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Sabally and Hebard Dominate First Round of NCAA Tournament, Ducks 78 - Vikings 40

On to the Hoosiers!

NCAA Womens Basketball: Pac-12 Conference Tournament Oregon vs UCLA Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

EUGENE, OREGON

DUCKS 78 - VIKINGS 40

The #2 Seed Oregon Ducks (30-4, 15-1) overwhelmed the #15 Seed Portland State Vikings (25-8, 8-5) at Matt Knight Arena to advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally were especially impressive, combining for more points and rebounds (43 PTS, 27 REB) than the opposing team (40 PTS, 25 REB).

FIRST HALF

After a grueling PAC-12 tournament, the Ducks were more than ready to return to Eugene and play in front of their passionate fans. After nearly two weeks of rest, the Oregon starters looked much lighter on their feet and Ruthy Hebard in particular looked much more agile in the paint.

Sabrina Ionescu started off the scoring with a short jumper, but Portland State’s Ashley Bolston responded with a triple; this would be the Vikings’ first and last lead of the game.

Ionescu answered with a three-pointer, then a Hebard steal led to a layup by Satou Sabally to put the Ducks up 7-3. A couple of fouls by Erin Boley resulted in four points from the charity stripe to tie it up with 6:02 left in the first. Hebard scored Oregon’s next six points, but back-to-back triples evened out the score at 13. Sabally hit a triple followed by a layup to help the Ducks finish the quarter on a 9-2 run.

Maite Cazorla scored a quick jumper at the beginning of the second then Hebard gave the Ducks their first double digit lead of the game. The final two-and-a-half minutes proved disastrous for PSU as the Ducks ended the second quarter on a 15-3 run.

Hebard and Sabally finished the half with 14 points apiece and the Ducks as a whole shot 60% from the floor.

OREGON DUCKS

*Ruthy Hebard (27 min) 22 PTS - 11 REB - 4 STL - 9/13 FG - 4/4 FT

*Satou Sabally (31 min) 21 PTS - 16 REB - 1 AST - 3 STL - 8/12 FG - 4/8 3PT - 1/3 FT

*Sabrina Ionescu (33 min) 12 PTS - 5 REB - 8 AST - 5/9 FG - 2/5 3PT

*Maite Cazorla (33 min) 7 PTS - 2 REB - 4 AST - 4 STL - 1 BLK - 3/6 FG - 1/3 3PT

*Erin Boley (26 min) 7 PTS - 3 REB - 2 AST - 1 STL - 2/9 FG - 1/6 3PT - 2/2 FT

Lydia Giomi (16 min) 7 PTS - 4 REB - 1 BLK - 2/7 FG - 3/4 FT

Oti Gildon (16 min) 2 PTS - 4 REB - 1 AST - 3 STL - 0/6 FG - 2/2 FT

Morgan Yaeger (18 min) 2 REB - 1 AST - 1 STL - 0/1 FG - 0/1 3PT

PORTLAND STATE STARTERS

Ashley Bolston (38 min) 19 PTS - 3 REB - 2 AST - 1 STL - 1 BLK - 5/11 FG - 5/9 3PT - 4/4 FT

Kylie Jimenez (38 min) 7 PTS - 2 REB - 4 AST - 2 STL - 2/9 FG - 2/8 3PT - 1/3 FT

Courtney West (29 min) 5 PTS - 4 REB - 1/4 FG - 3/4 FT

Sidney Rielly (22 min) 2 PTS - 1 AST - 1 STL - 1/5 FG - 0/2 3PT

Jordan Stotler (20 min) 2 REB - 2 AST - 1 BLK - 0/6 FG - 0/2 3PT

SECOND HALF

A pair of Cazorla scores bookmarked the second quarter and a Cazorla triple kicked off the second half. Not to be outshined, Ionescu managed to barely beat the shot clock with a very deep three-pointer that got the crowd on their feet.

The Ducks scored the first 12 points of the second half and the Vikings struggled to keep the lead to within 30 for the west of the game. Hebard continued to dominate the Vikings single coverage down low, scoring a game-high 22 points with 11 rebounds, while Sabally’s size and speed proved lethal against her gassed opponents, finishing with 21 points and a career-high 16 rebounds.

The Ducks bench received a combined 50 minutes of playing time in this blowout, which is good news considering the lack of depth on this team. Taylor Chavez is still out with a foot injury, so any positive play from Oregon’s reserves bodes well for this team’s longevity. Lydia Giomi had an especially noteworthy game by tallying 7 points, four rebounds and a block.

Perhaps as an homage to one of her favorite players, Ionescu attempted to add to her three-point total by taking a shot from the bench after a teammate mistakenly passed her the ball, similar to what Stephen Curry did against the Rockets.

The illegal shot resulted in a technical at the :52 second mark, Portland State’s final points of the game. It’s interesting to note Coach Kelly Graves reaction as his annoyed yet reserved body language seems to say, “what am I going to do, bench her for the next game?”

After defeating the #7 seed Texas Longhorns by a score of 69 to 65, the #10 seed Indiana Hoosiers will test their luck against the Ducks at Matt Knight Arena in the Round of 32.

GO DUCKS!


NEXT UP: #10 SEED INDIANA

3/24, Sunday, 6 PM, ESPN2, Eugene