Sophomore guard Sabrina Ionescu’s 15 points led a flock of Ducks in double figures as Oregon raced past Cal State University Northridge 91-43 Friday evening at Matthew Knight Arena in the opening game of the 2017 Preseason WNIT,
The Ducks raced out to a 23-6 first quarter advantage and never looked back against the over matched Matadors.
Ionescu connected on three three point baskets in the opening frame to set the uptempo pace for the Oregon offense. Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally each hit for 11 points on the night with Mallory McGwire and Maite Cazorala each adding another 10 as the Ducks connected on 34 of 76 shots for 44.7% from the floor.
Oregon also forced 29 turnovers on 21 steals and was credited with 23 assists in a well rounded performance that left head coach Kelly Graves with little to criticize about his team’s opening win.
“I was really proud of the way we came out ready to play,” he said. “I thought we played a really good basketball game … I thought defensively we were on point tonight and created a lot of our offense off our defense early. Everybody got to play, everybody contributed tonight.”
In addition to forcing turnovers and collecting steals the Oregon defense held the Matadors to 26.7% shooting from the floor on 12 for 45.
With the win Oregon advances to the second round and will host Drake at 2:00 pm Sunday afternoon.
~ Rick Morgan