STORRS, Conn. — An air chunk to finish a quarter. A shot clock violation that seemed to be a product of pure pity. A lane to the basket made wide-open from the defense which the Gampel Pavilion audience let out what looked as a collective sigh. Some of these fans headed to the leaves with over four-and-a-half moments left in the match.
This is not the UConn team we have become accustomed to seeing over the last quarter-century. Still, this stadium is still the place to create an impression in women’s basketball.
Oregon did this Monday, handing the Huskies that a 74-56 conquer, their worst loss ever in Gampel, which started 1990. UConn formerly lost by 17 here two — to Iowa at 1990 and to Syracuse at 1992 — but that was prior to the Huskies acquired their first NCAA title (1995).
“This is huge for us,” Ionescu stated in an ESPN interview following the match. “We knew it was gonna be a big game, and we needed this win.”
Oregon trainer Kelly Graves stated Monday’s win will stick with him for quite a very long moment.
“It means a lot. This is hallowed ground, so to speak,” Graves said. ” This is one I’ll recall quite a while. Who does not appear around Geno [Auriemma]?”
The Ducks revealed Monday they may be ready to win their first national tournament this season, since they appeared to be every bit the juggernaut that most expected they would be this year. They realized that with what sounded like a rather pedestrian match — albeit near a different triple-double — by senior defender Sabrina Ionescu.
Scratch underneath the surface of her 10-stage, 9-assist and 9-rebound functionality, yet, and you’re going to observe that Ionescu did precisely what her staff desired. The Ducks did not need her to take a huge load since they have lots of competent hands to do this.
What was likely to become one of the greatest nonconference games this year instead become a display of why there is a fantastic possibility that we will see Oregon in the Final Four for the next year in a row. Sure, it is early February, and odd things can occur in the NCAA championship, however when the Ducks perform the remainder of the way like they did Monday, that the Big Easy will maintain their travel programs in April.
As much because we normally think about this Ducks as a outstanding offensive group, they showed lots of defensive art Monday, too. The Huskies are size-challenged and do not have the type of strength inside which we are utilized to viewing. Even therefore the Ducks’ capability to control from the lane — headed by Ruthy Hebard and Satou Sabally — dropped out. Oregon outscored UConn 44-14 from the paint.
Hebard completed 10-of-14 in the ground for 22 points and added 10 rebounds. Sabally had a double-double, together with 17 and 10. All five Oregon starters finished in double figures. Erin Boley scored all 13 of her points in the first half, also Minyon Moore added 10 points.
“Everyone contributed,” Ionescu said. “We got on the boards. We rebounded well. We defended well. Obviously, we gave up some 3s, but I think we overall did a really good job on the defensive end, which helped us offensively.”