Win against Drake proves Oregon’s offensive power
After locking down CSUN on Friday night with a lights-out defensive effort, Oregon women’s basketball rode its offense to a 110-77 victory over Drake on Sunday in the second round of the Preseason WNIT Tournament.
While the No. 11 Ducks offense was no slouch on offense in their Friday victory, the team’s scoring was on another level on Sunday. By the end of the game, five players were in double figures. The Ducks also made 17 3-pointers and shot 56 percent from the field.
“It was just a good team effort,” Ducks head coach Kelly Graves said. “Everybody contributed. Offensively, we were flowing the whole game. We got great shots the entire night — shared the ball well.”
Once again, it was Sabrina Ionescu who led the way for the Ducks. The sophomore posted her fifth career triple-double with 29 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. She was responsible for six of the Ducks’ 3-pointers, and shot 10-of-15 from the field.
Also dominant from 3-point range was Lexi Bando. After scoring the Ducks’ first points from deep in the first quarter, the senior was mostly quiet until the third quarter.
Out of halftime, Bando was electric, draining a trio of baskets from downtown in the opening minutes of the quarter, and went on to finish with 16 points.
The first two of Bando’s 3-pointers came on assists from Maite Cazorla, who had an impressive night with a double-double on 12 points and 11 assists.
Joining her teammates in the double-double category was Ruthy Hebard, with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
One of the biggest offensive performances of the night came from a new face: freshman Satou Sabally.
Sabally, a German international, signaled her arrival with 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting. She was also responsible for the last four field goals of the Ducks’ monster 32-point 3rd quarter. If there were questions about her ability to adapt to the American game, Sunday’s performance likely quieted them.
“It’s a lot of fun,” Sabally said. “We play more free than I’m used to. It’s not as structured — sort of robotic I’d say.”
The performance didn’t escape the notice of her coach.
“She’s so fluid with either hand,” Graves said. “She can finish at the rim, she can hit a couple of jumpers. … that shows a really skilled player.”
While the game had its share of standout scoring performances, Graves points to the team’s 31 assists as the key.
“It starts with those two guards,” Graves said. “Maite and Sabrina are just so unselfish. Those two are a pleasure to have on the court. They’re one of the best backcourts, I think, in college basketball.”
The Ducks will look to keep their offensive streak going when they travel to College Station to face the No.20 Texas A&M Aggies on Thursday, Nov. 16.
Follow Aaron Alter on Twitter @aaronalter95
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