Sabrina Ionescu breaks NCAA record in win over the Washington Huskies
Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu is in the record books.
Ionescu ended the 2017 calendar year by setting the NCAA career record for triple-doubles, the eighth of her career, during the Ducks 94-83 win over the Washington Huskies on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.
She is just a sophomore.
Ionescu secured the triple-double with 1:47 to play when she grabbed her 10th and final assist after Lexi Bando hit a three-pointer.
“I knew I was pretty close, and once I heard the crowd I knew I probably had gotten it,” Ionescu told reporters.
She finished the game with 24 points, 10 assists and a career-high 14 rebounds to complete the triple-double.
“For any haters that like to poo-poo what she’s done, she could have racked it up against some also-ran kind of teams,” head coach Kelly Graves said of Ionescu’s triple-doubles. “But if you’ve look at the one’s she’s gotten … it’s been against good teams.”
Oregon’s record improves to 13-2 this season and 2-0 in the Pac-12 play for the first time since the 2009-10 season.
“It was nice to be able to start off the Pac-12 game off healthy and at full force,” Ionescu said. “It was hard last year. We kind of had to dig ourselves out of a hole starting 0-3.”
The Ducks led by 20 with three minutes, 22 seconds to go in the half, but Washington cut the deficit to 10 points to trail the Ducks 45-35 at halftime. Oregon held the Huskies to 40.6 percent shooting in the first half, but the Huskies stayed in the game in the second half with good shooting at 60 percent.
“They played us hard the whole entire game,” Bando said. “I give them total kudos for that. They pushed us and pushed us.”
Oregon was pushed all game by Amber Melgoza of the Huskies, who finished with 31 points and eight rebounds. Her layup with 6:18 to go pulled the Huskies within single digits at nine points, but that’s as close as Washington would get the rest of the game.
Now that Ionescu has this career record behind her, is there another record she has her sights on?
“No, definitely not,” Ionescu said. “I definitely don’t look at the records I have yet to break. I’m just focused on this team, winning, and us growing as a team.”
For Graves, seeing that kind of mindset from Ionescu is nothing new.
“She’ll do whatever it takes. She has zero ego,” Graves told reporters. “For her it’s the winning that matters.”
Ionescu wasn’t the only person to complete a milestone on Sunday. Graves picked up win No. 500 of his career.
“I didn’t even know that was coming up until my son said something about it last night,” Graves told reporters about his milestone win. “It’s pretty special. I’ve been really blessed to coach great players.”
Ruthy Hebard added a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds. Lexi Bando scored 20 points, making five of her nine three-point attempts.
The Ducks hit the road for two games in Los Angeles, California, starting with the USC Trojans on Friday at 8 p.m.
Follow Zak Laster on Twitter: @zlast3445
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