Photo by Scott Boldt
Oregon Basketball

Week in Review: Oregon Basketball

February 10, 2020

It wasn’t a perfect weekend for Oregon hoops as the two teams combined for a 2-1 record. The women blasted two ranked teams at home, while the men lost to 11th-place OSU.

On the women’s side, the Ducks hosted Arizona on Friday and crushed the Wildcats 85-52.

Sabrina Ionescu notched her 24th career triple-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Satou Sabally had a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Ruthy Hebard led the team in scoring with 22 points, and she grabbed 4 rebounds.

Oregon took on Arizona State on Sunday, and the Ducks exacted their revenge against the Sun Devils, the only team to hand Oregon a conference loss this year. The final was a decisive 79-48 victory.

Ionescu led the way again with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists, and Sabally had another in a string of double-doubles with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Erin Boley had one of her better games in conference play with 14 points, hitting on 4 of 6 three-pointers.

This game was wildly physical and the officiating subpar – to say the least. The officials either let way too much contact slide or made some highly questionable calls. Kelly Graves and Ionescu both were slapped with technical fouls, and Hebard displayed a swollen lip during her postgame interview.

Player of the week: Sabrina Ionescu. Sabrina was phenomenal, shooting the ball relatively well in both games. She clearly reveled in recording triple-double No. 24, which matched the uniform number of her late mentor, Kobe Bryant. She noted that had fate not intervened, he would have texted her after the game.

Oregon moved to 22-2 overall. The Ducks are 11-1 in conference play, which puts them in sole possession of first place in the Pac-12.


Friday, February 14, at UCLA at 8 p.m.

Sunday, February 16, at USC at 1 p.m.

While the women were ascendant, the men’s team took another bad loss on the road. In the Ducks' game only this week, they squandered a second-half lead and lost to the rival Beavers 63-53.

Payton Pritchard led the team in scoring with 16 points, and he had 9 assists and 4 rebounds. Chris Duarte was the only other player in double figures with 11. Shakur Juiston was held to 5 points but snagged 10 rebounds.

The loss was particularly tough to swallow, as Oregon led by as much as 10 points. But the offense disappeared entirely in the second half, when they were outscored 35-21.

Other than Pritchard and Duarte, no one was able to consistently create a shot. Another big problem was the lack of production from the team's bigs. Granted, the Ducks were without both N’Faly Dante and Francis Okoro, but even when both have played they’ve yet to make a huge impact.

Okoro began the season as the starting center, but he has been haunted by misfortune -- he was injured in a vehicle-pedestrian accident before the season and his father passed away in Nigeria in December. It would be huge to see him take the next step have a good run to end the regular season.

As for Dante, the 5-star talent is there, yet it hasn’t quite all come together. Between being forced to join the team late and the current knee injury, I’m sure he’s wildly frustrated.

Still, every year come tournament time there’s a few freshman who rise up and help push a team deep into March. Might Dante be one of them?

I know some fans think Oregon is wasting its chances at a top NCAA seed, but the Ducks still have all kinds of opportunities to get there. With a home win over Colorado they’ll be tied for first in the conference, and five of the next seven games are at home.

If they can add another solid win on the road against Arizona and repeat as Pac-12 Tournament champs, they’ll be positioned well because of their strong out-of-conference schedule.


Thursday, February 13, vs Colorado at 6 p.m.

Sunday, February 16, vs Utah at 6 p.m.

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