Led by Ruthy Hebard and Sabrina Ionescu with 25 points each, four Ducks reached double figures in scoring with Lexi Bando adding 18 and Sabally Satou pitching in 14.
“Satou continues to get better right in front of our eyes,” said Oregon head coach Kelly Graves. “She did some stuff tonight she hadn’t done before. She’s so long, for crying out loud. But she’s just learning to anticipate better. And what’s great about her, when she gets a steal, it usually turns into something at the other end.”
Washington State took their only lead of the game at 3-2 in the opening minutes, then were buried with a barrage of transition buckets and three point baskets by the Ducks. By the end of the first quarter the Ducks led 20-7 and never looked back.
Defensively the Ducks forced 18 Washington State turnovers, good for 25 points and out rebounded the Cougars 42-33.
“We built a nice lead primarily off our defense,” said Graves. “We didn’t shoot the three well, and you’re gonna have games like that. We were able to rely on our defense, and on Ruthy inside … I think that’s the sign of a maturing group. Even on a night when we’re not shooting it like we usually do, we found a way to get it done.”
From the floor, Oregon hit 34 of 72 attempts for a 47.2% mark while holding WSU to 23 of 54 (42.6%). The Ducks also outscored the Cougars 42- 28 in the paint.
With the win Oregon’s record improves to 12-2 over all and 1-0 in Pac-12 play. Washington State slipped to 7-6, 01. Next up, the Ducks host the Washington Huskies on Sunday, Dec 31, beginning at 1:00 pm. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.
~ Rick Morgan