How Oregon won: A championship-caliber game on both ends of the court for the No. 6 nationally ranked Oregon Ducks. Although the Ducks kept their foot on the gas the whole way on the offensive side of the ball pouring in 91 points, this was quite the defensive stand. Oregon limited California to 38.2% shooting from the field and completely shut down the Bears’ and debatable conference’s star forward Kristine Anigwe to just six points and getting her into foul trouble. This all-around complete team effort gave Oregon (21-3, 10-1 Pac-12) it’s 10th conference win this season with a 91-54 rout over the No. 24 California Golden Bears (15-7, 6-5 Pac-12).
“I think we’re definitely starting to get to know each other more, get to know the system more, and I think that I’ve noticed that we can play very good defense for 40 minutes, we are going to be very hard to beat,” said sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu. Offensively, I think we’re in a very good place right now at this point in the season, but defensively we have to continue to stay focused for 40 minutes and really dial in and know their personnel and know what we’re running. If we do, I think games are going to turn out like they did tonight.”
Ionescu was five rebounds shy of another triple-double, but still managed an impressive 28 point and 11 rebound double-double.
The Ducks only turned the ball over six times and caused 13 Bears’ turnovers while grabbing 21 points off those turnovers.
What it means: The Ducks bench ran DEEP tonight. Graves gave each one of his players minutes, and they were not wasted. It was a group effort from start to finish and allowing some of the bench players to get in some quality minutes towards the end of the game will only benefit the Ducks in the home stretch and post season play.
Graves said, “I think what makes this team really special is on any given night, it’s just another player and some nights lots of different players. We got contributions tonight from a lot of different players and that’s what makes us hard to guard just because you can’t focus on taking away this option or that option or this player or that player, you got to guard usually five players on the court…”
Freshman guard Anneli Maley, known for her crashing the boards and aggressive play, got into rhythm tonight on the offensive side of the ball tonight too and finished with nine points, all from three-point range.
High flying Ducks: Alongside Ionescu’s double-double, sophomore Ruthy Hebard had herself a double-double as well finishing with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman Satou Sabally, the Pac-12 Freshman of the Week this past week, finished with 10 points.
Foul play: Sabally finished the game with four fouls.
Up next: Oregon hosts No. 25 Stanford (15-8, 9-2 Pac-12) at 12 PM (PT) this Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.