With four players reaching double figures in scoring led my Sabrina Ionescu’s 23 points and Ruthy Hebard’s 20, the Ducks shot 66% from the floor, hitting 31 of 47 shots after being held to a season low 38% in their previous outing against Arizona.
“We shot it so well tonight,” said coach Kelly Graves. “Arizona State is typically among the best in the conference and sometimes in the nation in field-goal percentage defense. I thought we were getting really good opportunities tonight.”
The Ducks raced to a 22-12 first quarter lead only to see Arizona State fight their way back to within four points at 38-34 at the half.
An active Oregon defense triggered a 16-0 run to open the third quarter to allow the Ducks to take the game in hand. In the second half, Oregon held the Sun Devils to 37.5% shooting from the floor.
“I think we need that defensive intensity in order to win,” Ionescu said. “Especially against a great Arizona State team. They’re not going to beat themselves. I think our defensive intensity lead to a great offense tonight, and that was both inside and out.”
Ionescu hit her first six shots and sank 11 of her 15 from the floor and grabbed six rebounds to tie Hebard for the team lead in rebounds. Hebard was a perfect 9 for 9 from the floor and helped the Ducks outscore ASU 34-24 in the paint.
Oregon out rebounded the Sun Devils 25-23 and converted 14 turnovers into a 17-7 advantage in points off turnovers.
With the win the Ducks remain perfect in conference play at 6-0 (17-2 overall) and sit at the top of the standings, one ahead of the second place Stanford Cardinal. Up next, the Ducks face Oregon State for a pair of games, starting Friday night in Corvallis at 8:00 pm and then will host the Beavers on Sunday beginning at 5:00. Both games will be carried by the Pac-12 Networks.
~ Rick Morgan