No. 6 Oregon beats No. 25 UCLA in OT in Pac-12 semis
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ruthy Hebard scored 28 points to lift No. 6 Oregon to an 88-83 overtime victory over pesky 25th-ranked UCLA on Saturday night in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.
With the game tied at 83, Satou Sabally made a driving layup with 59 seconds left. UCLA twice had a chance to take the lead, but Kiara Jefferson missed open 3-pointers. Sabally then hit one of two free throws to give the Ducks a three-point lead.
UCLA had one final chance but Kennedy Burke turned the ball over with 3.7 seconds left. Sabrina Ionescu hit two free throws to seal the win after she was fouled. She finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, but was 4-for-19 from the field.
Top-seeded Oregon (29-3) will face either Stanford or Washington for the title Sunday night.
Both teams had chances to win at the end of regulation. Tied at 75, Oregon had the ball, but Erin Boley was called for an illegal screen with 4.8 seconds left. Japreece Dean took the inbounds and her shot from about 30 feet bounced off the rim sending the game to overtime — the fourth in Pac-12 Tournament history. UCLA has been involved in three of those games.
It’s the second consecutive year that the Ducks are in the championship game. They beat the Bruins in the semis both years.
Trailing by one with 26 seconds left, Hebard scored on a layup. She missed her first attempt, but forced a jump ball and the possession arrow favored Oregon. Hebard didn’t miss the second chance and gave the Ducks a 75-74 lead.
UCLA (20-12) tied the game when Michaela Onyenwere hit the second of two free throws with 4.8 seconds left.
Kennedy Burke scored 27 points and Dean added 22 to lead UCLA.
The Ducks jumped out to a 15-5 lead behind strong play by Boley. They led 25-21 after one quarter as the pace was to their liking. Both teams struggled from the field though in the second quarter, combining to shoot 9-for-34 as the Ducks went into the half up 36-30.
TIP-INS: UCLA has fourth straight 20-win seasons and has reached the semifinals of the Pac-12 Tournament in four straight seasons. ... Burke moved into 10th on the program’s career 3-point list when she hit her 100th in the first quarter. She passed former Bruins great Jordin Canada. ... Oregon guard Maite Cazorla has been battling the flu all week, but had a strong game against the Bruins. She had 11 points and five assists.
UCLA: Awaiting postseason bid.
Oregon: Either Stanford or Washington for the Pac-12 title on Sunday.