Determined Ducks Avenge Loss at ASU


EUGENE, Ore. — An Arizona State team determined to turn Sunday’s game at Oregon into a physical slog was instead drowned in a three-point barrage by the No. 3 Ducks, who made 13-of-25 three-pointers in a 79-48 victory before a sellout crowd of 12,364 in Matthew Knight Arena.

The UO women (22-2, 11-1 Pac-12) avenged their only conference loss of the season by enduring ASU’s grinding style, which saw the first quarter end with Oregon up just 10-2. The physicality led to three technical fouls in the game — including one each on UO coach Kelly Graves and senior star Sabrina Ionescu — but ultimately the Ducks turned it into a blowout with their three-point shooting.

“It was definitely a revenge game for us,” said UO freshman Jaz Shelley, who was 4-of-4 from three-point range. “We knew we were the better team and we shouldn’t have lost that game, so we had a fire in our belly.”

How It Happened: The game was scoreless for more than four minutes, with the Ducks missing their first five shots. Arizona State finally got on the scoreboard with 5:46 left in the opening quarter, and Satou Sabally responded with a spinning drive to the hoop at the other end for Oregon’s first basket 23 seconds later. That sparked the UO offense, which got a Ionescu three-pointer and field goals from Minyon Moore and later Ionescu again to lead 10-2 after the first quarter. ASU was 1-of-10 in the period with five turnovers, while Oregon was 4-of-13 with four turnovers, plus a 13-5 advantage on the boards.

Shelley made her first three-pointer early in the second quarter, and Ionescu made another moments later for an 18-4 lead. Arizona State finally got some offense going and made its first three-pointer of the game to get within 22-13, but Erin Boley answered with her first of four three-pointers in the game and Oregon ended up leading at halftime, 27-15.

“We knew going into the game as part of our game plan that a lot of the attention was going to be focused on Ruthy (Hebard) rolling off ball screens,” Boley said. “A big part of it was having shooters coming in looking for that shot, confident and ready. We knew it was coming so we were prepared. So that helped us stay confident and in rhythm.”

After a couple early misses in the third quarter, the Ducks made five straight field-goal attempts to break out to a 40-19 lead, with two baskets from Ionescu, two from Ruthy Hebard and another Boley three. The game began to get chippy at that point, with Graves earning a technical late in the quarter and Ionescu being involved in offsetting technicals with an ASU player moments later. But the Sun Devils were never a threat on the scoreboard, which saw Oregon up 57-30 through three quarters.
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Shelley made two more threes early in the fourth, and after ASU rallied within 65-41 the Ducks got a three-pointer by Boley and two more from Sabally on consecutive possessions to keep the blowout going. Taylor Chavez closed out the scoring with a three-point play as the Ducks avoided the fourth-quarter letdown that cost them the first time Oregon and ASU met.

Who Stood Out: Ionescu had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists, plus two steals. Boley and Shelley added 14 points each, and Sabally and Hebard scored 11 apiece. Graves made sure postgame to point out the contributions of Moore, who had only five points on 1-of-9 shooting but set the defensive tone yet again with six steals, helping Oregon score 19 points off turnovers.

“We have a 10-game winning streak, and a big reason why is our defense,” Graves said.

What It Means: Arizona State’s game plan was to hound Ionescu and then deny Hebard on the pick-and-roll, and it was successful for the most part. The problem for ASU was, the Ducks have more weapons than just those two.

“Tonight we were ready for that,” Graves said. “They took away the roll so we kicked it out. We found open shooters all night long and they never adjusted.”

Up Next: The Ducks begin a four-game road trip at UCLA on Friday (8 p.m., Pac-12 Network).