Gopher Women Bow Out of NCAA Tourney in Rout by Oregon

Oregon's Ruthy Hebard, left, and Justine Hall, right, battle Minnesota's Kenisha Bell for a loose ball during the second quarter of a second-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Eugene, Ore., Sunday, March 18, 2018. Photo: (AP Photo/Chris Pietsch)
Oregon's Ruthy Hebard, left, and Justine Hall, right, battle Minnesota's Kenisha Bell for a loose ball during the second quarter of a second-round game in the NCAA women's college basketball tournament in Eugene, Ore., Sunday, March 18, 2018.

March 18, 2018 11:37 PM

Sabrina Ionescu had 29 points, nine assists and seven rebounds and the second-seeded Oregon Ducks advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 101-73 victory over No. 10 Minnesota in the second round of the women's NCAA Tournament on Sunday night.
    
It was the 11th straight victory for the Ducks, who are headed to the round of 16 for the second straight season. Last year they went to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history.
    
Ionescu was just short of her second straight and 11th career triple-double. A sophomore, Ionescu holds the all-time NCAA record for triple doubles.
    
Fellow sophomore Ruthy Hebard finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Ducks, who led by as many as 34 points. Ionescu went to the bench with 8:31 left in the game and Oregon up by 30.
    
With her fourth assist of the game, Ionescu broke the Pac-12 single season record of 278, set by Arizona's Brenda Pantoja in the 1995-96 season.
    
Carlie Wagner led the Golden Gophers with 20 points. Oregon's 101 points were the most Minnesota had given up all year.
    
The Ducks, who won both the Pac-12 regular season and tournament titles, were coming off an 88-45 first-round victory over No. 15 seed Seattle. Ionescu finished with 19 points, 11 assists and 10 rebounds in that game.
    
Minnesota beat No. 7 Green Bay 89-77 on Friday. Kenisha Bell had 24 of her 26 points in the second half as the Gophers rallied from 10 points down at halftime.
    
Minnesota came into the tournament with an average of 85.2 points per game to lead the Big Ten and rank third nationally - behind only UConn and Baylor. The Golden Gophers were making their first tournament appearance since 2015.
    
Oregon jumped out to a 21-13 lead after Ionescu's corner 3-pointer. She got a layup as the shot clock expired and a free throw to put the Ducks up 30-22 at the end of the first quarter. Ionescu led all scorers in the period with 13 points.
    
Hebard's layup gave the Ducks a 41-31 lead. Ionescu feel to the floor but somehow nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Ducks a 51-36 lead at the break. She went into the half with 22 points.
    
Lexi Bando's 3-pointer pushed the Ducks' lead to 39-62 in the third quarter.
    
BIG PICTURE
    
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers have faced the Ducks just once before, in the 1979 WNIT. Oregon won, 85-74. ... Minnesota's best finish in the tournament was a run to the Final Four in 2004. ... Minnesota's 24 wins this season were its most in 13 seasons.
    
Oregon: The Ducks pushed their total wins this season to 32, a record for coach Kelly Graves. ... Oregon was making its second straight tournament appearance and 14th overall. ... Bando played her last game at Matthew Knight Arena. ... Oregon governor Kate Brown was at the game.
    
UP NEXT
    
The Ducks will travel north to Spokane to face the winner of Monday's game between third-seeded Ohio State and No. 11 Central Michigan in Columbus, Ohio. The Buckeyes beat George Washington 87-45 on Saturday, after Central Michigan upset No. 6 LSU 78-69.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
 

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