Text Story: By Cole Rothman, Audio By: Ryan Milano
The Civil War Series began on a high note for the women in white and green. The Ducks opened their 2 game series with longtime rival Oregon State with a convincing 12 point win. Oregon State opened the game on a 10-2 thanks to hot shooting and stout defense. The Ducks struggled on both ends for the first 5 minutes, but Sabrina Ionescu was there yet again to kick the Ducks into gear. The Oregon superstar is likely to be among the finalists for the Naismith Award come march and senior only made her case stronger tonight.
Ionescu never shies away from big moments and she sure showed up again tonight for the Ducks. She finished with a game-high 23 points on 9-14 from the floor and added 4 boards and 9 assists. The Ducks also got key contributions from their other 2 stars. Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally both contributed with 17 points and combined for 13 rebounds. A stat line that Hebard seemed disappointed with after the game. The senior forward lamented that she and Satou need to do a better job rebounding and defending inside against freshman forward Taylor Jones. Jones was a bright spot for the Beavers all night, finishing with 21 points on 10-12 from the floor.
After taking the lead in the second quarter, coach Kelly Graves felt like the Ducks were in control for the rest of the game. Oregon was able to stretch the lead to 20 on multiple occasions, but the Beavers just wouldn’t quit. Oregon State mounted a furious comeback and ended the game on a 18-7 run, but it was too little too late. Oregon was able to survive the comeback despite a lackluster 4th quarter.
Ionescue noted post game that the Ducks must improve their fourth quarter effort if they want any chance to beat the Beavers this Sunday in Corvallis. Winning in Corvallis has proved impossible for the Ducks in their last 6 seasons under coach Kelly Graves. The Ducks have yet to win against their Oregon rivals on the road and are desperate to change that. The postgame energy regarding their Sunday matchup was excitement from Ionescu, Hebard and Graves alike. That game tips off at 1pm this Sunday in Corvallis and should be an absolute war.
Post-game Audio and Story: Ryan Milano
Ruthy Hebard & Sabrina Ionescu