No. 1 Oregon easily downs Northeastern 89-47 in opener

Washington Times 1 month ago

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) - Coach Kelly Graves found a lot for No. 1 Oregon to work on after the season opener.

Two days after shocking the best team in the world in an exhibition game, the Ducks easily downed Northeastern 89-47 on Monday. Ruthy Hebard led the way with 21 points and 12 rebounds.

All-America guard Sabrina Ionescu added 12 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Ducks, who led by as many as 38 points. Ionescu’s 3-pointer with just over five minutes left in the game stretched Oregon’s lead to 78-45. She went to the bench for good with just under three minutes to go.

Forward Lydia Giomi added a career-high 18 points and nine rebounds for Oregon.

“Two areas that jump out to me that were just uncharacteristic of the Ducks - we didn’t shoot the three well, 9-of-35, that’s just not who we are, and 15 turnovers. So two of the areas that we pride ourselves in, we just didn’t do that good a job,” Graves said.


But he added that the Ducks were able to work on a little bit of everything to start the regular season.

Oregon downed the U.S. women’s national team 93-86 in an exhibition game on Saturday, handing the Americans only their second loss ever to a college program. Ionescu led the way with 30 points, while Satou Sabally added 25.

So it wasn’t surprising that the Ducks remained a solid No. 1 in The Associated Press women’s college basketball poll earlier Monday, receiving 28 of 30 first-place votes from a national media panel.

Junior Stella Clark led Northeastern (0-2) with 12 points.

Sabally was not with the Ducks against the Huskies because of obligations with the German national team. She’s missing Oregon’s first three games.

“Actually, I’m really proud of the team,” Graves said. “That’s not easy. What we just did right there is not easy. We have one of our best players in Europe right now and not with us, so we’re a little out of sync because of that. Secondly, to come down so quickly off the high of the other night, I really credit these guys. There was a little bit of a hangover the first quarter but they amped it up in the second quarter.”

Sabally’s absence helped open the door for Giomi’s big night. At 6-foot-6, Giomi was able to show off her surprising speed.

“I like to run,” she said. “So I guess I take it as an advantage just because it’s what I like to do, it’s one of my favorite things it’s part of why I chose basketball as a sport.”

Ionescu needed 16 points to reach 2,000 for her career. She currently sits at 18 career triple doubles, an NCAA record among both men and women. Last season she had an NCAA record eight triple doubles.

The Huskies were simply outmatched by the nation’s top team. The Ducks advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s Final Four last season for the first time in school history, but fell 72-67 to top-seeded Baylor. They finished 33-5 overall.

Northeastern also lost its season opener to South Dakota on Tuesday, 80-76. The Huskies went 20-12 overall last season and 9-9 in the Colonial Athletic Association, and earned the team’s first-ever appearance in the WNIT.

“I think it was a great experience for us,” Huskies coach Kelly Cole said about facing the Ducks. “It’s an eye opener for us. Everybody talks about wanting to run with the big dogs. When you get a chance to do it, you get your eyes opened. We’re trying to take that step to the next level ourselves and it’s a good test.”

The Ducks opened the second quarter with a 16-0 run, capped by Giomi’s layup, to take a 32-9 lead. Oregon scored 31 points in the second quarter alone to lead 47-22 at the half. Hebard led all scorers with 17 points at the break.

The Ducks stretched the lead to 66-28 in the third quarter on Giomi’s fast-break layup.

BIG PICTURE

Northeastern: It was the Huskies’ first ever game against Oregon, and first in the state of Oregon. … Northeastern opened the 2009-10 season against No. 1 Connecticut. That was in the midst of UConn’s 90-game winning streak. Tina Charles and Maya Moore both had double-doubles in the 105-35 win. … Northeastern also played No. 1 Duke in 2006.

Oregon: Oregon’s win against Team USA on Saturday was historic: The only other national team loss to a college program came in 1999 when Tennessee won on a shot in the final moments by Kara Lawson. Saturday’s loss ended a streak of 20 straight U.S. wins over college teams. … It is the first time Oregon has been ranked No. 1 to start the season. .. Minyon Moore, a USC graduate transfer, finished with nine points and 10 assists. … Hebard’s double-double was the 40th of her career.

UNDAUNTED: Yes, the Huskies certainly were aware of what they were getting into after watching Oregon’s win over Team USA.

“We knew what we were coming into. We were excited to come into and see what we could do,” Cole said. “We got out there and we let them get into us and get into our heads a little bit. That was one of the things that was our goal: Let’s control the things that we can and do the things that we can do.”

UP NEXT

Northeastern returns home to host Dayton on Saturday.

Oregon hosts Utah State on Wednesday.

___

More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25


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