Playing without their head coach, and for the second time in two days with both games coming at or before noon, Friday’s contest with UC Irvine could’ve easily been considered a trap game for No. 7 Oregon.
Led by Satou Sabally’s season-high 27 points and Ruthy Hebard’s double-double, the Ducks dominated on offense and cruised to a 115-69 victory over the visiting Anteaters. With the win, Oregon improves to 11-1 overall and 6-0 at home, securing their third win in four days.
Sabrina Ionescu, who one day earlier set the Division-I record for career triple doubles, added the 14th of her career when she finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists. Maite Cazorla added a double-double of 13 points and 10 assists, giving Oregon’s starting backcourt 24 of its 34 total assists.
The game started out tough for the Ducks as UC Irvine (9-2) was more than ready for the challenge of facing the nation’s highest-scoring team.
Andee Ritter hit a three-pointer for the Anteaters halfway through the second quarter, tying the game at 32 and putting the Ducks on upset alert. But with the veterans leading the way, Oregon reeled off a 13-4 run to end the half — and then outscored UC Irvine 33-14 in the third quarter to seize complete control.
"It looked like in both games in the second half the ladies decided to wake up and really get going," Mark Campbell, the acting coach filling in for head coach Kelly Graves said. "When you have the leadership of these upperclassmen, it helps a lot. They know how to turn it on, and they put their foot on the gas pedal in the second half."
Graves was serving the second of his two-game suspension levied by the NCAA for a pair of infractions the Ducks self-reported over the summer.
Oregon was unstoppable in the paint, outscoring the Anteaters 60-20 in the paint and dominating the rebounds 53-28. Sabally and Hebard combined to shoot 22-for-28 (78.6-percent) from the field as the Ducks finished the game 48-of-75 (64-percent).
Erin Boley (3-of-6 from deep) chipped in 17 points for the Ducks as its 115 points tied a season-high and upped their average to 92.6 points per game. Taylor Chavez added eight points and four assists while Lydia Giomi finished with six points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Oregon will now get some time off to enjoy Christmas before returning for an exhibition game against Division-II Concordia on Sunday, December 30. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. and it will the Ducks’ final tune-up before Pac-12 play begins later that week.