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Oregon Remains Perfect in PAC-12 Play, Ducks 77 - Sun Devils 71

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Sabrina Ionescu scores a season-high 31 points

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Spokane Regional James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

EUGENE, OREGON

DUCKS 77 - SUN DEVILS 71

The Oregon Ducks (16-1, 5-0) defeated the Arizona State Sun Devils (12-5, 3-3) by a score of 77 to 71 in a hard-fought battle at Matt Knight Arena. ASU trailed by one point with 1:46 left in the game, but Sabrina Ionescu’s season-high 31 points helped the Ducks maintain a perfect conference record.

The Ducks are well known for their high-flying offense, but the Sun Devils were able to hold them to well below their average point total while also outrebounding them 36 to 31 and limiting them to just 9 assists.

ASU dominated the boards early on, and with 2:50 left in the first quarter a Robbi Ryan triple gave the Sun Devils a 16-10 lead- their largest of the night. Oregon responded by scoring 10 unanswered points to close out the quarter with a 4-point lead.

Back to Back three pointers by Ionescu gave Oregon an 11-point lead midway through the second quarter, but the tenacious Sun Devils defense prevented the Ducks from pulling away any further and even cut the lead to 9, making the score going into the half 38-29.

OREGON DUCKS

*Sabrina Ionescu (36 min) 31 PTS - 5 REB - 1 AST - 1 STL - 10/20 FG - 3/6 3PT - 8/9 FT

*Maite Cazorla (37 min) 16 PTS - 1 REB - 1 AST - 1 BLK - 6/9 FG - 3/5 3PT - 1/3 FT

*Ruthy Hebard (38 min) 14 PTS - 5 REB - 1 AST - 1 BLK - 7/11 FG - 0/1 FT

*Satou Sabally (33 min) 8 PTS - 7 REB - 2 AST - 4 BLK - 2/10 FG - 0/3 3PT - 4/6 FG

*Erin Boley (17 min) 2 PTS - 1 REB - 2 AST - 1/3 FG - 0/1 3PT

Oti Gildon (22 min) 4 PTS - 5 REB - 1 STL - 1/2 FG - 2/2 FT

Taylor Chavez (14 min) 2 PTS - 1 REB - 1 AST - 1/1 FG

Lydia Giomi (3 min) 1 REB - 1 AST

ASU STARTERS

Kianna Ibis (32 min) 22 PTS - 8 REB - 1 AST - 2 STL - 10/14 FG - 2/3 3PT

Charnea Johnson-Chapman (26 min) 10 PTS - 9 REB - 1 AST - 1 BLK - 5/10 FG

Robbi Ryan (30 min) 6 PTS - 3 REB - 1 AST - 2/10 FG - 1/4 3PT - 1/2 FT

Courtney Ekmark (30 min) 6 PTS - 1 REB - 3 AST - 1 STL - 2/6 FG - 2/5 3PT

Reili Richardson (27 min) 2 PTS - 2 REB - 6 AST - 1 STL - 1/6 FG - 0/2 3PT

Oregon maintained the lead throughout the third, but pesky ASU kept the game manageable thanks in large part due to Charnea Johnson-Chapman’s big third quarter in which she scored 10 points and nabbed three rebounds.

The Sun Devils may not have the star power of the Ducks’ starting squad, but their depth was on full display, outscoring Oregon’s bench 25 to 6. ASU’s ability to play eleven deep seemed to pay dividends in the fourth quarter when Oregon’s shooting began to fall flat.

Starters Satou Sabally and Erin Boley were surprisingly quiet tonight, combining for only 10 points. Boley received less minutes than usual as Graves seemed to favor Oti Gildon as the game became more physical, and Sabally found other ways to make her presence known, primarily by grabbing seven rebounds and recording four blocks, including a monster swat to protect Oregon’s lead in the final minutes.

After going 5-of-10 from three-point land in the opening half of the game, the Ducks struggled with their deep ball accuracy, connecting on just one of their second half attempts and finishing the game 6-of-15.

With 4:53 left in the game, Taya Hanson hit a three pointer that cut the lead to 5 points. Then, after a missed jumper from Maite Cazorla, Kianna Ibis rebounded and raced down the court to nail a triple. But with the game on the line, Ionescu took control in the fourth quarter by scoring 12 of Oregon’s 20 points and hitting all of her free throws in the game’s final minutes.

Having already competed in close games against #2 Baylor, #4 Louisville, and #6 Stanford, the Sun Devils were a great test for a Duck team that is eager to challenge themselves against the elite. And if comparative scores mean anything, Oregon appears to be in good company as the Lady Bears, Cardinals, and Cardinal defeated ASU by 6, 2, and 7 points respectively.


NEXT UP: ARIZONA

1/20, Sunday, 12 PM, PAC-12 NETWORK, Eugene