Of the past three meetings between the two schools, two have been blowouts of epic proportions. There was last year’s 40-point game in Maples Pavilion and Thursday’s 87-55 rout in Matthew Knight Arena. Postgame, however, Sabrina Ionescu was focused on last year’s Pac-12 tournament championship game, which she narrowly lost.
“I think we had some unfinished business when they beat us last year,” Ionescu said postgame on ESPN.
No. 3 Stanford (15-1, 4-0 Pac-12) traveled to Eugene and were thoroughly exposed by No. 6 Oregon (13-2, 3-1 Pac-12). During the game, Ionescu became the Ducks all-time leading scorer.
“I was ready to go, I didn’t want to lose,” Ionescu said. “That mid-range shot was there, I was forcing it in the beginning, but my shot was going to come to me and it did.”
That same competitive spirit is why the basketball world is buzzing about Ionescu, and why she returned for her senior season, bypassing a likely first-overall selection in the WNBA draft. Against Stanford, she scored or assisted on 24 of Oregon’s 36 first-half points. In the second half, she scored 22 herself. Shooting 14-of-26 from the field and 5-of-12 from 3-point range, Ionescu lit up the scoreboard for 37.
Oregon’s Satou Sabally contributed 18 more points on 5-of-11 shooting. Both Ducks finished with 11 rebounds, and Ionescu finished three assists shy of a triple-double. Ruthy Hebard added 11 more points, the graduate transfer Minyon Moore 10.
Stanford’s leading scorer, junior guard Kiana Williams, had 15 points on 4-of-10 from the field. Sophomore guard Lacie Hull was the only other Cardinal in double figures, reaching 10 on 4-of-5 with two three-pointers.
Oregon schooled Stanford by 11 on the glass, essentially in line with its eighth-best 11.6 rebound margin. The Ducks had six more offensive rebounds than the Cardinal, which they turned into a 15-4 advantage in second-chance points.
Stanford committed 18 turnovers, and Oregon capitalized for 22 points off turnovers. Oregon committed just seven, which Stanford turned into two points.
The first quarter was actually Stanford’s best. For just the second time this season, both Hull sisters, Lacie and Lexie, started in Tara VanDerveer’s lineup, and at the end of the opening 10 minutes, each had five points. Stanford led at that point 17-13, shooting 58.3% from the field.
Then Ionescu, who had just five first-quarter points despite taking eight shots, including five three-pointers, went 2-for-2 from beyond the arc in the second quarter and settled into the game.
At halftime, Oregon held a six-point lead, but Stanford raced out of the locker room on a 7-0 run to recapture the lead, its last of the game. Oregon ended the game on a 51-18 run that lasted the final 18 minutes.
Stanford will stay in the state to take on No. 8 Oregon State Sunday at noon PT.
Contact Daniel Martinez-Krams at danielmk ‘at’ stanford.edu.