Another Game, Another Ionescu Triple-Double

Didn’t this happen just yesterday?

Sabrina Ionescu collected yet another triple-double to help lead the No. 7 Ducks to a blowout win.

This time she scored 13 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out 14 assists in a 115-69 win over UC-Irvine. Ionescu broke the all-time NCAA mark for triple-doubles the day before and now she’s just adding on to her record. It was the 14th time Ionescu has accomplished the feat and it makes it two triple-doubles in the span of about 25 hours.

Satou Sabally led Oregon with 27 points and Ruthy Hebard added 23 points and 15 boards as the Anteaters had absolutely no answer for the Ducks’ junior center inside the paint.

Hebard was 11-of-12 from the field, but she wasn’t the only one who had a hard time missing shots. As a team, the Ducks were 48-of-75 (64 percent) from the field. If there’s one stat that Oregon can look at and cringe a little, is that it made just 8-of-13 from the free throw line. But if there’s a night to be a little cold from the charity stripe, this would be the one.

The Ducks can now relax after a busy week as this was Oregon’s third game in four days. They defeated No. 4 Mississippi State on Tuesday and Air Force Thursday before this most recent win over a 9-2 UC-Irvine team out of the Big West Conference.

Believe it or not, the Anteaters held a brief 29-28 lead with 7:05 left until halftime. Then Oregon put all of the starters back in the game and there was no looking back.

Oregon managed to build up a 51-40 halftime lead and then decided not to let UC-Irvine think in any way that a huge upset could be on the horizon. The Ducks outscored the Anteaters 33-14 in the third quarter to hold a huge 84-54 advantage.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Oregon began the fourth quarter with all five starters in the game and went on an 18-0 run to take a 102-54 lead and there was still 7:05 remaining until the 4,772 Duck fans could officially go home.

Maite Cazorla, who played just 18 minutes against Air Force, managed to score 13 points and hand out 10 assists. Erin Boley added 17 points, while Lydia Giomi scored six, but pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds.

Oregon is now 11-1 and will have some time off until they it plays again. When the Ducks get back to action Dec. 30 in an exhibition game against Concordia, they could return into the top five of the rankings and they’ll have coach Kelly Graves back, who had to serve a two-game suspension that was handed down by the NCAA for practice violations.

The Pac-12 season begins Jan. 4 when Oregon hosts Washington.

~ Don Smalley