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Oregon wins Pac-12 championship 89-56 over Stanford

UPDATED: Sun., March 8, 2020

Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescuembraces head coach Kelly Graves after the Ducks defeated Stanford in the final of the Pac-12 women's tournament on Sunday  in Las Vegas. (John Locher / Associated Press photos)
Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescuembraces head coach Kelly Graves after the Ducks defeated Stanford in the final of the Pac-12 women's tournament on Sunday in Las Vegas. (John Locher / Associated Press photos)
By W.G. Ramirez Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Sabrina Ionescu had 20 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds, leading No. 3 Oregon to an 89-56 victory over No. 7 Stanford in the Pacific-12 Conference tournament title game on Sunday.

Ruthy Hebard added 24 points, while Minyon Moore had 21 for the Ducks, who finished the game hitting 31 of 55 (56.4%) from the floor. Oregon finished 10 for 19 (52.6%) from 3-point range.

The Ducks (31-2) will assuredly receive a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and figure to move up in today’s AP Top 25 poll after No. 2 Baylor lost 57-56 to Iowa State earlier on Sunday.

The Ducks and Cardinal were playing for the tournament championship for a third consecutive year, and fourth time in five years. Stanford won last year’s championship and Oregon prevailed in 2018.

“We were here last year, and we knew what it was like to lose,” said Ionescu, who was named the tournament’s MVP. “This is one of the nets we wanted to cut down this year.”

The Ducks shook off a sluggish first quarter and used a stifling defense to thwart most of Stanford’s efforts while fueling their offense at the other end.

Oregon held Stanford to 34.5% (19 of 55) from the floor.

The top 16 seeds in the NCAA Tournament host the first weekend, which means the Ducks will begin their title quest in Eugene, where they went 15-0 this season.

Mandalay Bay Events Center felt like home for the Ducks’ three-game tournament run, during which many of the announced 6,794 in attendance on Sunday were clad in Oregon colors.

Stanford (27-6), in the Pac-12 championship for a 17th time, did its best to quiet the crowd early.

The Cardinal frustrated the high-powered Ducks while keeping Ionescu scoreless and took a 17-14 lead after the first quarter despite shooting 5 of 14 (35.7%) from the floor. Williams did most of the damage for Stanford, scoring 11 points on 3-of-5 shooting – all from 3-point range – plus a couple from the free-throw line.

Then the Ducks woke up.

The nation’s most efficient offense shot 8 of 12, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, in the second quarter to outscore Stanford 29-9.

While Ionescu came to life, it was the 5-foot-8 Moore who ignited the Ducks with her tenacious play at both ends. Whether she was challenging Williams on defense, battling for rebounds against 6-1 Francesca Belibi and 6-3 Alyssa Jerome, creating offense for her teammates or making jumpers, she continued to fuel Oregon’s fire.

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