Hebard leads No. 10 Oregon to 81-40 win over E. Washington
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Seven days on the road playing two top-20 teams didn’t knock Oregon’s Ruthy Hebard off her game one bit.
Hebard scored 22 points, while not missing a shot, and Lexi Bando added 14 to lead the No. 10 Ducks to an 81-40 victory over Eastern Washington on Tuesday night.
Hebard, a sophomore who was all-Pac-12 forward last year, went 7-for-7 from the field and 8-for-8 at the foul line for Oregon (4-1).
“She had a perfect night, and that doesn’t happen very often,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said, even though Hebard was 10-for-10 from the floor against No. 19 Texas A&M last week in the preseason WNIT.
“We’ve got to get her the ball more,” he added. “She needs more than seven shots, but she’s unselfish. She’s a pretty spectacular player.”
Bando, a senior who’s the nation’s top 3-point shooter, was 4-for-8 from long range.
Oregon had assists on nine of its first 10 field goals and shot 69.2 percent in the first half to open a 47-17 lead, although nine of the Ducks’ 13 turnovers came before the break.
“We have to rely on ball movement and good passing,” Graves said. “Our timing was a little off, but we have to do that to succeed.
“That’s how we’re built and those are the kind of players we have, unselfish players.”
Sabrina Ionescu, who came in leading Oregon with 17 points a game, scored only eight but had 10 rebounds to help the Ducks hold a 42-22 edge on the boards. They also outscored Eastern Washington by a 46-20 margin in the paint.
Delaney Hodgins led the Eagles (1-3) with eight points.
After winning the opener to a five-game homestand, Oregon is looking to establish itself as a Pac-12 title contender before a big test at No. 7 Mississippi State on Dec. 13.
Eastern Washington, fourth in the Big Sky Conference last season, is now 8-52 all-time against Pac-12 opponents and 0-5 against Oregon.
Coming off Sunday’s 74-61 loss at No. 5 Louisville in the preseason WNIT title game, the Ducks stayed at No. 10, matching their highest ranking in 17 years. Moving up one spot would equal Oregon’s all-time high of ninth set four times during the 1981-82 season.
HE SAID IT
Graves showed his displeasure with his team’s start to the third quarter by making a five-player switch after the first 100 seconds. “The first group wasn’t very good, so there’s no sense beating around the bush,” he said. “Might as well send a message without saying anything, and that message was sent. The good teams come out and bury teams. They don’t let them hang around.”
Ionescu made the hustle play of the night with her flying rebound and putback all in one motion at the buzzer to end the third quarter.
EWU’s Hodgins, after back-to-back 28-point games as part of two double-doubles, went scoreless in the first half and finished 4-for-15 from the field. The senior is the Eagles’ No. 3 all-time scorer with 1,499 points.
Eastern Washington: Hosts Utah Valley on Saturday looking for its first home victory of the season after losing the opener to BYU.
Oregon: Plays Oklahoma in a Saturday doubleheader as part of the PK80 Invitational honoring UO benefactor Phil Knight after top-ranked Connecticut and Michigan State meet in the first game at Matthew Knight Arena.