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Lady Ducks Complete Blowout of Utes, Win 4 of last 5 Games

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

The Oregon Ducks defeated the Utah Utes in Pac-12 Women’s Basketball action today 84-66. Oregon was led by another ho-hum performance for Ruthy Hebard (25 points and 10 rebounds,) and Sabrina Ionescu’s triple-double (14 points/10 rebounds/13 assists,) while Utah’s star center Emily Potter had an off night (12 points and 9 rebounds.) Utah kept the game close for the first quarter and a half before Oregon pulled away in a game that featured poor shooting for the first 3 quarters. In the fourth neither team could miss, although it didn’t matter as the Lady Ducks completed the blowout.

The Ducks raced out to a 6-0 lead to start the game behind buckets from Hebard, Ionescu, and Mallory McGwire. Utah would fight back by going 3-5 from behind the arc, but would fade late behind Hebard’s scoring (9 points and 4 rebounds in the quarter) and a Lexi Bando 3. A free throw by Malia Nawahine as the quarter expired would close out the scoring, as the Lady Ducks led 20-16.

That single point by Nawahine represented the only score for 5.5 minutes from the end of the first through the opening of the second quarters. Potter sank her first bucket of the afternoon for the Lady Utes with 6:38 remaining. Oregon quickly followed with a Sierra Campisano jumper, a Justine Hall 3, and a Hebard layup to take a 9 point lead. The Lady Duck lead ballooned to 13 on a layup by McGwire with a minute remaining. A Paige Crozon layup for the Utes was followed by a Bando 3 as Oregon took a 14 point lead into intermission 36-22. Ruthy Hebard had a monster first half, putting up 13 points and grabbing 9 rebounds, and Ionescu filled up the stat sheet with 6 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists. Utah shot poorly in the first half, going 25% from the field and a paltry 17.6% in the second quarter. Oregon outrebounded Utah by 9 in the first half.

Utah fought back in the third, cutting the Oregon lead to 8 on baskets by Erika Bean, Potter, and Crozon. The Ducks would eventually push the lead to 16 before Megan Jacobs fueled a Ute comeback with 9 points in the quarter. Sabrina Ionescu would score 8 in the quarter, as Utah shaved a point off of Oregon’s halftime lead to trail 54-41 at the end of the third quarter.

The game was never in doubt in the fourth quarter, as the Lady Ducks slowly grew their lead throughout the period. Defense was optional as both teams shot 70.6% for the period. The only suspense was whether Ionescu would complete the triple double, which she did with 2:15 remaining when she gathered in Jacobs’ errant 3 point attempt. Up next for Oregon is the Civil War at Matt Court on Friday at 8 PM. Facing the #11 Oregon State Beavers will be a tall task for Oregon.