Oregon Ducks

Instant Analysis: Ducks break open the floodgates against the Beavers

Instant Analysis: Ducks break open the floodgates against the Beavers

When the Ducks are on fire, there's nothing the opposing team can do to stop them, as the Beavers found out when their dam came crashing down in the first leg of the Civil War weekend.

The No. 4 Oregon Ducks (16-2, 6-1 Pac-12) defeated their rival No. 7 Oregon State (16-3, 4-3 Pac-12) 76-64 in front of a soldout crowd of 12,362 at Matthew Knight Arena. 

The Beavers got off to a quick start taking a 10-2 lead after a Destiny Slocum three-pointer with 6:25 remaining in the first period. 

However, then the Ducks came roaring back eventually taking an 18-16 lead off a jump shot from guard Sabrina Ionescu. Their offense didn't stop there, however, as the Ducks' efficient offense continued all night en route to a huge conference victory for Oregon. 

A late rally by Oregon State got them within striking distance but it was too little, too late. 

Here are three takeaways from the contest.

1. Sabrina is the GOAT

It took just seven seconds for the all-time leading scorer in program history to break another record (which may be a record in of itself), when Sabrina became the all-time leader in assists in Pac-12 conference history with 939. She had tied Gary Payton from Oregon State in the Ducks' previous game against California. 

She wasn't done yet, of course. She took command of the game after the Ducks got into an early deficit, including capping off the first quarter with a buzzer-beating three-pointer that everyone knew was going in.

For good measure, she beat the third-quarter buzzer too.

She finished the game with 23 points, four rebounds and nine assists which using the Russell Westbrook way-of-thinking is a "bad" game since she didn't get a triple-double. 

However, as the best player in all of college basketball, it's Sabrina's world and we're just living in it. 

2. The Ducks are an offensive onslaught waiting to happen

Team USA felt it. Stanford felt it. Now Oregon State has felt it.

When the Ducks are clicking on offense no one in the nation can stop them.

Not only do they have three expected future-first-round picks in the upcoming WNBA Draft (Sabrina Ionescu, Ruthy Hebard, and Satou Sabally) but their supporting players are full of 40-percent three-point shooters. If a defense can somehow force someone other than the Ducks' Big Three to beat them, then Erin Boley, Taylor Chavez, or Jaz Shelley will just bomb away from behind the arc. Their opponents can pick their poison but each choice has the same result if the Ducks are rolling. 

3. The Beavers need to play inside-out to beat the Ducks 

Despite an overall poor first half, Oregon State freshman Taylor Jones showed why she's one of the highest-rated recruits to ever come to Corvallis. Her 17 first-half points led the game up until that point and were the lone bright spot for the Beavers.

However, it provided a blueprint for the rematch on Sunday in Corvallis; the Beavers need to play through the 6-foot-4 Taylor Jones on the block and force the Ducks to double team her, so their shooters can get off clean looks once the ball is worked around. If that double team never comes from Graves' squad then the Beavers should be happy getting efficient looks late in the clock each possession to slow the game down which will limit the Ducks' offensive possessions and their opportunities to score. 

Sabrina Ionescu’s record setting night was perfectly poetic in honor of Kobe and Gigi Bryant

Sabrina Ionescu’s record setting night was perfectly poetic in honor of Kobe and Gigi Bryant

Sabrina Ionescu's day started with speaking at her friend's memorial service.

She gave a touching speech at Staples Center in front of thousands and shared the wonderful memories she had with Kobe and Gigi Bryant.

She then hopped on a short flight north where the No. 3 Oregon Ducks were waiting for her. So was No. 4 Stanford. It was a top-5 showdown on a Monday night in Palo Alto with the Ducks looking to clinch a share of the Pac-12 title, while Stanford was looking for revenge.

Ionescu didn't just record her 26th career triple double, but she also made history becoming the first NCAA player to reach 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds. She needed nine rebounds coming into the game to complete the triple threat. She did and it is awesome.

On 2-24-20, the combined numbers of Gigi (2), Kobe (24), and Sabrina (20), Ionescu made history! 

It is perfectly poetic.

Here is how social media reacted to this unbelieveable milestone:

Instant Analysis: No. 3 Oregon clinches share of Pac-12 title with win over No. 4 Stanford

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OregonWBB Twitter

Instant Analysis: No. 3 Oregon clinches share of Pac-12 title with win over No. 4 Stanford

The Stanford Cardinal were ready to avenge their 32-point loss from back in Eugene on Jan. 16. They changed up their defensive scheme, leaving Oregon’s Minyon Moore open on the offensive end, double teaming Ruthy Hebard down low and clogging up driving lanes.

That didn’t last long.

The Ducks put the ball in Sabrina Ionescu’s hands as she fed it to the hot hand, Satou Sabally.

On a night where Ionescu made history in more ways than one, the No. 3 Oregon Ducks (26-2, 15-1 Pac-12) officially clinched a share of the Pac-12 conference title with the win over No. 4 Stanford (24-4, 13-3 Pac-12) in Palo Alto, California.

FINAL SCORE: Oregon 74, Stanford 66

Here are three quick takeaways from the game:

1. EARLY DEFENSE / POOR SHOOTING

The Ducks quickly jumped out to a 10-point lead after going on an 11-0 run to close out the first quarter. It was a nine minute scoring drought for Stanford. Junior Satou Sabally got the hot hand early hitting from both three-point range as well as AND-1 opportunities.

Stanford’s poor shooting start didn’t help the Cardinal either, hitting just 3-for-17 in the first quarter alone.

2. SATOU SABALLY

The 6-foot-4 forward has been a matchup nightmare all season long. She can stretch the floor wide with her sharp shooting which leaves room for her to drive the ball. 

Sabally brought her offensive skill and kept the Ducks afloat giving them a boost and a quick 10-point lead. She finished with 27 points hitting 10-for-17 from the field and nine rebounds.

3. THE BEST EVER, SABRINA IONESCU

Coming into Monday’s game, Sabrina Ionescu needed nine rebounds to reach a stat that no other has ever done before. She got all nine within three quarters. 

On her ninth rebound, Ionescu became the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000 points, 1,000 assists and 1,000 rebounds.

If those numbers aren’t crazy enough, how about recording her 26th career triple-double, too? Ionescu records back-to-back triple-doubles and finished with 21 points, 12 assists and 12 rebounds in the win.

It is her first against a top-10 opponent and eighth this season.

UP NEXT: The Ducks finally return home to host the Washington schools, starting with Washington State (11-17, 4-12 Pac-12) on Friday, Feb. 28 at 8 p.m. (PT) in Eugene, Oregon.

Sabrina Ionescu becomes the first NCAA player EVER to reach 2K points, 1K assists, 1K rebounds

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NBCSNW

Sabrina Ionescu becomes the first NCAA player EVER to reach 2K points, 1K assists, 1K rebounds

Sabrina Ionescu is the best player in collegiate basketball. Hands down. Cut and dry. Plain and simple. Wrap it up.

The proof is in the numbers. Something no one has EVER done before in the history of the NCAA, men’s or women’s: Ionescu becomes the first player ever to reach 2,000+ career points, 1,000+ career assists and 1,000+ career rebounds.

Here is how she got to all three:

- On November 13, 2019, Sabrina Ionescu reached 2,000 career points.

- On February 14, 2020, Sabrina Ionescu reached 1,000 career assists.

- On February 24, 2020, Sabrina Ionescu reached 1,000 career rebounds.

These numbers don’t even make sense! They seem unreachable. That is unless your name is Sabrina Ionescu.

The 5-foot-11 senior guard from Walnut Creek, California has changed the game and elevated the Oregon program to national relevance. Players commit to Oregon to play with her. Players commit to Oregon to carry on her legacy.

Here are her stats from year to year:

FRESHMAN YEAR (2016-17): Averaged 14.6 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.5 assists per game.

SOPHOMORE YEAR (2017-18): Averaged 19.7 points, 6.7 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.

JUNIOR YEAR (2018-19): Averaged 19.9 points, 7.4 rebounds and 8.2 assists per game.

SENIOR YEAR (2019-PRESENT): Averaged 17.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 8.7 assists per game.

The NCAA leader in triple-doubles? Sabrina Ionescu, who recorded her 25th career triple-double at Cal on Friday. She even has a menu item named after her at the Wild Duck Cafe across from Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene: “Sabrina’s triple-doubles” which is three mini slider burgers, double stacked meat with cheddar cheese, pickles and slider sauce.

On April 6, 2019, Ionescu wrote a letter to Duck Nation stating she would return to Oregon for her senior season for some “Unfinished Business.”

She was most likely talking about a National Championship considering the Ducks had just come off the program’s first ever Final Four appearance and a loss to the Baylor Bears. But the possibility of consistently writing her name not just into Oregon record books but national record books is something else.

“She’s putting up ridiculous numbers.”

“I don’t know if there’s anything she can’t do.”

“It’s in her eyes and the competitive nature that she had, you can’t teach that.” -- Stephen Curry

These are just some of the things said about Ionescu.

And she’s not done yet. There is still some unfinished business left for Ionescu and the No. 3 Oregon Ducks.

Former Oregon WR Juwan Johnson gets married to Chanen Raygoza in Las Vegas

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Former Oregon WR Juwan Johnson gets married to Chanen Raygoza in Las Vegas

What happens in Vegas, doesn't always stay in Vegas. 

Congratulations are in order to former Oregon receiver Juwan Johnson, who tied the knot with longtime girlfriend Chanen Raygoza!

The Johnsons nuptials were captured on video and shared on Youtube late last week, and it seemed like quite the Vegas adventure.

Their trip included everything a trip to The Strip should: a decked out suite, a hotel pool with a slide that goes through a fish tank, a wedding with a Las Vegas twist and of course a trip to “Canes,” which we can only hope to be Raising Cane’s.

Johnson penned this post to his wife after the two tied the knot on February 15. 

View this post on Instagram

❗️Follow our Joint Channel where we both said “I DO!”❗️People who like heartfelt message, this is for you...People who don’t just like and move on Chanen, We were always different. Different point of views. Different upbringings. Different States. Different time zones. Different interest in music. We even look different lol. But what we have in common that trumps all is that we love God. We are like the pieces to the jigsaw. Never the same but it happen to fit together. I knew 2 1/2 years ago that eventually you’ll be my wife. The road wasn’t easy but I’d rather take the journey with you because it’s worth it. You helped me grow, discover and build who i am as a man. You truly seen me grow from a boy to a man. (Literally tho i met you at 20 years old). I want to take every bump, every challenge and every milestone with you. Thank you God that i can call you Mrs. Johnson. Love you @chanenjohnson Feb. 15, 2020.

A post shared by Juwan Johnson (@juju__84) on

The two reportedly met in 2016 when Raygoza was a gymnast at Penn State. He popped the question to her earlier this month

Just days after Johnson made the biggest catch of his life, he departed for the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Johnson is one of seven Ducks preparing for the NFL Draft in April. 

He underwent measurements, a hospital pre-exam, and interviews with interested teams on Monday. The 23-year-old topped all NFL Combine wide receivers with largest hands, longest arms and longest wing span. 

Oregon women's basketball stays put in the AP Poll ahead of big game against No. 4 Stanford

Oregon women's basketball stays put in the AP Poll ahead of big game against No. 4 Stanford

Another week, another top-three ranking for the No. 3 Oregon Ducks (25-2, 14-1 Pac-12).

The Ducks kept their lone first-place vote from last week after demolishing California 93-61, but can earn some more respect with a win on the road against No. 4 Stanford (24-3, 13-2 Pac-12).

Other ranked Pac-12 teams include No. 9 UCLA, No. 13 Arizona, No. 17 Oregon State and No. 24 Arizona State. 

The top-10 for women's basketball is as follows:

  1. South Carolina (27-1)
  2. Baylor (25-1)
  3. Oregon (25-2)
  4. Stanford (24-3)
  5. Louisville (25-3)
  6. UCONN (23-3)
  7. Maryland (23-4)
  8. NC State (23-4)
  9. UCLA (23-4)
  10. Mississippi State (23-5)
     

Let's recap the weekend for the Oregon Ducks.

@ California, WIN 93-61

Sabrina Ionescu's last hometown road trip of her career got off to a great start when Oregon demolished the California Golden Bears, 93-61. Ionescu recorded triple-double No. 25, while Erin Boley shot lights out from behind the arc hitting 8-of-9 attempts on the night. 

With her eighth point on the night, Ruthy Hebard moved into second on Oregon's all-time scoring list. Hebard finished with 20 points and 15 rebounds vs. Cal.

UP NEXT: The Ducks will play No. 4 Stanford Monday night at 6:00 p.m. on ESPN2. Ionescu is nine rebounds shy of becoming the first player in NCAA history to record 2,000+ points, 1,000+ rebounds and 1,000+ assists in her collegiate career.

Here's how Sabrina Ionescu's teammates watched her speech at Kobe and Gianna's Memorial

Here's how Sabrina Ionescu's teammates watched her speech at Kobe and Gianna's Memorial

The No. 3 Oregon Ducks (25-2, 14-1 Pac-12) are preparing for one of their most important games of the season so far, on the road against No. 4 Stanford (24-3, 13-2 Pac-12) tonight at 6:00 p.m.

But some things are bigger than basketball.

Senior guard Sabrina Ionescu spoke at the Kobe and Gianna Bryant Memorial Service and gave an emotional speech about the impact they both had on her in the previous year.

355 miles north in Palo Alto, her Oregon teammates had her back all the way and watched the speech after shootaround wrapped.

Sabrina also got support from her former teammates, including Atlanta Dream guard Maite Cazorla.

Ionescu will play tonight at Stanford, just hours after the memorial service, to all-but-clinch the conference championship with a victory. 

The Bryants had gotten closer to Sabrina since they attended the Ducks game against USC last season and visited the team in the locker room following the game. Ionescu worked out with Kobe and Gianna twice this past summer, and both Sabrina and Kobe saw the same thing in Gianna: the future of women's basketball.

If I represented the present of the women's game, Gigi was the future and Kobe knew it. So we decided to build a future together.

[RELATED: What you need to know: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 Stanford (round two)]

Oregon guard Payton Pritchard nabs another Pac-12 Player of the Week honor

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USA Today Images

Oregon guard Payton Pritchard nabs another Pac-12 Player of the Week honor

Payton Pritchard has done it again. 

For the second time this season, the Oregon men’s basketball guard has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week. The news comes just one week after Pritchard received Naismith Men’s Player of the Week honors for a third time this season. 

Pritchard continued to build upon his National Player of the Year campaign this week, averaging 28 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists as Oregon split its road trip in the desert at Arizona State and Arizona.

The Ducks fell to ASU 77-72 in Tempe earlier in the week. Pritchard fouled out after scoring 18 points on 6-of-15 shooting and 4-of-10 from behind the arc.

The Oregon senior point guard bounced back with a career-high 38 points in the Ducks 73-72 overtime victory over Arizona on Saturday. It was a statement win for the Ducks, who remain in the hunt for the Pac-12 Championship crown. For Pritchard, it may have solidified his Pac-12 Player of the Year nod. 

Arizona coach Sean Miller was astounded by Pritchard’s standout performance, calling him Pac-12 Player of the Year, and he might just be right.

Pritchard currently leads the Pac-12 in scoring and assists with 20.1 points per game and 5.5 assists. The Ducks have now won five overtime games this season...could another clutch performance from Pritchard be on the horizon? The Ducks head back to Matthew Knight Arena on Thursday for a Civil War matchup vs. rivals Oregon State. Tip off is set for 8:00 p.m. in Eugene. 

What you need to know: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 Stanford (round two)

What you need to know: No. 3 Oregon vs. No. 4 Stanford (round two)

Let’s rewind the clock back to week four of Pac-12 conference play. It was a Thursday night in Eugene, Oregon with the No. 3 Stanford Cardinal in town to battle the No. 6 seed Oregon Ducks. A nationally televised game with big national relevance. 

The Cardinal had the lead after one quarter, 17-13. And that was about it for Stanford. The Ducks outscored the Cardinal 74-38 the rest of the way behind Sabrina Ionescu’s 37 points.

A 32-point victory over the No. 3 team in the country, and the Ducks were rolling.

Since then, much has changed for both squads.

Stanford is without star freshman Haley Jones, who suffered a knee injury days later against the No. 8 Oregon State Beavers. She has yet to return to the court. However, 6-foot-3 forward Maya Dodson has returned from injury and proven to be an asset on both the offensive and defensive ends.

For the Ducks, they just seem to be getting better and better. Since their first meeting on Jan. 16, Oregon has played top opponents week after week: Twice against then-No. 7 Oregon State, at No. 4 UConn, No. 12 Arizona, No. 19 Arizona State and at No. 7 UCLA.

Their strength of schedule has only benefited the Ducks in terms of national ranking as well as preparation for whose next.

Could we be previewing the Pac-12 Tournament finals coming up in just a few short weeks in Las Vegas, Nevada? Possibly. But make no mistake, there’s no guarantee in this challenging conference. We do know one thing, it’s going to be a good one. 

Oregon (25-2, 14-1 Pac-12) and Stanford (24-3, 13-2 Pac-12) sit atop the Pac-12 conference standings at one and two. Oregon can clinch a share of the Pac-12 regular-season title with a win over the Cardinal.

Looking ahead, Stanford’s final weekend of conference play is a trip to No. 11 Arizona and No. 21 Arizona State. The Ducks will host the Washington schools. Advantage Oregon.

Here is what you need to know about the game tonight:

NUMBERS TO KNOW

POINTS PER GAME

Oregon - 85.9

Stanford - 75.9

SCORING MARGIN

Oregon - 28.8

Stanford - 16.7

REBOUNDS PER GAME

Oregon - 40.3

Stanford - 42.3

ASSISTS PER GAME

Oregon - 21.0

Stanford - 15.4

KEYS TO AN OREGON VICTORY

Contain Kiana Williams. This has probably been the best stretch Williams has played all season long. In their first meeting, Williams was the leading scorer for Stanford with 15 points. She loves to get out and run and push the pace. Against the Colorado Buffaloes last Sunday, she finished with 29 points including two three-pointers in the final 10 seconds that gave Stanford the victory.

A key to slowing her down is Minyon Moore, who has been heckling opposing guards all season long. Moore will have to do it again against Williams.

Take the crowd out early. A big advantage for Oregon in their first matchup was having the Matthew Knight Arena near-sellout crowd backing them up. It’s a different story when you’re the road team. The last time the Ducks were in Maples Pavilion, they won by 40 (88-48). Stanford may be looking for a bit of revenge in more ways than one.

How you do that? Oregon’s offense has been stellar lately with Erin Boley finding her outside shot. When opposing squads send double teams down low on Ruthy Hebard, Oregon and Boley need to capitalize with hitting three-pointers. Luckily for the Ducks, Boley has been on a tear lately hitting 15 three-pointers in their last two outings.

GAME INFORMATION

WHO: No. 3 Oregon at No. 4 Stanford 

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 24 at 6 p.m. (PT)

WHERE: Maples Pavilion, Palo Alto, California.

TV: ESPN2

RADIO: Oregon Sports Network