ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — Oregon took several minutes to get settled against Texas-Arlington. After that, it was business as usual for the top-ranked Ducks.
Satou Sabally scored 19 points and Oregon overcame a tough first quarter to beat Texas-Arlington 91-54 on Friday at the Paradise Jam tournament.
Taylor Chavez added 17 points and Ruthy Hebard had 16 points for the Ducks (6-0), who shot 53% and made 11 of 33 3-pointers.
Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu, the NCAA’s career triple-doubles leader with 19, was held to a season-low seven points — less than half her 15.5-point average. She also had 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Marie Benson had 15 points and Claire Chastain added 10 points for the Lady Mavericks (4-2), who had 20 turnovers and shot 35.4% in losing their second straight.
However, Texas-Arlington gave Oregon fits in the first quarter, swapping the lead five times and tying the game three others in the first 7½ minutes. Ionescu’s jumper with 2:03 left put the Ducks ahead to stay, and they closed the period with nine unanswered points for a 20-12 lead.
“They’re a good team,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said of Texas-Arlington. “They jumped on us on defense a little bit, changing it up, and it took us a second to figure out what they were doing. Once we did, we were golden. … I wasn’t that concerned about it, because they’re a good team … but every team in this tournament is good.”
Oregon put the game away in the second quarter, opening with a 15-2 run — capped by Erin Boley’s 3-pointer with 6:11 left — to push the Ducks’ lead into double digits to stay. They would go on to outscore the Lady Mavericks 30-12 in the second quarter and lead 50-24 at the half.
Oregon ended the third quarter ahead 75-41 on Sabally’s layup with 15 seconds remaining. The Ducks’ reserves would take the lead to 39 points three times, the last at 91-52, late in the fourth quarter.
“Our kids always come out of the locker room excited about the fight,” Texas-Arlington coach Krista Gerlich said. “They played really hard, and I liked their mindset. Of course, Oregon got comfortable, and got acclimated themselves. We kinda caught them off guard a couple possessions, but it didn’t take long to do what they do.”
Oregon: The Ducks have had two good tune-up games at the Paradise Jam but get their toughest test in Saturday’s tournament finale against No. 8 Louisville, their second Top 25 opponent this season.
Texas-Arlington: Even after losing their second straight game against a top 10 team, the Lady Mavericks have equaled their start from last season, and their early performance against Oregon could be a big confidence builder.
Oregon’s defense converted all those Texas-Arlington turnovers into points, scoring 29 points off the miscues. The Lady Mavericks only scored nine points off 10 Ducks turnovers.
It’s been just over two years since Ionescu has been held to single-digit scoring. The last time was Nov. 21, 2017, when she had just eight points against Eastern Washington — a span of 77 games.
Oregon: Plays No. 8 Louisville on Saturday.
Texas-Arlington: Plays Oklahoma State on Saturday.
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