Oregon women’s basketball couldn’t have asked for a better start.
The Ducks went 12-of-17 in the first quarter and limited Colorado to two points on 0-for-13 shooting as Oregon put the game out of reach early with a 27-2 lead.
“I thought we put a lot of pressure on them, they were on their heels the whole time,” head coach Kelly Graves said. “I thought early on, that’s where the game was won.”
The No. 4 Ducks (21-1, 10-0 Pac-12) came into Sunday’s game against Colorado (10-11, 0-10 Pac-12) as the heavy favorites and it showed immediately, and throughout, Oregon’s 102-43 win over the Buffaloes. All nine of Oregon’s healthy players scored at least two field goals in the game.
“This is just what we needed,” Graves said. “It was a hard-fought game on Friday night and it was nice to see that we really got into a good offensive flow. We struggled from time to time and I thought for four quarters tonight I thought we moved the ball well, shared the ball.”
Ruthy Hebard dominated the game, shot 10-of-10 for 24 points. Hebard was shooting 69.6 percent coming into Sunday’s game.
Hebard also went 4-of-5 from the free throw line while bringing down 12 rebounds to complete a double-double.
Maite Cazorla, who’s best known for her passing, found her shooting form on Sunday. The Spanish senior went 6-of-8, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, for 16 points.
Cazorla said that Graves had instructed her to play more aggressively and get in the paint more often.
The Ducks scored 27 points in each of the first two quarters but the third quarter was a different story. The second half started slowly, with Oregon and Colorado only scoring a combined seven points in the first four minutes.
Oregon had made adjustments to the five on the court with freshman Taylor Chavez and redshirt sophomore Morgan Yeager seeing time in the backcourt together without Sabrina Ionescu or Maite Cazorla.
Chavez hit two late 3-pointers to finish the game with eight points while Yaeger hit back-to-back shots (a jump shot and a 3-pointer) to energize the 6,350 fans in attendance on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Ducks outscored the Buffs 20-9 in the third to increase their lead to 52 points and didn’t take their foot off the gas in the fourth quarter either, as the Ducks went on a 24-4 run until the final minute of the game.
"After they played with each other for a few minutes they really started to gel," Graves said. “Those were valuable minutes tonight.”
Oregon heads to the Bay Area to take on California and No. 8 Stanford next week before returning to Oregon for back-to-back fixtures with No. 9 Oregon State.
“I’m really excited for the rest of the schedule,” Hebard said. “It’s going to be great and really competitive and we’re gonna prepare well for Cal and Stanford and then OSU. Can’t wait to play them all.”
Follow Shawn Medow on Twitter @ShawnMedow