BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut — The Oregon Ducks cruised to a 77-63 victory over the Maryland Terrapins this morning to advance to the Elite 8 for the first time in program history. Sabrina Ionescu led the way with 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 7 assists for the Ducks, who also got 16 points and 8 rebounds from Ruthy Hebard and 15 points from Maite Cazorla. The Terps were led by Brionna Jones (16 points and 15 rebounds,) and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough (16 points and 5 turnovers.)
The first quarter was a back and fourth affair, with 10 lead changes and no advantage greater than 3 points. Cazorla scored 6 points, mainly off of runners from the baseline. Brionna Jones scored the final 6 points of the quarter for Maryland, but a last second layup by Oti Gildon (11 points and 9 rebounds) gave Oregon a one point advantage, 17-16.
The Terrapins battled to start the second, but a Hebard layup with 7:34 remaining gave Oregon the lead for good. Ionescu hit the first three of the game for either team shortly thereafter, and connected twice more from beyond the arc as the Ducks staked their way to a nine point halftime advantage, 36-27. Maryland turned the ball over 7 times in the quarter, and taking care of the ball would become a serious problem for them throughout the rest of the game.
Maryland opened the third with a 10-4 run, closing the gap to 3 points with 5:26 remaining. The Ducks responded by outscoring the Terps 19-10 over the rest of the quarter. Lexi Bando dropped 2 threes over that stretch, Ionescu scored 6 points, and Hebard added 4 to lead the Ducks to the 59-47 lead entering the final frame.
The Ducks coasted through the first part of the fourth, maintaining a double digit lead until Kimbrough-Walker scored 6 straight points to bring the score to within 69-63. But that would be the last points scored for the Terrapins, as Oregon won the free throw game late by converting 6 straight from the charity stripe to win 77-63.
Up next Oregon will face the #1 University of Connecticut Huskies on Monday, March 27th at 4 PM on ESPN.