sabrina Ionescu paying tribute to Kobe Bryant: “This season is for him”]

Her father told ESPN the advice he gave to his daughter before the contest. "Of all the times you worked with him, of all the phone calls. You deserve to play for him and his legacy. Go out and do it today. Go out and play for Kobe."

She did just that, playing all 40 minutes and putting up 19 points and grabbing eight rebounds. After the game, she told ESPN that this season is for Kobe. 

NEXT: Now Oregon looks ahead to traveling east to play Utah on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. PT, then Colorado on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. PT, before traveling to play No. 4 Connecticut on Monday at 4:00 p.m. PT.