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Oregon Women Rout UConn at Home: ‘They’re Just Too Good’


Monday’s 18-point win was the latest landmark victory for Oregon in a season that promised much after its trip to the Women’s Final Four last season and the return of Ionescu, who was expected to be the No. 1 pick in last year’s W.N.B.A. draft had she left college early. (The Liberty have the No. 1 pick this year.)

Other notable wins: Oregon beat the United States national team in an exhibition in November. In January, it won both legs of the Civil War, its home-and-home weekend against Oregon State, a title contender in its own right, for the first time in Graves’s tenure with the Ducks, which began in 2014.

And now the win at UConn, which capped a three-game Oregon road trip that also included wins at Utah, on Thursday, and Colorado, on Saturday.

“It’s an important win for the Pac-12,” Graves said. “It’s an important win for our program. We’re still up-and-coming. I see all the banners up there. I counted 11. So we don’t have any, and they’re still the standard by which everybody’s judged. And they should be.”

Ionescu, who finished with 10 points, 9 assists and 9 rebounds on Monday, and Hebard, who had 22 points and 12 rebounds, have played together for four years, and it shows. But the machine Graves has built contains many weapons. Satou Sabally, a German, combines size and strength in the post with an ability to serve as secondary facilitator with the ball, along with serving as a threat from deep. Six of her teammates shoot 33 percent or better from behind the 3-point line, including Erin Boley, a 6-foot-2 transfer from Notre Dame who put up 13 early points against the Huskies as Oregon built a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter.

That quarter ended with a Sabally 3-pointer, and with Gampel’s normally noisy crowd virtually silenced. By the fourth quarter, scores of Huskies fans were already filing out when Oregon guard Minyon Moore, a graduate transfer from the University of Southern California, finished at the rim, drew a foul and high-fived her teammates on the bench.

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