LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - The 1-Seed Oregon Ducks (31-2, 17-1) avenged last seasons PAC-12 Tournament Championship loss by beating the 3-Seed Stanford Cardinal (27-6, 14-4) by a score of 89 to 56.
1ST HALF: Against Utah and Arizona, the Ducks suffered a slow start before pulling away in the second half, and the trend continued against Stanford who led 17-14 at the end of the first quarter. A Lexie Hull bucket started the scoring, then Ruthy Hebard responded with a jumper followed by a Satou Sabally layup for Oregon’s first lead. The lead changed five more times before another Hebard jumper tied the score at 10 apiece. Sabrina Ionescu committed a foul on Francesca Belibi, who in turn fouled Hebard, both players made their free throws then Kiana Williams drained a triple to reclaim the lead. Hebard made it a one-point game with :58 left in the frame, but Taylor Chavez committed a foul on Williams who hit her shots to build a three-point lead heading into the second.
Ionescu scored her first points of the game early in the second quarter, a jumper that cut the lead to one thanks to an assist by Minyon Moore, then the Triple-Double Queen stole the ball and was fouled on a three-point shot that resulted in three more points and an Oregon lead. Ashten Prechtel hit a triple to go up 20 to 19, but Ionescu completed an and-one to tally her eighth consecutive point for the Ducks. Ionescu and Moore then switched roles; Moore scored nine points in the second, including 2-of-2 from three-point range, and six of those points were assisted by Ionescu. Oregon ended the half on a 12-2 run that featured three-pointers from Erin Boley, Minyon Moore, and a last-second shot from Ionescu that gave the Ducks a 43-26 lead.
2ND HALF: Oregon led by as much as 38 points and never let their lead fall under 17 points in the second half. Ruthy Hebard had a much stronger showing on the stat board than in her previous two games, leading all scorers with her 24 points while also snatching seven rebounds. Minyon Moore had her best game in a Duck uniform by hitting her first four attempts from three-point land and finishing with a season-high 21 points. Sabrina Ionescu fell two rebounds shy of recording her 27th triple-double and the Oregon bench earned solid minutes against a top-tier team. The Ducks tied a Tournament record by scoring 89 points in the title game and Ionescu became the PAC-12 Tournament career record-holder for assists (86), points (250) and field goals (90), as well as picking up her second Most Outstanding Player award.
The selection show will take place on Monday, March 16th at 4 PM on ESPN, but it’s safe to say that the Ducks will play their first tournament game in Eugene, and should they make it back to the Final Four it will be after winning two games at Matt Knight and two games in Portland. Be sure to savor every minute of this dream team, Duck fans!
*Ruthy Hebard (31 min): 7 REB - 2 STL - 1 TO - 2 PF - 9/11 FG - 6/6 FT - 24 PTS
*Minyon Moore (28 min): 2 REB - 3 AST - 1 STL - 2 TO - 2 PF - 6/9 FG - 4/5 3PT - 5/8 FT - 21 PTS
*Sabrina Ionescu (33 min): 8 REB - 12 AST - 1 STL - 1 TO - 2 PF - 7/12 FG - 2/3 3PT - 4/4 FT - 20 PTS
*Satou Sabally (26 min): 6 REB - 2 AST - 1 STL - 1 TO - 4 PF - 3/11 FG - 0/5 3PT - 1/1 FT - 7 PTS
*Erin Boley (31 min): 1 REB - 2 AST - 1 TO - 2 PF - 1/1 FG - 1/1 3PT - 3 PTS
Taylor Chavez (13 min): 2 AST - 3 STL - 3 PF - 2/3 FG - 2/2 3PT - 6 PTS
Jaz Shelley (16 min): 1 REB - 2 AST - 1 PF - 2/4 FG - 1/2 3PT - 5 PTS
Holly Winterburn (5 min): 1 REB - 1 STL - 1/3 FG - 2 PTS
Lydia Giomi (9 min): 1 REB - 2 PF - 1/2 FT - 1 PT
Morgan Yaeger (4 min): 0/1 FG - 0/1 3PT
Lucy Cochrane (4 min):
*Kiana Williams: 3 AST - 2 TO - 2 PF - 7/15 FG - 3/10 3PT - 4/6 FT - 21 PTS
*Lexie Hull: 6 REB - 2 AST - 1 BLK - 1 STL - 2 TO - 3 PF - 2/13 FG - 1/6 3PT - 4/4 FT - 9 PTS
*Nadia Fingall: 5 REB - 1 AST - 1 TO - 4 PF - 2/4 FG - 0/2 3PT - 4 PTS
*Maya Dodson: 5 REB - 1 AST - 2 BLK - 2 TO -2 PF - 1/3 FG - 2 PTS
*Lacie Hull: 3 REB - 2 AST - 2 TO - 3 PF - 0/6 FG - 0/3 3PT - 1/2 FT - 1 PT