DURHAM, North Carolina — The Oregon Ducks upset the Duke Blue Devils 74-65 to advance to the Sweet 16. Ruthy Hebard put up 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for the Ducks, who also got quality contributions from Maite Cazorla (17 points and 6 assists,) Lexi Bando (14 points and 5 assists,) and Sabrina Ionescu (13 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists.) Duke was paced by Lexie Brown, but her 25 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists were not enough to get the Blue Devils over the hump.
Oregon rode hot shooting from Hebard and Cazorla in the first quarter. After a pair of Hebard layups tied the game at 4, Mallory McGwire drained a baseline jumper and Cazorla put in a 3 to push the Duck lead to 9-4. The Blue Devils tied the game up later at 12, but consecutive layups by Hebard and Hallm and an Ionescu 3 gave Oregon the 19-14 lead at the end of the first.
Duke’s 6-0 run to start the second gave the Blue Devils a one point advantage, 20-19. That was quickly followed by scores from Oti Gildon, Cazorla, and Hebard to push the Ducks back out front 28-22. Oregon closed out the quarter with another Hebard layup, and Cazorla went 1-2 from the line to give the Ducks the advantage 31-26.
The Ducks and Blue Devils traded blows in the third quarter. Oregon received 8 more points from Hebard, who already had a double-double by the end of the quarter with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Brown scored 7 for Duke, who also got some contributions from Chidom (5 points.) Oregon scored 7 consecutive points to close out the period, getting scores from Cazorla, Bando, and Hebard to end the quarter up 53-42.
Two made 3s (by Bando and Cazorla) gave Oregon a 15 point lead after 2 minutes had elapsed in the fourth. Duke went on a 7-0 run to close the gap before Bando hit another 3. The Blue Devils would close to within 7, but Oregon would win the free throw game in the end to take the win 74-65.
Up next for Oregon is a Sweet 16 date with the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday, March 25.