When Oregon needed her most, Satou Sabally stepped up and provided. Led by her career-high 33 points (and eight three-pointers), the Ducks used a big third quarter to defeat pesky Washington State 79-64 on Friday night in Pullman, Washington.
"Satou was terrific all night," Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said. "We needed her tonight."
She finished the game 11-of-16 from the floor, including a staggering 8-for-11 from beyond the arc, with eight rebounds. Although the did struggle from the free throw line (3-of-7), Sabally was more than in command with the rest of her game.
"I started feeling it with the first two shots," Sabally said. "I feel like they weren't playing a lot of concentration on my shooting — I guess that freed me up because they really had to focus on Sabrina (Ionescu)."
Sabally’s big night came at a perfect time because Oregon (18-1) was attempting a first in program history — a 7-0 start to Pac-12 play.
Washington State (7-12, 2-6 Pac-12) wasn’t going to make it easy for the Ducks though. Borislava Hristova (game-high 29 points) and Alexis Swedlund (14 points) were sensational in the first quarter, keeping the Cougars around by scoring all 17 of its team points.
The Ducks would’ve ended the quarter on the losing end, but Taylor Chavez drilled a three-pointer with one second left on an assist by Maite Cazorla (five assists) to give Oregon an 18-17 lead.
It would be short lived as Hristova began the quarter on a personal 7-2 run for the lead. Chanelle Molina made back-to-back three-pointers for the Cougars, giving them a 30-24 lead, their largest of the game.
The deficit would’ve been bigger if not for Ruthy Hebard, who scored Oregon’s first eight points in the quarter. A Sabally three-pointer got the Ducks within one, 30-29, before Hristova and Swedlund ended the half with back-to-back buckets — sending the Ducks into the half down 34-30.
After facing its third halftime deficit of the season, Oregon came out firing on all cylinders in the third quarter. Knocking down four three-pointers in the opening five minutes, the Ducks opened the second half on an 18-2 run for the 48-36 lead.
Sabrina Ionescu got going, scoring seven points during the run while Sabally added two three-pointers.
Oregon extended its lead to 60-46 at the end of the third quarter when Sabally knocked down another three-pointer that just beat the buzzer, outscoring Washington State 30-12 in the period. With the big lead, the Ducks were able to finish out the fourth on cruise control for the program-setting victory.
Hebard finished with 20 points and 14 rebounds while Ionescu added 14 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
The Ducks finish out their trip north with a game against Washington on Sunday. Tipoff is set for 2 p.m. and will air on the Pac-12 Network.