No. 3 Oregon clinched their third straight outright Pac-12 championship on Friday night with their 88-57 win over Washington State in front of a sellout crowd at Matthew Knight Arena.
Ruthy Hebard had 28 points and 14 rebounds for her 15th double-double, and the 54th of her career. Satou Sabally added 22 for the Ducks before she left the game in the 3rd quarter with an apparent ankle injury.
After the game, Sabrina Ionescu addressed the audience, then she introduced an emotional video reflection on Oregon's Jan. 26 win at Oregon State. Tip off for that game came shortly after the Ducks learned of the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of Kobe Bryant and eight others.
While the Ducks celebrated a Pac-12 title for the third year in a row, it was the first time they got to do so in Matthew Knight Arena and cut down the net on their home court.
Coach Kelly Graves said even though the game was a blowout, he was proud fans stayed to help celebrate with the Ducks. “We’ve had several games like that and nobody leaves. They really like watching the team, and the energy in the building is always so great and I’m glad we got to share that moment with the fans here at home,” he said.
Ionescu also felt that winning the championship at home made it much sweeter. She said “this one’s pretty cool just because it was at home. The other ones on the road, we don’t have that much support, that much fan base, a sellout crowd, so this one’s pretty cool to be able to do it here.”
The Ducks started the game with a 13-0 run and dominated the court from there on out. After the first quarter, Oregon was up by 19. At the half, they extended their lead and the score was 53-26.
WSU's Borislava Hristova, the Pac-12's third leading career scorer among active players- Ionescu and Hebard are first and second- was held to 14 points in the game. Jovana Subasic led the Cougars with 17.
Oregon faces Washington on Sunday in the final game of regular season play before heading to the Pac-12 Tournament next week in Las Vegas.
Copyright KLCC, 2020