SportsWomen's Basketball

Oregon women’s basketball defeats the Oklahoma Sooners 92-74 in the PK80 Invitational

The Oregon Ducks defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 92-74 as part of the PK80 Invitational at Matthew Knight Arena on Saturday afternoon.

The Ducks improved their record to 5-1 this season, while the Sooners fell to 3-2.

“I loved our fight early in the game,” head coach Kelly Graves said. “Even though there’s some things we still got to continue to clean up.”

Sabrina Ionescu led the team with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists. She also had a block late in the game that led to a double technical foul being called — Ionescu’s first of the season. The block sent the crowd into a frenzy and frustrated Oklahoma center Vionise Pierre-Louis, who smacked at the ball Ionescu was holding.

“I didn’t say anything. I just looked at her,” Ionescu said, but then added with a laugh, “I had the block on the stat sheet.”

The Ducks had their hands full with Pierre-Louis, who finished the game with 32 points and 13 rebounds against the Ducks. She was 12-of-21 from the field and finished 8-of-13 from the free throw line. Oregon’s Ruthy Hebard found success down by the basket with 15 points and 15 rebounds. Satou Sabally and Oti Gildon both came off the bench and fouled out. Hebard and Mallory McGwire each added three fouls trying to stick with Pierre-Louis down by the basket.

“Tonight, that’s where their bread was buttered,” Graves said. “I thought by and large, we did a pretty good job. Defensively, you take the fouls out, and I think we guarded them well.”

Oklahoma doesn’t usually spend a lot of time down by the basket. They usually like to use their inside game to free up shooters outside for three-point shots. That game plan didn’t go as planned for the Sooners on Saturday, as they were held to just one 3-pointer in 21 attempts.

“Quite honestly, in the first half, they actually had some pretty good looks,” Graves said. “They just weren’t falling. It was just one of those nights for them.”

Justine Hall added 10 points off the bench with three successful 3-pointers, which included a four-point play late in the second quarter that extended Oregon’s lead to double-digits. This was a game that Oregon led for all but 20 seconds.

This game was part of a double-header in the PK80 tournament, which was set up to honor Phil Knight’s upcoming 80th birthday. The men’s tournament is happening throughout the holiday weekend in Portland. Prior to the Ducks and Sooners taking the court today, the Connecticut Huskies women’s basketball team was in town to defeat the Michigan State Spartans 96-62 during a noon tipoff.

“This was not an easy day for people to come out and support because of the Civil War, and they did,” Graves said. “I think it also speaks well to their love of Phil Knight. We were proud and grateful to be able to play in this tournament.”

Next up for the Ducks is a home matchup against Hampton on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at Matthew Knight Arena.

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Zak Laster

Zak Laster

Zak Laster is a sports writer for the Daily Emerald. He covers volleyball, women's basketball, golf and baseball. He can be reached at [email protected]