Hebard leads Oregon to 83-69 win over Central Michigan
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Ruthy Hebard had 23 points and 14 rebounds, Sabrina Ionescu just missed another triple-double with 16 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, and second-seeded Oregon beat No. 11 seed Central Michigan 83-69 on Saturday in the Spokane Region semifinal of the women’s NCAA Tournament.
Lexi Bando added 14 points for Oregon (33-4), which earned a second consecutive trip to the Elite Eight with its 12th win in a row.
The Ducks will play top-seeded Notre Dame in the regional final on Monday.
Tinara Moore had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Central Michigan (30-5), which won its first two NCAA Tournament games in program history this year. Presley Hudson added 15 points on 6-of-21 shooting.
The Chippewas were doomed by poor shooting, making just 36 percent of their shots to 49 percent for Oregon.
Oregon led 24-12 after a first quarter in which the Ducks shot 55 percent while holding Central Michigan to 29 percent.
Oregon was ahead 40-25 at halftime behind an efficient 16 points from Hebard on 8-of-12 shooting from inside. The taller Ducks held a 26-10 advantage in the paint during the first half.
The Chippewas shot only 29.7 percent in the first half. Hudson, who averages 18 points per game, was scoreless until she hit a 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer.
The 25 points were the least in a first half for the Chippewas this season.
Central Michigan got untracked in the third quarter, with Hudson and Cassie Breen each hitting a pair of 3-pointers to cut Oregon’s lead to 55-46. But the Ducks outscored the Chippewas 11-2 the rest of the third to take a 66-48 lead into the fourth.
Moore scored 15 points in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough to make up the deficit.
Central Michigan: The Chippewas wrapped up the finest season in the program’s 50-year history.
Oregon: The Ducks showed plenty of depth and sound defense in beating the Chippewas, who average 82 points per game.
Oregon plays Notre Dame, a 90-84 winner over Texas A&M, in the Spokane Region final on Monday evening.
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