SEATTLE, Washington — The Oregon Ducks defeated the Washington Huskies 70-69 in a tightly contested match up. Lexi Bando went unconscious in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points and nocking down 3 three pointers to finish with 23 points and 6 rebounds. Oregon also recieved contributions from Ruthy Hebard (13 points and 9 rebounds,) Sabrina Ionescu (18 points/6 rebounds/6 assists,) and Maite Cazorla (12 points.) Washington was led by Kelsey Plum (34 points,) and Chantel Osahar (12 points/27 rebounds/6 assists.)
Washington took a slight advantage to start the first quarter, getting three pointers from Plum and Natalie Romeo and a successful and 1 from Aarion McDonald. Oregon answered with three pointers from Ionescu and aggressive scoring from Cazorla. Hebard scored 6 points over the final 4 minutes to give Oregon a 5 point lead 22-17.
Plum proceeded to go to work to open the second period, scoring 6 straight points to regain the lead for Washington. Oregon was able to take a 6 point lead off of a Bando 3, a Mallory McGwire jumper, and a Hebard free throw. Then McDonald scored 5 straight points to close out the half, bringing the Huskies within a point of the Ducks, 32-31.
There was no defense for Plum after halftime, as the senior guard scored 12 points. Osahar really began to clean up on the glass as well, recording her 22nd rebound in the quarter. At the same time, the Ducks got sloppy with the ball, committing 6 turnovers. The Huskies used these advantages to retake the lead, and slowly increase it. A 1 point advantage turned into a 7 point deficit by the midway point. A pair of threes by Cazorla and Ionescu kept the margin respectable, but Washington rode a Hannah Johnson jumper to a 57-51 lead.
And then Bando went unconscious from beyond the arc. I mean she just lost her mind, draining 3 three pointers (including back-to-back buckets with Oregon trailing by 8,) to bring the Ducks to within 2 points of Washington. Ionescu then proceeded to drain consecutive jumpers to put Oregon up by 2 with 4:18 remaining, 66-64. Osahar scored the next 5 points for Washington on a jumper and an and 1 to put the Huskies up by 3. Bando hit the next jumper, and Washington turned the ball over to give Oregon a chance with under a minute remaining. The Huskies then inexplicably fouled Ionescu with 7 seconds remaining and the Ducks trailing by 1. The guard drained both freebies, and Hebard blocked Plum’s three point attempt as time expired to preserve the victory. The Ducks will face the Stanford Cardinal in the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament tomorrow at 8:30 pm.