Ducks K.O. Thunderbirds Early, Romp to 98-38 Victory

From the top of the roster to the bottom, the Oregon Ducks scored points in bunches to torch the Southern Utah Thunderbirds 98-38 Saturday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena.

Sabrina Ionescu and Lexi Bando tag-teamed the visitors         from the jump with the Ducks racing to a 26-12 lead after the first quarter then laying a 31-4 number on the Thunderbirds in the second.  Ionescu was a perfect 5 for 5 in the opening ten minutes.

Oregon hit 50% from the floor on 36 of 72 and owned the glass 49-31 with Ruthy Hebard coming down with a team leading nine and freshman Aussie Aneli Maley adding eight.

With the game in hand early, head coach Kelly Graves was able to extend playing minutes across the full roster; 23 minutes played was the team high and all played at least 12.

Oregon held the upper hand defensively as well, limiting Southern Utah to 26.8% shooting on 15 of 56 and the Ducks turned 19 turnovers into 29 points.

With a record of 8-1 the challenge will immediately grow more daunting for the 9th-ranked Ducks as they next face the undefeated (8-0) and 6th-ranked Mississippi State Bulldogs in Starkville. Oregon returns to Matthew Knight arena on Sunday, Dec 17 to host Mississippi. Tip-off is set for 1:00 pm and will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

~ Rick Morgan