Sabrina Ionescu posted her fifth career triple-double scoring 29 points, grabbing 10 rebounds and dishing out 11 assists to lead the Oregon Ducks past the Drake Bulldogs 110-77 in the second round of the Preseason WNIT Sunday afternoon at Matthew Knight Arena.
The sophomore guard earned the the headlines but it was a complete team effort for the Ducks as all roster players scored points and all but two collected a rebound in the wire-to-wire victory.
“It was just a good team effort,” said Oregon head coach Kelly Graves. “Everybody contributed. Offensively, we were flowing the whole game. We got great shots the entire night … we shared the ball well, 31 assists on 40 buckets.”
With her triple double, Ionescu is one short of the conference record and two short of tying the NCAA career record of seven.
“The coaches were yelling at me, ‘Rebound, rebound!’ So I was like, ‘OK!’, she said. “They didn’t tell me exactly why. So I was just running to get every rebound, and right when I got the rebound the fans were like, ‘triple-double!’ I was like, Oh, that’s why they’re yelling at me … I don’t really try to look up at the stats, but I knew I was somewhere close.”
Freshman forward Satou Sabally added 20 points for the Ducks, along with Ionescu one five players reaching double figures on the score sheet.
The Ducks connected on 40 of 72 attempts for a 55.6% mark from the floor while holding Drake to 27 of 63, 42.9%. Oregon owned the glass with a 49-20 advantage in rebounds including 23 on the offensive end.
Ionescu and back court mate Maite Cazorla led the Ducks with 11 assists each.
“It starts with those two guards,” said Graves. “Maite and Sabrina are just so unselfish, those two are a pleasure to have on the court and are one of the best back courts in all of college basketball.”
With the win Oregon advanced to the WNIT semi-finals and will travel to College Station, Texas to face 20th-ranked Texas A&M on Thursday. Tip off is set for 5:00 pm Pacific Standard Time. If they advance, Oregon will face the winner of the Michigan vs. Toledo/Louisville semifinal in Sunday’s championship, time to be determined. The Ducks return to Matthew Knight Arena to host Eastern Washington on Tuesday, November 21st at 6:00 pm.
~ Rick Morgan