Los Angeles – No. 5 Oregon’s high-octane performances on both ends of the court made for easy containment of UCLA Sunday, 72-52.
Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally led the Ducks with double-doubles: 19 points from each, a career-high 18 rebounds for Hebard and 11 boards for Sabally. Sabrina Ionescu added 14 points and Maite Cazorla, 13. It was Oregon’s fifth straight win over UCLA, and the third consecutive loss for the hosts.
The Ducks roared out to an early lead, which they never relinquished, while holding the Bruins to 24 percent shooting in the first and final quarters. They inflated their advantage to as much as 28 points in the fourth period, outrebounded UCLA 47-29 and outscored them in the paint by 10 points. Oregon also had 25 second chance points to five for the Bruins.
Duck coach Kelly Graves commended his team for their energy buzzer to buzzer, and said he was impressed with their transition and rebounding game. But what stood out to him was their defensive efforts.
“Defense has been the area that we’ve lacked some tenacity and toughness, but when we had to do it today, we buckled down,” Graves said. “We’re so good offensively that sometimes we think it’s going to be just as easy on the defensive end, and it’s not – it’s hard work.”
Graves said it is a good sign continuing into Pac-12 play, where they are 4-0.
“That’s what we found out about ourselves on this road trip: you know what, we can defend when we really put our minds to it and really focus on the scout,” he said.
UCLA’s top scorer, Michaela Onyenwere, was held to just 13 points and five rebounds. Japreece Dean was the only one of her teammates to score in double figures, with 11 points.
“I don’t think we really ever got into an offensive rhythm tonight, where we were really getting the kinds of shots from the people we wanted,” Bruin coach Cori Close said. “They’re so efficient and they’re so long and they shoot it so deep.”
Oregon heads home to host the Arizona schools next weekend, and the Bruins also remain home to host the second meeting with rival USC.