EUGENE - A breaker of records and a breaker of hearts.
This is Sabrina Ionescu.
On a night where Ionescu had to play her best, she came through. Against No. 3 Stanford, in front of 12,218 screaming fans and on national television, this is where Ionescu shines brightest. She was just short of what would have been her 23rd career triple-double with 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in the 32-point win over Stanford.
No. 6 Oregon (14-2, 4-1 Pac-12) upsets No. 3 Stanford (15-2, 4-1 Pac-12) 87-55 in Matthew Knight Arena.
Ionescu needed 25 points coming into this game to break the all-time scoring record previously set by Alison Lang (2,252, 1980-84). When she had recorded her 24th point, the crowd knew exactly what was at stake. When she drove left and sunk an elbow jumper, the crowd went nuts.
But in Ionescu’s mind it was just another basket. Just another basket in a big time game. At the following timeout, the stadium’s big screen showed her in the Ducks huddle and the crowd went nuts again.
Another milestone reached for the Walnut Creek, California-native and against a team located just shy of an hour from her hometown.
I’m just happy we won but like he [Graves] said, they’re [Stanford] the standard of excellence. Game in and game out that I’ve played them in my career here, that’s who I want to beat. Especially coming from the Bay Area and growing up with them in my backyard then choosing to leave and come here, it’s awesome to be able to play them. Obviously, I know a lot of their players and grew up playing with a lot of them so it’s always been competitive every time we play them and tonight it was. — Ionescu
The stat line is impressive, to say the least. But what makes Sabrina Ionescu the G.O.A.T that she truly is, is her attitude and mindset. It starts with a mamba mentality, a shark in the water, a “stay mad” type of grind.
She seems to always do it on night’s like this too. When her best is needed, that’s when she usually steps up. I know sometimes against some opponents she isn’t as ready maybe mentally or that into it, but in games like this, she just has that other level to go to. And thank goodness. — Oregon coach Kelly Graves.
That mentality did not shut off when she subbed out with under a minute of game clock remaining. After putting in 38 minutes of work and the Ducks with a more than comfortable 30+ point lead, Ionescu etched her name onto Oregon’s Mt. Rushmore of savage moments: she waved and saluted goodbye to the Cardinal.
When asked who she was waving / saluting at in the post game press conference, Ionescu replied with a smirk:
Stanford. I’m going to be honest.
But hey, honesty is the best policy, right?
UP NEXT: The Ducks host the California Golden Bears on Sunday, January 19 at 2 p.m. (PT) at Matthew Knight Arena.