Kelly Graves

Ruthy is ruthless in Ducks' Sweet 16 victory

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Ruthy is ruthless in Ducks' Sweet 16 victory

How Oregon won: A bit of nerves perhaps in the opening minutes, for the Oregon Ducks settled in nicely in this NCAA Sweet 16 matchup against the Central Michigan Chippewas. Lead by sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard down low, on both sides of the court, the No. 2 Ducks cruised to an 83-69 win over No. 11 Central Michigan and punch their ticket into the Elite 8.

It took awhile for both team to get settled in. Two hot-shooting three-point teams, and neither hit a three-pointer until halfway through the first quarter. Hebard established her game early. Her teammates found her down low, one or two dribbles to get to her right side, and then a high-percentage layup, the shot she has mastered so much this season. 33 times in a row, in fact. Hebard records her second double-double of the post-season tournament with 23 points and 14 rebounds. She needed four more blocks for a triple-double.

The Ducks defense came to play as well. Central Michigan comes in ranked No. 13 in 3-pt field goals attempted. Oregon coach Kelly Graves said during pregame that the Ducks must be mindful and defend the three-point line, and make sure the Ducks get on the boards because the Chippewas like to pass the ball out if they get an offensive rebound. Oregon’s defense held Central Michigan to 7-of-27 (26%) from behind the arc. Along with making sure there was a hand in the air on the Chippewas shooters, Oregon also recorded 11 total blocks, six alone coming from Hebard. Oregon will need that same defensive pressure down low against Notre Dame on Monday with their height down low.

What it means: The No. 2 Ducks are headed to the NCAA Elite 8 for back-to-back consecutive seasons and will face No. 1 Notre Dame on Monday evening in Spokane, WA. The Irish are coming off a 90-84 battle against No. 4 Texas A&M lead by starters Marina Mabrey and Arike Ogunbowale’s 25 points each.

High-flying Ducks: Sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu continues to shine when the spotlight keeps getting brighter. Ionescu was one rebound shy of her 11th career triple-double. She finished with 16 points, 10 assists, and nine rebounds. Senior Lexi Bando finished with 14 points hitting 4-of-11 from three-point range. Junior Oti Gildon, playing in front of her home town fans of Spokane, came up again huge with 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench. She continues to be a stable presence off the bench for Graves.

Foul play: Gildon finished with three fouls. 

Ducks flying north to Spokane in dominant fashion

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Ducks flying north to Spokane in dominant fashion

How Oregon won: If you wanted high-scoring, fast-paced, an all-around offensive efficient battle, then you came to the right game. Two of the top-10 leading team scorers battled head-to-head in a matchup that did not disappoint with 174 total points scored. Both teams off to a hot start as buckets were raining from the ceiling of Matthew Knight Arena in front of a full house. But in the end, it was all Oregon on both sides of the court with an 101-73 victory over No. 10 Minnesota in round two of the NCAA tournament in Eugene, OR.

“Had to have been a fun game to watch for a fan to watch, it wasn’t always fun to be a coach to watch,” said Oregon coach Kelly Graves. “I thought that first half, especially in the first quarter was, that’s high level offensive basketball…”

Offense production was there but the defense was on point tonight and picked up right where it left off Friday evening vs. No. 15 Seattle U. The Ducks held the number three team in the nation in scoring at 85.2 points per game, to just 73 points, 14 in each the second and third quarters. The Ducks defense limited the leader of the Gopher pack Kenisha Bell to just 14 points making sure that there was someone in front of her at all times in Oregon’s zone and clogging the lanes with multiple defenders there to challenge her shot.

Graves said, “I remember at the media timeout, second quarter, we talked about the first team to make a three-minute defensive stand was going to separate themselves from the others and that’s what we did.”

Ducks go on an 11-0 run to close out the first half and take a 51-36 lead. And it didn’t stop there. Oregon outscored Minnesota 30-14 in the third quarter and rode that momentum all the way until the final buzzard. 

Sabrina Ionescu was on triple-double watch by the end of the first quarter. She is on another level when the spotlight continues to get brighter. It is remarkable that with so much ice in her veins, Sabrina Ionescu can still heat up. Ionescu’s night finished just shy of yet another triple-double with 29 points, nine assists, and seven rebounds. Add in a step-back three-pointer, while getting fouled for the chance at am and-1 and four-point play, but missed the free throw.

What it means: The No. 2 Oregon Ducks hit the road north to Spokane, Washington to continue the next few rounds of March Madness play. The Ducks await the winner of No. 11 Central Michigan (28-4) vs. No. 3 Ohio State (27-6) to be played on Monday, March 19th. 

High-flying Ducks: Lead by Ionescu, her partner in crime sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard recorded another double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. This duo combined for 21-of-28 shots from the field. Freshman Satou Sabally, who started tonight with five quick points and finished with 12 total points. 

In her final game in Matthew Knight Arena, senior and Eugene native Lexi Bando ended her career in front of Ducks fans doing what she does best: hitting three-pointers. She finished with 11 points hitting three triples.

Foul play: A very clean game from Oregon defensively found no one in any foul trouble.

 

Another triple-double; Another ankle-breaker; another day at the office for No. 2 Oregon

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Another triple-double; Another ankle-breaker; another day at the office for No. 2 Oregon

How Oregon won: Another triple-double, another ankle-breaking crossover, just another win for the Oregon Ducks. But it all came at the right time. Since defeating Stanford to claim the Pac-12 tournament title for the first time in school history, the No. 2 Ducks picked up right where they left off in round one of the NCAA March Madness tournament vs. No. 15 Seattle University with a commanding 88-45 win at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Oregon.

“I thought we played really well right from the get go,” said Oregon coach Kelly Graves. “When I saw our team diving for loose balls, early in that game, I could tell that this wasn’t just another game that we were just going to go through the motions and win this thing. These guys really wanted to compete.” 

Seattle University coach Suzy Barcomb said of Oregon, “I truthfully do think they should be a Final Four team…”

Lead by her tenth career triple-double, sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu shined once again in the spotlight. Ionescu finished with 19 points, 11 assists, and 10 rebounds, and she accomplished all of this in just 31 minutes. With one rebound to go to complete her triple-double, the crowd of Oregon fans began to subtly boo when other Oregon players got the rebound. All in good fun and in support of Ionescu, the NCAA record-holder for career triple-doubles. At last, she finally grabbed her final rebound, was immediately taken out of the game by Graves, and for the remaining nine minutes of the game, Ionescu was pumping up her teammates from the bench.

Coming off a deep tournament run last season, the Ducks were hungry for more coming out tonight and in front of their home crowd.

“Less nerves? No, I think I was nervous, I think our team was nervous,” said Ionescu. “Seeding doesn’t matter, I think we learned that last year. We came out and we were hungry for wins, and we wanted to play and we hung in their with 2-seed’s, 3-seed’s, 4-seed’s, so seeding didn’t matter. It just felt different because we were at home and we had the crowd on our side.”

It was just clicking on both ends of the floor tonight for Oregon. What started on the defensive end was finished on offensive with swift ball movement and establishing both an inside and outside game. Oregon got off to a hot start forcing four quick turnovers getting hands in the passing lanes and deflecting balls. The Ducks held Seattle scoreless for just over five minutes. 

What it means: The Ducks will play the No. 10 Minnesota Golden Gophers in round two of the Spokane Region tournament at 7:30 PM at Matthew Knight Arena. Minnesota comes in as the number three scoring offense in the country, so Oregon will have to bring it on the defensive front once again.

“They have quick guards and they move the ball well, they shoot the ball well,” said Ionescu. “It will be a tough team, but I think we are prepared, especially playing through the Pac-12 and our preseason games. I think it prepares us for March, so I’m excited to play another game.”

High-flying Ducks: Five Oregon players scored in double digits tonight. Lead by Ionescu's 19 points, junior Oti Gildon came up huge off the bench finishing with 16 points and six rebounds. Sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard was once again a force down low finishing with 12 points and one rebound shy of a double-double. Senior Lexi Bando, playing in her final collegiate tournament, finished with 11 points on 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Finally, junior guard Maite Cazorla finished with 10 points and zero turnovers.

Oregon scored 54 points in the paint, partly due to Hebard and Gildon making their presence known down low.

Foul play: Freshamn Satou Sabally finished with three fouls. 

Up next: No. 2 Oregon vs. No. 10 Minnesota at 7:30 PM at Matthew Knight Arena.

Ionescu shines in Ducks' biggest moment

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Ashley Young

Ionescu shines in Ducks' biggest moment

Big time players make big time plays in big time games. In one of the biggest games of her young career, Oregon sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu had a little "twinkle in her eye", according to Oregon coach Kelly Graves, coming into tonight's Pac-12 tournament finals vs. the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal. Ionescu went off for a career high and Pac-12 championship record 36 points to lead the No. 1 Oregon Ducks past the Cardinal 77-57 in Seattle, WA.

This is the Ducks' first ever Pac-12 tournament championship in program history.

Graves said on Ionescu, "I tell you, when you have somebody like Sabrina, she shines the brightest in the biggest moments, and she sure did that tonight. It's a part of her competitive greatness."

What was the key to success? Rewind to the beginning of February, and the Ducks had just suffered their second conference loss to the Cardinal at home at Matthew Knight Arena. Tonight, it was a different story and some "unfinished business" to attend to. 

"I thought our energy was great, we were active, our feet and our hands were active," said Graves. "We didn't get out and trap much but I just thought we were on point and dialed in. We decided to play them outside-in to try to take away that three-point game the best we could, make them make baskets around the hoop and we did that."

Ionescu, the Pac-12 Player of the Year, finished with 36 points shooting 14-of-24 from the field, four rebounds, four assists, and four steals. The Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Satou Sabally recorded 12 points hitting 3-of-5 from three-point range. Sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard was one rebound shy of another double-double and finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Junior guard Maite Cazorla finished with 10 points and six assists.

 

 

Survive & Advance. Ducks flying into Pac-12 title game

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Ashley Young

Survive & Advance. Ducks flying into Pac-12 title game

How Oregon won: The Ducks and Bruins picked up right where they left off 12 nights ago in Eugene, OR. This game, including the build-up to tip off, was nothing short of edge-of-your-seat entertainment on both sides of the court. From start to finish, this was a back-and-forth gripping battle, in which both Oregon coach Kelly Graves and UCLA coach Cori Close quoted as "an Elite Eight level game" and "Final Four" caliber. But in the end, it was all Ducks. Closing out on a 10-0 run, holding the Bruins scoreless in the final five minutes, and senior Lexi Bando hitting a huge three-pointer was the formula for success. No. 1 tournament seed Oregon fought all the way to the finish and defeats the No. 4 UCLA Bruins 65-62 in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals in Seattle, WA. 

The Ducks will advance to the Pac-12 tournament finals for the first time in program history.

Graves said, "I don't typically get that emotional but that was a heck of a game. We didn't show many signs that we were going to win that thing until late. Didn't appear at times to be our day and these guys just gutted it out. I thought defensively, late in that game, man we ran I think four possessions of man-to-man against htem in our first two games combined and we went man-to-man most of the night tonight and I thought out kids did a really good job and held a high-scoring team down."

Two, momentum-swinging runs from the Ducks, proved to be the catalyst in this game. Late in the second quarter, the Ducks found themselves in a 13-point hole, down 32-19 with 4:22 remaining. It was three-pointers from Bando, sophomore Sabrina Ionescu, and junior Maite Cazorla that swung the momentum back on the Ducks' side heading into the locker room at halftime down just two points.

"Well anytime you play UCLA, you know they're going to make runs," said Graves. "That's the kind of team they are, they feed off turnovers, long rebounds, those kinds of things. We are fortunate that we made the last one. I thought our 13-2 run late in the second quarter, I thought was the key to the game in a lot of ways just because it gave us a lot of momentum going in. I thought the first half we were as poor offensively as we've been, but we atleast got a bit of life. Lexi hit one of those big three's... seems like everytime she hits one of those three's it almost counts four or five because it seems to give us a lift."

What it means: The Ducks now await the winner of the second semifinal between the No. 2 Stanford Cardinal vs. the No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils. 

It seemed as though UCLA won most stat categories tonight vs. Oregon. Total rebounds: 39-31, advantage UCLA; offensive rebounds: 17-8, advantage UCLA; points in the paint: 26-22, advantage UCLA; second-chance points: 14-7, advantage UCLA; and points off turnovers: 12-4, advantage, you guessed it, UCLA. So what went wrong? Or rather, what did Oregon do better. The Ducks only lead by a total of 4:04, but made every second count. Oregon shot the ball 9-of-19 (47%) from behind the arc, went 10-of-15 from the free-throw line, only committed seven personal fouls (a season-low), and got the ball into it's hot-handed shooters.

"It almost seemed the whole arena was filled with Oregon fans," said Ionescu following the game. "It was really nice and inspiring to see. I was firing them up and they stood with us throughout the whole game. We were down 13, they were still pumping us on and cheering us on, and that's really nice to see. We hope they come out tomorrow and continue to help us get this win."

High flying Ducks: Four Ducks finished in double figures. Lead by Ionescu's 17 points, three rebounds, and five assists, sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard recorded another double-double, her 11th of the season, with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Cazorla finished with 14 points and four rebounds. Bando finished with 11 points going 3-for-5 from three-point range.

Foul play: Freshman Satou Sabally and sophomore Mallory McGwire finished with two fouls a piece. Sabally also left the game with an apparent injury in the fourth quarter.

Up next: The Ducks await the winner of the 2nd Pac-12 tournament semifinal between Stanford and Arizona State. The game will be at 6 PM (PT) Sunday evening in Seattle, WA.

Ducks make it rain in Seattle in Pac-12 quarterfinal victory

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Ashley Young

Ducks make it rain in Seattle in Pac-12 quarterfinal victory

How Oregon won: It was a beautiful, sunny day here in Seattle, but Oregon found a way to make it rain. Day one for the No. 1 tournament seeded Oregon Ducks and Oregon showed no signs of jitters or nerves and felt like it was back home in Eugene, OR. Senior leader Lexi Bando and freshman Satou Sabally lead the Ducks with a combined 11-of-16 from three-point range. While sophomore Sabrina Ionescu dished out a tournament single-game record 13 assists. The nationally ranked No. 6 Oregon Ducks picked up where they left off the regular season at the top with a Pac-12 quarterfinals 84-47 win over the Colorado Buffaloes in Seattle, WA.

"Sometimes in this first game there might be some tournament jitters, but I don't think we had it," said Oregon coach Kelly Graves. "I was just impressed with how our energy on both ends of the floor. Defensively, and offensively we spread the floor, we were shooting it well, the right people were getting the shots, it was just a really good game. I told them after the game, 'You were inspiring and I was a really proud coach.'"

A few stats to take note of: 16 fast break points for Oregon, showing that the Ducks want to be in control of the tempo and push the ball. The second, winning the rebound battle 40 to 24. 

Sabally, just a freshman and playing in her first post-season tournament, didn't show signs of being a freshman. She was confident shooting the ball and knowing when to give it up to one of her teammates. 

"I think our coaches just told us enough that we have to be ready," Sabally said following the game. "I think that's what it was, we were just ready to play and I was dialed in and my teammates were just all dialed in. It made it easier."

What it means: The Ducks now move into the Pac-12 tournament semi-finals and await the winner of the No. 4 UCLA Bruins vs. the No. 5 California Golden Bears. 

The Ducks' biggest weakness, according to Graves, has been eastablishing a big lead but letting teams back in, so to speak. Oregon gave up three quick three-pointers to the Buffs which called for a Graves timeout to regroup his team. From that point on, the Ducks rolled into halftime with a 45-18 lead. The Ducks held the Buffs to just 15 points in the third quarter and put of 30 themselves. Graves sent in the bench to pick up some minutes and experience and giving his starters a quarter and a half's rest in preparation for tomorrow's semifinals.

Ionescu said, "We talked about it in the locker room. We knew they were going to come out and they were going to play hard the rest of the game. We knew Kennedy (Leonard) and the rest of their guards were going to continue to take it to us but we knew that we had to continue to play well and grow as a team. You never know what happens in March so we did not want to let them get back into the game. We wanted to continue to get better every possession and every play. We let our bench come in and contribute and they played good minutes, so it was nice to see."

High flying Ducks: Oregon's starting five showed up and ready to play, even at the early 11:30 AM hour. Alongside of the hot shooting from Bando and Sabally, Ionescu was two rebounds short of another triple-double finishing with 10 points, 13 assists, and eight rebounds. Sophomore Ruthy Hebard also put together a nice game and finished with a double-double 11 points and 11 rebounds. Junior guard Maite Cazorla also put up nine points on 4-of-5 from the field.

Foul play: Hebard finished with three fouls.

Up next: The Ducks await the winner of UCLA vs. California and will play at 6 PM (PT) tomorrow evening at Key Arena in Seattle, WA.

The leader of the Pac(12). No. 8 Oregon claims regular season title

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The leader of the Pac(12). No. 8 Oregon claims regular season title

How Oregon won: The final game of the regular season, the 27th win on the season, and finally, the No. 8 Oregon Ducks can crown themselves the Pac-12 conference champions with a 74-61 over the Arizona Wildcats in Tuscon, AZ. The Ducks won in typical Oregon fashion: feeding the sophomore beast, the NCAA record holder for consecutive field goals made with 33, down low Ruthy Hebard, who finished with 24 points. 

It wasn't easy for Oregon with Arizona, lead by freshman forward Sam Thomas's 17 points and their star senior Jalea Bennett down low with 14 points, who stands second to last in the conference and with an upset mindset. The Wildcats never gave up and made a fourth quarter surge to put some pressure on the Ducks late.

But even with Arizona not giving up and fighting until the finish, the Ducks went on a 6-0 run in the final minutes, showing that the Ducks can finish a game even when the opposing team is gaining momentum. Senior guard Lexi Bando hit back-to-back clutch three-pointers to seal the game.

What it means: The Ducks will head into the Pac-12 conference tournament next weekend sitting pretty at the No. 1 seed. This is a huge advantage because lurking close behind the Ducks is: No. 16 Stanford, whom Oregon lost to this season; No. 10 UCLA, a proven challenge for the Ducks this season although the Ducks prevailed twice; and in-state rival No. 12 Oregon State, as the Civil War series split evenly between the Beavers and Ducks this season. 

This is the first Pac-12 regular season title since the 1999-2000 season for the Ducks. Oregon also gets its 27th win this season, a record for Oregon basketball history. 

High flying Ducks: Sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu was on triple-double watch once again, but fell just short recording 16 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds. Bando finished with 15 points hitting 5-of-7 from three-point range. These four have been consistent for the Ducks all season long.

Foul play: Bando finished with three fouls.

A share of the crown claimed by No. 8 Oregon

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Ashley Young

A share of the crown claimed by No. 8 Oregon

How Oregon won: It was a tale of two halves for the Ducks vs. the Arizona State Sun Devils. This one could have got out of hand quickly as Oregon quickly fell into a 26% from the field and 1-7 from three-point range slump in the first quarter. But the No. 8 Oregon Ducks caught heat and finally get a win in Tempe, AZ 57-44 over the Sun Devils. 

Just eight points and gave up five ASU offensive rebounds in the first quarter for Oregon. If it weren’t for the Sun Devils also poor shooting percentage, zero second-chance points, and seven first-half turnovers, Oregon most likely would have been in a bigger hole heading into halftime, but down 25-24.

Oregon coach Kelly Graves must have gave one heck of a pep-talk to his team coming out of halftime. Sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu started the third quarter off with a steal, layup, block, steal, and assist. Ionescu’s vision was insane in the second half as she was finding her counterpart sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard rolling to the basket and getting back to the high-low game the Ducks have so mastered this year. 

Oregon went on an 13-2 run in the closing five minutes of the third quarter to take a 44-33 at the start of the fourth quarter.

The one point deficit turned into a double-digit victory for Oregon.

What it means: With this win, the Ducks have secured at least a share of the Pac-12 title crown heading into one final road game and then the Pac-12 tournament in Seattle, WA the following weekend. Depending on how the rest of the weekend plays out in the Pac-12, with a win on Saturday at the Arizona Wildcats, the Ducks would lock up the No. 1 spot in what is turning out to be a interesting and tough Pac-12 tournament. 

Finishing strong is a necessity, especially with a lurking Stanford (13-3), UCLA (13-4) and Oregon State (12-4) right around the corner.

High flying Ducks: Ionescu lead the way for Oregon with 16 points, eight assists, and five rebounds. Hebard and junior guard Maite Cazorla finished with 14 points a piece. Hebard also added six rebounds.

Foul play: Hebard and Freshman Satou Sabally finished with three fouls each

Up next: No. 8 Oregon at the Arizona Wildcats at 11 AM (PT) this Saturday in Tuscon, AZ.

 

It takes two (OT's) to make a thing go right

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Ashley Young

It takes two (OT's) to make a thing go right

How Oregon won: It wasn't easy and it was pretty, but the Oregon Ducks managed a huge win in front of their screaming Ducks fans at Matthew Knight Arena Friday night. The Ducks had to fight fire with fire, grit with grit, for a full 40 minutes, and that still wasn't enough against the USC Trojans. In fact, it took 50 minutes, two overtime thrillers, another PERFECT shooting from the field game from sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard, and a few clutch three-pointers from senior guard Lexi Bando for the No. 9 Ducks (24-4, 13-2 Pac-12) to down the USC Trojans (17-9, 7-8 Pac-12) 80-74. 

Oregon coach Kelly Graves said, "We weren't at our best tonight, but give USC credit, they played hard. I thought in that first half, we just didn't take care of the ball and when made them play in the half court, we did a great job. But we can't give up those layups in transition. Or stupid turnovers. Down the stretch we made a couple key stops, and I thought maybe we're the more conditioned in that second ovetime. I thought we looked a little fresher, they made some mental and physical mistakes, and we were lucky enough to capitalize on the win."

What it means: The Ducks recorded 24 team turnovers, gave up 31 points off those turnovers, had the ball stolen 19 times, and still won the game, granted it took two overtime's. Those two statments don't always mix in a positive way. Oregon started off with two turnovers on bad passes down low that lead to open layups for the Trojans. Not a good start for Graves and the Ducks. Oregon had zero fastbreak points compared to USC's 17. They will have to maintain better control of the ball with the season rapidly coming to a close and the Ducks needing every win to secure that No. 1 seed heading into the Pac-12 tournament the first week of March. 

USC gets after loose balls, plays tough, pressure on-ball defense, and tries to get in its opponents heads. And it worked. Oregon only scored five points in the second quarter, and struggled in its final possessions to even get a good look at the hoop. 

Bando said, "They're a team that we kind of don't like to play because of the turnovers they do cause. You know, the fast paced game. But we pulled out the win and you just got to move past this and just be happy with it for tonight."

High flying Ducks: Ruthy Hebard finished another night of perfect shooting. Hebard records 27 points on 12-for-12 from the field and added 10 rebounds. That brings her total points to 86 points over the last three games. Junior guard Maite Cazorla finished with 17 points hitting 4-for-7 from three-point range. Sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu, who was shadowed the whole night, was kept to a quiet 15 points but also grabbed nine rebounds. Bando finished with 11 points going 3-of-5 from three-point range.

Foul play: Mallory McGwire finished with four fouls.

Up next: Oregon stays home to host the No. 7 UCLA Bruins (21-5, 12-3 Pac-12) at 7 PM (PT) on Monday night at Matthew Night Arena.

No. 9 Oregon sets up camp in the paint behind Hebard's 30-points

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No. 9 Oregon sets up camp in the paint behind Hebard's 30-points

How Oregon won: Ruthy Hebard put on an absolute clinic on the inside. The Ducks made their presence know in the paint and utilized a size and height advantage over a smaller Washington lineup. Swift ball movement around the perimeter allowed gaps under the hoop for Hebard to set up camp. Hebard finishes with a career-high 30 points on 13-of-15 shooting, and 14 rebounds, to lead No. 9 Oregon (22-4, 11-2 Pac-12) past the Washington Huskies (7-17, 1-12 Pac-12) 76-63 in Seattle, WA.

What it means: Oregon coach Kelly Graves made the right halftime adjustments to really open up the second half for the Ducks. This was a close game through one and a half quarters. Both teams got off to a hot start shooting, but Oregon started to let up with five turnovers, most of which coming on entry passes into the inside. Washington settled down and into a groove on its home court. 

But the Ducks went on a 13-2 run to close out the second quarter and took a 33-27 lead over the Huskies into halftime. From that point on, and from those halftime adjustments from coach Graves on, the Ducks stuck to the paint and continued to pound the ball inside to Hebard and sophomore Mallory McGwire, who finished with eight points.

Part of the reason why the paint was so open for the Ducks was the steady hands of junior guard Maite Cazorla, who not only displayed a calm demeanor but finished with 11 assists and zero turnovers. A positive sign for Graves and the Ducks to have such a stable guard leading the charge and setting the pace. She also finished with eight points.

A relatively quiet night for sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu who finished with 10 points and five assists.  

High flying Ducks: Alongside Hebard’s double-double, junior Oti Gildon also got involved down low and finished with nine points. Freshman Aina Ayuso saw some minutes towards the end of the fourth quarter and finished with six points shooting 2-of-4 from three-point range.

Foul play: Ayuso finished with three fouls.

Up next: The Ducks stay on the road to face the Washington State Cougars (10-15, 3-10 Pac-12) at 1 PM (PT)