Hebard, Ionescu help No. 7 Oregon rout UC Irvine 115-69
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Another day, another blowout for No. 7 Oregon.
Ruthy Hebard scored 23 points on 11-for-12 shooting and had 15 rebounds, Sabrina Ionescu added her NCAA-record 14th triple-double and Oregon beat overmatched UC Irvine 115-69 on Friday.
“Coach always says go up strong, so I know when I’m on balance I can definitely finish strong,” said Hebard, who set an NCAA record last season with 33 consecutive field goals.
The junior forward’s only miss came on a short jumper early in the third quarter during which the Ducks shot 14 of 19 and easily pulled away to a 30-point lead.
“And she shouldn’t have missed that one,” Ionescu said with Hebard seated nearby.
A day after setting the triple-double mark, Ionescu grabbed her 10th rebound in the fourth quarter to complete the triple-double. She also had 13 points and 14 assists.
“We did it as a team tonight,” Ionescu said. “My teammates were boxing out hard and letting me get the loose (rebounds).”
Hebard had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the first half. She also made her first six shots for 19 consecutive field goals over her last three games.
Oregon (11-1), the nation’s top scoring team, matched its season high for points while shooting 48 of 74 for 64.9 percent. Satou Sabally led the Ducks with 27 points, Erin Boley added 17 and Maite Cazorla had 13.
The Ducks outscored the Anteaters 64-29 in the second half, similar to what they did in their 46-point victory over Air Force on Thursday.
“It looked like in both games in the second half the ladies decided to wake up and really get going,” said Mark Campbell, the acting coach filling in again for suspended Oregon coach Kelly Graves. “When you have the leadership of these upperclassmen, it helps a lot. They know how to turn it on, and they put their foot on the gas pedal in the second half.”
Jordan Sanders led UC Irvine (9-2) with 15 points, and Andee Ritter and Lauren Saiki each had 11.
The Ducks dominated inside and out with a 60-20 edge in points in the paint, a 53-28 rebounding margin and 34 assists on their 48 field goals. Lydia Giomi had 11 rebounds off the bench and Cazorla added 10 assists.
Oregon made its first seven shots and 12 of 15 in the first quarter but couldn’t shake the Anteaters, who trailed 28-26 behind Sanders’ 11 points. Ritter’s third 3-pointer tied it at 32-32 early in the second, but the Ducks closed the half on a 13-4 run to lead 51-40.
UC Irvine, off to its best 10-game start after winning its first seven, has a legitimate star in Sanders, who has more than doubled her scoring average (22.4) as a freshman last year. The Anteaters, picked for third in the Big West, go 10 deep with nine players averaging at least 16 minutes.
Oregon goes into a two-week holiday break with its nine-player rotation established and healthy. The Ducks have only an exhibition game against Division II Concordia before they open defense of their Pac-12 championship as the conference favorites and with Graves back from his two-game NCAA suspension.
Ionescu’s 11th assist came on a fast break when she stopped at the top of the key with her back to the basket and hit Hebard in stride with a no-look pass for a layup and a 92-54 lead.
UC Irvine: Host Seattle on Dec. 29.
Oregon: Host Washington on Jan. 4.
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