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Oregon Back in the Elite Eight! Ducks 63 - Jackrabbits 53

It ain’t over yet!

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Portland Regional-Oregon vs South Dakota State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

PORTLAND, OREGON

DUCKS 63 - JACKRABBITS 53

The #2 seed Oregon Ducks (32-4, 16-2) relied on their defense to beat the #6 seed South Dakota State Jackrabbits (28-7, 15-1) by a score of 63 to 53. The combination of Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard once again proved too much for the opposing defense as the two racked up 41 points to beat the Jackrabbits for the second time this season.

  • FIRST HALF

Ionescu looked to set the tone early by attacking the hoop moments after Oregon won the tip-off, but South Dakota State’s Tylee Irwin blocked her shot and quieted the crowd in Portland.

It took until the 7:53 mark before either team was able to score. Irwin made a jumper after the Jackrabbits were able to grab back-to-back offensive rebounds. Maite Cazorla gave the Ducks their first points and first lead of the game by draining a triple, then Myah Selland answered with a three-pointer of her own.

A pair of Macy Miller Free Throws gave the Jackrabbits a 7-3 lead, but Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally were able to tie it up midway through the first quarter. Selland took back the lead with a jumper and Hebard split her free throws after being fouled. Then, Madison Guebert scored her first points, a three point jumper that put South Dakota State up 12-8.

The Ducks answered with a 10-0 run to end the quarter. Hebard atoned for her earlier missed shot from the charity stripe by hitting both of her next two attempts and Ionescu continued the run by hitting four consecutive pull up jumpers.

Oregon’s scoring streak came to a screeching halt in the second quarter, failing to put up any points for nearly four minutes. Fortunately for the Ducks, the Jackrabbits failed to fully capitalize during this cold stretch, scoring only five points and cutting the lead to one.

Hebard missed a handful of bunny shots in the opening half but managed to snap Oregon’s scoreless streak with a layup after grabbing her own rebound. Selland retaliated with a layup of her own to keep the Jackrabbits close, then Sabally came alive, scoring nine points in the final five minutes of the second quarter. The Ducks felt a little stiff on offense, but held the Jackrabbits to 20.5% shooting, finishing the half with a 31-22 lead.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Portland Regional-Oregon vs South Dakota State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

OREGON DUCKS

*Ruthy Hebard 24 PTS - 14 REB - 4 BLK - 8/15 FG - 8/9 FT

*Sabrina Ionescu 17 PTS - 7 REB - 11 AST - 1 STL - 8/14 FG - 1/4 3PT - 0/1 FT

*Satou Sabally 14 PTS - 9 REB - 3 AST - 3 BLK - 6/14 FG - 1/6 3PT - 1/2 FT

*Maite Cazorla 6 PTS - 2/6 FG - 2/5 3PT

*Erin Boley 2 REB - 0/7 FG - 0/5 3PT

Oti Gildon 2 PTS - 3 REB - 1 STL - 1/1 FG - 0/2 FT

Lydia Giomi 2 REB - 0/1 FG

Morgan Yaeger 1 REB

SOUTH DAKOTA STATE STARTERS

Macy Miller 21 PTS - 8 REB - 2 AST - 1 STL - 6/18 FG - 1/5 3PT - 8/9 FT

Myah Selland 13 PTS - 5 REB - 4 AST - 1 STL - 1 BLK - 6/17 FG - 1/4 3PT - 0/2 FT

Tylee Irwin 7 PTS - 4 REB - 1 AST - 1 BLK - 3/11 FG - 1/4 3PT

Tagyn Larson 4 PTS - 6 REB - 2/9 FG - 0/1 3PT

Madison Guebert 3 PTS - 4 REB - 1 AST - 1/9 FG - 1/7 3PT

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Portland Regional-Oregon vs South Dakota State Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
  • SECOND HALF

Hebard and Ionescu became a lethal duo coming out of the half, scoring 14 of Oregon’s 18 points in the third quarter. A quick Hebard layup started the second half on the right foot for the forward after starting 3-of-7 from the floor.

The Ducks maintained a double-digit lead for the rest of the game, building their largest lead (19 points) with 4:39 left in the third thanks to Cazorla’s second and final triple of the night.

Hebard scored seven points in the fourth quarter as the Jackrabbits tried to get the lead down to ten, a feat they were only able to accomplish in the final seconds of the game with a Miller jumper. Hebard’s second half success in the paint and on the charity stripe proved crucial, because this was a poor shooting night for the Ducks from long range.

Oregon finished 20% from three-point land. Ionescu finished with a single triple and regular sharpshooter Erin Boley missed all five of her three-point attempts, finishing with zero points.

Ionescu finished just three rebounds shy of her 19th career triple-double. Oregon fans reveled in their team’s 63-53 Sweet Sixteen victory, but the players looked somewhat disappointed with their efforts. But a win is a win, and the Ducks live to fight another day!

Oregon is in familiar yet uncomfortable territory; this is their third consecutive Elite Eight appearance and the Ducks will face off against the #1 seed Mississippi State Bulldogs, a team that they beat in Eugene earlier this year by a score of 82 to 74.

The season comes down to this Sunday. Will the Ducks make their first Final Four in program history?

GO DUCKS!


UP NEXT: #1 seed Mississippi State

Sunday, 3/31, 11 AM, ESPN