Eugene – Despite playing without injured starting forward Ruthy Hebard, No. 10 Oregon easily handled Hampton, 87-45, on Tuesday.
The All-American candidate injured her ankle in Saturday’s game against Oklahoma, and was in boot as a precaution. Reserve Oti Gildon started in her place and filled up the stat column well, with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Gildon didn’t know she was going to start until coach Kelly Graves informed her in practice yesterday.
“I was a little nervous because I haven’t started in a college game yet,” Gildon said.
Graves was impressed with the way the junior filled Hebard’s shoes.
“Oti stepped up and had a huge game,” Graves said. “She’s our ‘Draymond Green,’ and she really played like that today.”
Freshman Satou Sabally also came up big for the Ducks with 18 points and five rebounds, while Sabrina Ionescu had 13 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and senior Lexi Bando contributed 11 points.
“Satou was just phenomenal,” Graves said.
Oregon used stifling defense to limit the Pirates to 28.6 percent from the field, including only 3-of-26 from beyond the arc.
“I was impressed with the intensity we came out with,” Graves said. “Defensively, I thought we did a great job – mixed our defenses up. I thought we were solid and consistent all night long.”
“I liked that they were never comfortable. I don’t think they really got into any kind of rhythm. I just liked our activity. We challenged every shot. Again, solid effort.”
The Ducks take on Weber State Saturday at home.