ICYMI: Oregon’s Hebard sets NCAA mark for FGs made in a row
NEW YORK (AP) — Oregon forward Ruthy Hebard can’t play much better.
The sensational sophomore set an NCAA record this week when she continued her superior shooting by making 30 consecutive field goals. She went 12 for 12 in the ninth-ranked Ducks’ double-overtime win over USC on Friday night. That came five days after she was also 12 for 12 against Washington State. In her previous game she went 13 for 15 from the field, making her final six shots.
Hebard broke the previous record of 28 straight set in 1998 by Southern Utah’s Myndee Kay Larsen. She tied the men’s record set in 2016 by Yale’s Brandon Sherrod.
“I actually thought I missed two, but hey, I’ll take it,” Hebard said.
She’s shooting 67 percent (201 for 300) on the season from the field — still short of the NCAA mark of 72.4 percent, set by Larsen in 1998. If the 6-foot-4 Alaska native keeps shooting the way she has lately, that mark could be in danger, too.
“I think it’s amazing,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. “She’s a great competitor and a helluva player.”
Hebard, who shot 58.8 percent from the field as a freshman, and the Ducks host UCLA on Monday night.
Other tidbits from the week:
HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS? Second-ranked Mississippi State wrapped up its first women’s basketball SEC championship on Sunday with a win over Texas A&M. It was actually the first SEC title in any women’s sport at the school. Coach Vic Schaefer was appreciative of the support from the crowd that once again was near a sellout.
“I believed and dreamed of this day to share with you in this moment,” Schaefer said. “This is what makes Mississippi State so special.”
A few days after clinching at least a share of the conference title at Vanderbilt, Mississippi State had no plans of coasting. The Bulldogs (28-0) used an 11-0 run to start the game with two 3-pointers apiece from Victoria Vivians and Roshunda Johnson to jump out to a double-digit lead they would hold onto for most of the game.
Vivians sparkled as she had all year with her 26 points and 12 rebounds on 10-of-16 shooting. It was a game she intended on making sure her team finished off.
After the game, Vivians played in confetti shot out of cannons. With losses in back-to-back SEC Tournaments and the national title game a year ago, she relished this celebration.
“We’re so used to having it thrown in our face after a loss. We enjoyed this one,” Vivians said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity (to win a championship) and I couldn’t do it without my teammates and our coaches.”
Mississippi State has two games left in the regular season before the SEC Tournament and will try to remain unbeaten.
POLL WATCH: LSU has been hanging just outside the Top 25 the last few weeks, and the Tigers have a shot to get ranked Monday for the first time since 2014. LSU, which received the most votes outside the Top 25 teams last week, beat Mississippi and Arkansas this week. The Tigers are tied for third in the SEC.
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