Eugene – The No. 10 Oregon Ducks blew out the Eastern Washington Eagles, 81-40, on Tuesday night as the final tune-up game before the inaugural PK80 tournament on Saturday.
Sophomore forward Ruthy Hebard led three Ducks in double-figures with 22 points on a perfect 7-of-7 shooting from the field and 8-of-8 from the free-throw line. Senior Lexi Bando had 14 points on 5-of-9 from the field, including 4-of-8 from beyond the arc, and freshman Satou Sabally had 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, but fouled out early in the fourth quarter.
Oregon played well on both sides of the basketball, sharing on offense and getting steals and deflections on defense. It was their first home game in a week, after a road trip that saw them suffer their first loss, to Louisville, in the preseason WNIT championship. Hebard said she and the Ducks were not tired, however.
“I was ready. I was excited,” Hebard said. “We were all excited. We’re all competitors and that’s something I love about the team because we want to play as much as we can, so it was really fun.”
Defense was key against the Eagles, as the Ducks trapped and swarmed to force 23 turnovers, and they got 13 steals and made seven blocks. The defensive rotations were solid, and Oregon got a lot of deflections off passes as well.
“Defensively, I thought we were all pretty good tonight,” coach Kelly Graves said. “I thought we played with some toughness on defense.”
The Ducks will play Oklahoma Saturday in the first Nike PK80 tournament, which will be no easy task, according to Graves.
“They’re good. They spread you out with four guards. Very skilled. They play hard. They play their butts off,” Graves said. “They play fast. Their only loss, they scored over 100 points, so that should tell you how they like to play the game. It could be high-tempo, up-and down game.”
The other side of the tournament bracket features a UConn-Michigan State matchup.