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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Women’s Pac-12 Tournament: Sabrina Ionescu leads No. 3 Oregon over Arizona

UPDATED: Sat., March 7, 2020

Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu  drives around Arizona’s Aarion McDonald  during Saturday’s Pac-12 Tournament semifinal. Oregon won 88-70. (John Locher / Associated Press)
Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu drives around Arizona’s Aarion McDonald during Saturday’s Pac-12 Tournament semifinal. Oregon won 88-70. (John Locher / Associated Press)
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Sabrina Ionescu had 31 points and nine rebounds to lead No. 3 Oregon to an 88-70 victory over No. 13 Arizona on Saturday in the Pac-12 Tournament semifinals.

The Ducks (30-2) return to the title game for the third straight season and are looking for their second championship in that span.

Oregon shot a blistering 53.2% (33 of 62) from the floor, including 15 of 31 (48.4%) from 3-point range.

The teams combined for 25 from beyond the arc, setting a Pac-12 Tournament record for 3-pointers made, breaking last year’s mark of 21, set by Washington and Oregon State.

Erin Boley had 18 points for Oregon, while Ruthy Hebard added 14.

Aari McDonald led Arizona (24-7) with 34 points, while Cate Reese added 13.

Ionescu found her touch in the second quarter and hit four of Oregon’s first six field goals, part of a 12-0 run that led to the Ducks taking a 42-26 lead late in the first half. Arizona outscored Oregon 7-1 down the stretch, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from McDonald to get the deficit down to 10, sending the Ducks into the locker room leading 43-33.

The teams combined to shoot 12 of 25 (48.0%) from 3-point range in the first half, part of a 30-for-64 (46.8%) shooting barrage by both.

Stanford 67, UCLA 51: Central Valley’s Lexie Hull had 28 points and nine rebounds to lead the No. 7 Cardinal (27-5) to a win over the No. 8 Bruins (26-5) in the other semifinal.

Stanford will meet Oregon in the championship for a third straight year, and fourth time in five years. Stanford beat the Ducks 64-57 in last year’s title game. Oregon beat the Cardinal 77-57 in the 2018 championship.

Kiana Williams added 12 points for the Cardinal, while Francesca Belibi contributed eight points and seven rebounds.

Stanford, which ranked second in the Pac 12 with 74.3 points per contest, ranked fifth in the conference in giving up a mere 59.63. The Cardinal’s +14.67 scoring margin was second in the league. The Cardinal thrived in limiting the opposition in getting high-percentage shots throughout the campaign, which resulted in a ranking No. 1 with their field-goal percentage defense (35.0%).

All of which is why it came as no surprise the Cardinal shut down UCLA’s potent offense.

The Bruins (26-5) were stymied after holding a 15-13 lead after the first quarter. UCLA managed just 16 points in the second and third quarters combined.

Michaela Onyenwere, Japreece Dean and Charisma Osborne each had 14 points for the Bruins.

The Cardinal improved to 47-0 when holding their opponent under 70 points at the Pac-12 Tournament.

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