44-point third quarter leads Ducks to 114-87 victory over Weber State
Going into Saturday’s game, the Oregon single-game combined 3-point record was 27.
By the end of the Ducks’ 114-87 victory over the Weber State Wildcats, 34 3-pointers had been made.
Despite a lackluster showing on defense, the Ducks’ offensive firepower was enough to get the job done. The win keeps the them undefeated at home and moves them to 7-1 on the season.
“One of my coaches said in the locker room after the game, ‘you don’t know whether to laugh or to cry,'” head coach Kelly Graves said about the high-scoring affair. “I think there was a little of both tonight. We didn’t really come to defend, we had very little intensity. Thank goodness we had a good shooting night as well.”
The Ducks started the game strong when Sabrina Ionescu kicked off what would turn into an 11-0 run with a deep 3-pointer. Weber State was able to fight back, preventing the Ducks from running away with the game.
In a tightly contested second quarter, it was senior sharpshooter Lexi Bando who, after a slow first quarter, provided the biggest offensive spark for the Ducks. The Eugene native backed up her reputation as the nation’s most efficient 3-point shooter among active players with a barrage of five buckets from behind the arc.
“They weren’t falling in the first quarter for me,” Bando said. “But coach told me to get in there and make a shot, and I finally started hitting them.”
Without Bando’s hot streak, the game could well have been tied at the half. The Ducks led by just nine points going into the break.
Then the third quarter happened.
The Ducks overwhelmed the Wildcats with a 44-point explosion on 82 percent shooting from the field. Three Oregon players, Satou Sabally (12), Ruthy Hebard (11) and Ionescu (15), posted double-figures in the third quarter alone.
Ionescu finished the game with a double-double on 21 points and 14 assists, tying the Oregon single-game record for assists.
While the Ducks delivered their best offensive performance of the season, the defense struggled mightily. After allowing only four 3-pointers through the previous three games, the Ducks were unable to stop the 3-ball on Saturday, and the Wildcats shot the deep ball at a 50-percent clip against them.
“That kind of shooting is contagious,” Graves said. “We were fortunate that we were having one of those nights. The 3-point shot is a big part of their game, and we knew coming in that the only way they could beat us is if they were scoring three at a time.”
Even so, Graves enjoyed the offensive clinic his team put on.
“That’s about as much fun as I’ll have on the sideline,” Graves said. “I actually smiled a few times.”
The Ducks will continue their homestand against the Southern Utah Thunderbirds next Saturday at Matthew Knight Arena.
Follow Aaron on Twitter @aaronalter95
Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.