Ionescu gets another triple-double, No. 3 Oregon women win
FAIRBANKS, Alaska (AP) — Sabrina Ionescu did what she does and Satou Sabally had a big game for No. 3 Oregon but junior Ruthy Hebard stole the show.
Ionescu picked up her 11th triple-double, Sabally scored 23 points and Oregon opened the season with a 115-36 win over Alaska on Tuesday night.
Hebard, playing before her hometown fans, had 15 points despite being under the weather and was mobbed after the game.
“I wish she could have been healthy, but I’m proud of her,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said.
More than 1,600 fans lined up in 5-degree weather to get into the game.
“It was crazy to pull up and see everybody waiting outside already,” Hebard said. “I was glad to see old teachers, old coaches, everybody. It was nice.”
Despite feeling bad, she wasn’t going to miss the game.
“I woke up, I didn’t feel good, but I was like, ‘OK, everyone’s coming,'” she said. “I’m getting texts all day. So I’m gonna try and battle through it.”
Ionescu had 18 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds.
Hebard scored the first basket of the game, Sabally scored the next seven points as the Ducks were never challenged. It was 34-9 at the end of the first quarter.
Maitre Cazorla added 16 points, Erin Boley 14 and Taylor Chavez 13 as the Ducks made 12 of 24 from 3-point range and shot 68 percent overall (42 of 62). They also went 19 of 22 from the foul line.
Emily Evans scored 12 points for the Division II Nanooks.
Oregon: The Ducks, coming off their best season ever (33-5) and back-to-back Elite Eight appearances, were picked to win the Pac-12 title. … The team that lost to eventual national champion Notre Dame in the West Regional finals, returns four starters, who all averaged double figures. … Ionescu was the Pac-12 player of the year and Sabally was the freshman of the year. Hebard only set an NCAA record by making 33-straight baskets.
Alaska: Assistant coach Jessie Craig was Hebard’s high school coach. … The Nanooks only trail in the series 3-2 but last time they played were back-to-back games in 1977, both won by Ducks. … New head coach Kerri Nakamoto, came from Cal State Monterey Bay.
IONESCU KEEPS ROLLING
Oregon has never lost when Ionescu has a triple double. She broke the previous women’s record of seven triple doubles last season and is just one shy of the men’s record held by Kyle Collingsworth from BYU.
Oregon: The Ducks return home to play No. 18 Syracuse on Saturday.
Alaska: The Nanooks play at San Francisco State on Saturday.