Photo by Scott Boldt
Oregon Basketball

Week In Review: Oregon Basketball

March 2, 2020

It was a great weekend for Oregon basketball. The teams combined for a perfect 3-0 record.

The third-ranked women’s took care of business rather easily, first beating Washington State 88-57 on Friday to clinch the Pac-12 regular season title. It was a special moment as the team reached the first of many goals for the season.

Ruthy Hebard had a monster game with 28 points and 14 rebounds, shooting an efficient 11 for 15 from the field. Satou Sabally added 22 points and 7 rebounds.

Sabrina Ionescu notched a double-double with 12 points, 12 assists and 5 rebounds. She didn’t have to score a ton, as Sabally and Hebard combined for 50 points.

The Ducks shot an incredible 55.2 percent from the field.

Sunday brought the final regular season game at Matthew Knight Arena for the seniors and WNBA-bound junior Satou Sabally. Hebard led the way in again with 24 points, 7 rebounds – and an uncharacteristic 5 steals. Sabally added 20 points and 5 rebounds.

Sabrina had another double-double with 13 points and 11 assists. Taylor Chavez was great off of the bench, tallying 14 points and 4 rebounds in just 17 minutes while creating havoc with her defense.

Sunday's game was special, as Oregon followed the victory with a fantastic tribute to its departing stars. Oregon will almost certainly host a couple of games in the NCAA tournament, but this game made me realize just how special this group has been.

Oregon's Big Three – joined this season by grad transfer Minyon Moore – took the Ducks from playing in front of 10,000 empty seats to selling out every game. Simply put, they have been program-changers.

With the Pac-12 regular season title under their belt, the Ducks' next goal will be winning the Pac-12 Tournament. Then comes the ultimate prize: Winning a national championship.

Player of the week: Ruthy Hebard

Hebard was incredible, leading all scorers in both games. Neither Washington team had an answer for her, as she combined to score 52 points and grab 21 rebounds.

Oregon will play the winner of Thursday's Washington-Utah game at 2 p.m. Friday. The game will be on the Pac-12 Networks.

Moving over to the men’s side, the No. 13 Ducks gained a measure of revenge against the Beavers on Thursday with a dominant 69-54 win. Oregon led by only 4 at halftime but got out to a big lead in the first few minutes of the second half and never looked back.

Payton Pritchard was phenomenal as always, with 23 points, 3 assists and 2 steals. Will Richardson was shut out in the first half, but he bounced back for 15 points after intermission. Richardson also grabbed 4 rebounds and knocked down 3 threes.

Anthony Mathis started off the game hot and ended up with 13 points. He’s the kind of player that if he can catch fire, it could be enough to win the Ducks a game they otherwise would lose. He hit all of his threes in rapid succession, which took all of the momentum away from Oregon State.

The bad news was that starting guard Chris Duarte missed the game after hand surgery. His status for the postseason is uncertain; he’d been one of Oregon’s most consistent players before getting hurt.

The good news was the return of N’Faly Dante, who missed the last month and a half with a knee injury.

The 5-star frosh was very limited, playing only 5 minutes; he didn’t score, but he had 2 rebounds and 1 nifty assist: squaring up to the hoop and making a move to his right before scooping the ball underhanded to Shakur Juiston for an at-the-rim finish. The pass showed off Dante’s great court vision.

Player of the week: Payton Pritchard

Pritchard was far and away the best player on the court on Thursday. Even though he didn’t have his usual number of assists, he was fantastic at operating the offense and creating open looks for players.

With Arizona State, Colorado and Arizona all losing, Oregon moved up in the Pac-12 pecking order. If Oregon wins out, the Ducks are guaranteed at worst a share of the Pac-12 regular season title.

UCLA has just one game left: Saturday at USC, which swept the Arizona schools last weekend. The winners of seven straight, UCLA has been one of the hottest teams in all of college basketball.

If UCLA beats USC and Oregon sweeps the Bay Area schools at home, the Bruins and Ducks will be co-champs. However, Oregon would earn the top seed in the Pac-12 tournament as it owns the tiebreaker over UCLA -- dismantling the Bruins 96-75 in late January.

If USC beats UCLA and Oregon wins out, Oregon would claim the Pac-12 regular season title outright. If UCLA falls, Oregon would need just a weekend split to clinch the top seed in Las Vegas.


Thursday, March 5, vs. California at 8 p.m.

Saturday, March 7, vs. Stanford at 8 p.m.

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