Big Third Quarter Lifts Ducks to Top-20 Road Win


SYRACUSE, N.Y. – After taking a one-point lead into halftime, the No. 1 ranked Oregon women’s basketball team erupted for 31 points in the third quarter to pull away from No. 17 Syracuse and secure a big top-20 road win, 81-64, on Sunday at the Carrier Dome.

The Ducks (4-0) matched their point total from the entire first half in the third quarter alone, building a 16-point lead going into the fourth. Four players scored in double figures for Oregon, led by a game-high 23 from junior Satou Sabally in her first official game of the 2019-20 season.

How it Happened: Oregon jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead on three-pointers from Erin Boley and Sabally, but Syracuse fought back to take a 12-11 advantage at the first media timeout as the Ducks struggled to get open shots to fall. Sabally scored four points late to even the score after the opening quarter, with the junior accounting for 12 of the Ducks’ 15 points.

Syracuse (3-1) came out firing in the second quarter, hitting three straight triples to take a nine-point lead. The Ducks trailed by six when Boley knocked down her second three of the game to cut the deficit to three, but the Orange responded with one of their own just before the media timeout.

Trailing 29-23, Sabrina Ionescu scored four straight for the Ducks, Boley drilled a turnaround jumper in the paint to tie the game, and Sabally capped an 8-0 run with a pair of free throws to put Oregon up 31-29. Both teams then went scoreless for nearly two minutes before Syracuse split a pair of free throws with 15 seconds remaining, giving the Ducks a one-point lead at the break.

A three by Boley and a jumper by Ionescu pushed Oregon’s lead to six out of halftime, but the Orange battled back to make it 38-38 at the 5:53 mark. Tied at 40, Minyon Moore dished out assists to Ruthy Hebard and Boley, and Hebard got another bucket inside to make it 47-40 at the media timeout.

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A lay-up by Sabally pushed Oregon’s lead to 10 with 3:07 left in the third, and she hit a free throw with 35 seconds remaining to make it 56-46. Sabally and Ionescu both drained three-pointers in the final 20 seconds of the period to put Oregon up by 16, capping a 22-6 run for the Ducks.

A transition three by Sabally gave the Ducks a 19-point lead less than a minute into the fourth, and Ionescu put together another four-point run to make it 71-51 with 5:54 to play. Ionescu hit another three at the 3:32 mark to push Oregon’s lead back to 20, and the Ducks held Syracuse to 10 points over the final five-plus minutes as they locked down a top-20 victory in their first road test of the season.

Who Stood Out: Making her regular-season debut after playing overseas last week for the German women’s national team, Sabally paced the Ducks with 23 points while adding nine rebounds, three assists and three steals. Boley was 5-of-8 from three-point range for 19 points in her best game of the season thus far, and Ionescu finished with 19 points, seven rebounds and six assists. Hebard bounced back from a scoreless first half to record her fourth straight double-double with 11 points and a team-high 13 rebounds, and Moore dished out 10 assists to go with five points and five boards.

What it Means: The Ducks got a tough 10-day road trip off to a great start with a top-20 win over a Syracuse team that took Oregon down to the wire last season in Eugene.

Notable: After recording six assists, Ionescu now needs only two more to break the Pac-12 women’s all-time record of 831 held by Jordin Canada (UCLA) … Hebard notched her 43rd career double-double … Ionescu extended her double-digit scoring streak to 75 straight games with the 106th of her career, putting her two shy of tying the UO all-time record … Hebard grabbed double-digit rebounds for the 48th time, and Moore notched the ninth double-digit assist game of her career … Sabally became the third Duck to score 20-plus points for the Ducks this season … Oregon secured its 28th ranked win under Graves and its first this season.

Up Next: The Ducks will continue on to the U.S. Virgin Islands, where they will take on Oklahoma State (Thur.), UT Arlington (Fri.) and No. 8 Louisville (Sat.) in the Paradise Jam.