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Lady Ducks Fight Early, Fade Late, Lose to UCLA 79-63

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-2nd Round-Oregon vs Oklahoma State Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The UCLA Bruins defeated the Oregon Ducks 79-63 today in women’s basketball. Ruthy Hebard had a fantastic first half and finished with a career high 29 points and 9 rebounds. Sabrina Ionescu also lodged 18 points/7 rebounds/6 assists for the Lady Ducks, who played well in the first quarter but weren’t able to threaten UCLA much after that. UCLA was led by Monique Billings (30 points/14 rebounds,) Kennedy Burke (16 points,) and Jordin Canada (13 points/13 assists.) Oregon tried to slow down the game by playing a 2-3 zone, but the women of Oregon turned the ball over too often (20 for the game) to win.

UCLA jumped out to 6-0 lead, converting a pair of turnovers into layup. Then Hebard went on a tear, scoring 14 points in the quarter on 7-7 shooting. The Lady Ducks trailed for most of the quarter before taking the lead 11-10 with 3:46 remaining. Oregon ended the quarter leading 19-14 while shooting 60% from the field and 33.3% from 3. UCLA shot 26.5% from the field for the quarter.

Billings and the Lady Bruins came out playing better in the second quarter, going on an 11-2 run to start the period. Oregon wasn’t able to do much of anything in the quarter, scoring 10 points total and turning the ball over like it was going out of style. UCLA would take a 40-29 lead into halftime on 58.8% shooting while holding the Lady Ducks to 38.5% shooting. Hebard finished the first half with 18 points and 6 rebounds, but needed someone else to step up. UCLA was led by Billings (15 points,) Burke (10 points,) and Kelli Hayes (8 points.)

Oregon played UCLA even in the third quarter. Ionescu led the Lady Ducks in the quarter with 10 points, while UCLA was paced by Canada with 8 points. Turnovers really piled up by the end of the third quarter, with Oregon giving the ball away 18 times through the third. Hebard was able to get to the line, going 6-8 from the charity stripe.

Oregon was never able to challenge UCLA in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Ducks faded down the stretch before finally succumbing 79-63. Billings owned the quarter for UCLA, notching 12 points in the quarter. Next up Oregon plays the Colorado Buffaloes at Matt Court on January 20th at 6:00 PM.