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WBB Recap: Hebard, McGwire Power Ducks Past Zona 70-63

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NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional-Duke vs Oregon Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

SEATTLE, Washington — The Oregon Ducks rallied past the Arizona Wildcats 70-63, advancing out of the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament. Ruthy Hebard led the way for Oregon with 21 points (10 in the fourth quarter) and 12 rebounds. Sabrina Ionescu contributed 22 points and 5 assists, while Mallory McGwire added 14 points (10 in the second half.) Arizona was paced by LaBrittney Jones with 32 points and 6 rebounds, but the senior forward fouled out with 28 seconds remaining as Oregon closed out the game.

Oregon jumped out to a 9 point advantage early in the first quarter behind a pair of 3s by Ionescu and back-to-back jumpers by McGwire. Unfortunately the Wildcats would chip away at the Ducks’ lead, closing the gap from 10-1 to 15-12 at the close of the period behind 7 points from Jones.

Lucia Alonso came off the bench for Arizona and proceeded to sink everything in sight. She added a couple of 3s to the one she made in the first, and shot 4-4 in the half, going 3-3 from behind the arc. Oregon was able to keep it close thanks to 5 points from Lexi Bando and 4 from Hebard, but Arizona took a 2 point lead into halftime, 29-27.

The Ducks fought to keep the score close in the third, but a pair of Breanna Workman free throws, an Alonso 3, and a Malena Washington layup threatened to blow the game open for Arizona. Ionescu kept the score respectable with 4 points in the quarter, and Oregon finished the period on a 4-0 run after scores by Sierra Campisano and Hebard. The Wildcats would lead Oregon 44-41 heading into the final frame.

The Hebard and McGwire went to work, scoring 16 of the Ducks 29 points. With the score tied at 50, McGwire hit a turnaround hook shot and then dropped in a baseline jumper from 8 feet out. Hebard would score 8 consecutive points for Oregon to help maintain the lead, and Ionescu sank her free throws to make up the final margin. Up next Oregon will play the Washington Huskies at 8:30 pm in the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament.