While it took a minute to get going, Sabrina Ionescu and the Ducks had little issue getting past No. 3 Stanford on Thursday night.
No. 6 Oregon blew past the Cardinal in the second half at Matthew Knight Arena to grab a dominant 87-55 win, thanks to a historic night from Ionescu — who finished with a career-high 37 points to become Oregon’s all-time leading scorer.
“She seems to always do it on nights like this, too,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said about Ionescu, calling her performance “magical,” via the Associated Press. “When her best is needed, that’s when she usually steps up.”
The Ducks closed out the first half on a 9-4 run to grab a six-point lead at the break after bouncing back and forth with the Cardinal throughout the first two periods. Ionescu dropped 15 points in the first half while shooting 3-of-7 from the 3-point line, too. As a team, however, Oregon went just 4-of-14 from behind the arc.
Setting the all-time scoring record
Though Stanford opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run to grab the lead, the Ducks quickly rallied back to grab a double-digit lead just minutes later. They closed out the period on a 13-4 run to grab a dominant 17-point lead after Ionescu put up 14 points in the quarter alone — a move that made her Oregon’s all-time leading scorer. Ionescu hit the mark with less than a minute left in the third quarter after draining a bucket from the top of the key, passing Alison Lang’s record of 2,252 points that was set during her time in Eugene from 1980-84.
While she knows how impressive holding the scoring record is, Ionescu didn’t care much about the feat on Thursday night.
“It’s honoring and humbling to be able to be at the top,” Ionescu said, via the Associated Press. “Obviously it doesn’t mean much. I’m happy that I’m able to do this with my team. I’m happy that we won tonight.
“I think we have bigger plans and bigger goals, so I’m not really focused on any one particular achievement that I’ve done. I think later on in life I’ll probably take a step back and really appreciate that, but right now I think I’m just focused on too many things.”
By that point in the game, the hole was too big for Stanford to climb out of. The Ducks cruised through the fourth quarter to grab the 32-point win, snapping the Cardinal’s five-game win streak.
“Stanford’s the standard by which we’re all judged,” Graves said, via the Associated Press. “They always have been. So any time you can beat them, it’s a feather in your cap, there’s no question about it.”
Ionescu led the Ducks with a near-triple-double, dropping 37 points with 11 rebounds and seven assists. It marked just her fifth career 30-point game. Satou Sabally added 18 points and 11 rebounds for Oregon, and Ruthy Hebard finished with 11 points.
Kiana Williams led Stanford with 15 points, shooting 3-of-6 from the 3-point line. As a team, the Cardinal scored just seven points in the fourth quarter.
“They had Sabrina and we didn’t,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerver said, via the Associated Press. “She was phenomenal. She is that good and the people around her are very good also. We have our work cut out for us to be ready for them the next time.”
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