LOS ANGELES (AP) — Third-ranked Oregon completed a weekend sweep in Los Angeles, getting comfortable wins over seventh-ranked UCLA and Southern California to extend its 12-game winning streak.
The Ducks (24-2, 13-1 Pac-12) are atop the league standings by a game over No. 8 Stanford.
“We want to win a Pac-12 championship and we look at some of these games as elimination games,” Ducks coach Kelly Graves said. “We wanted to eliminate UCLA. There’s one more team we’ve got to eliminate from this thing.”
That would be Stanford, which hosts Oregon on Feb. 24.
The Ducks finished off their dominant weekend with a 93-67 win on Sunday over USC. Erin Boley scored 25 points, Ruthy Hebard added 22 and Satou Sabally had 18 after the team’s slow start.
The Ducks pulled away to lead by 28 points in the fourth after USC kept it close early in the game.
“We played a little bit like the December Ducks and not the January, February Ducks that we’ve been seeing,” Graves said, “but when we needed to put the hammer down we did.”
Boley’s points and her seven 3-pointers were both season highs. Hebard and Sabally had 10 rebounds each to help the Ducks control the boards, 38-23. Sabrina Ionescu had 13 assists to go with 12 points — her fewest points since 10 against UConn earlier this month.
“The perimeter players were open for 3s, so we took advantage of it,” Boley said. “We didn’t come out to a great start. That’s definitely something we need to work on, coming out and playing to our level and not playing to whoever our competition is.”
Hebard completed a big weekend, having notched 30 points and 17 rebounds in an 80-66 win against the Bruins.
Endyia Rogers led the Trojans (13-12, 5-9) with 21 points. Kayla Overbeck added 17 points and Alissa Pili had 14 points.
“It’s definitely a learning experience,” said Rogers, a freshman who left briefly to get an ankle taped when USC got within 11 in the third.
The Ducks extended their lead to 20 points in the third, opening with an 8-0 spurt. After USC ran off nine in a row, the Ducks got two 3-pointers from Boley and another by Sabally to lead 68-50 going into the fourth.
“The difference in defending them than anybody else, they’ve got five kids that are 40 percent three-point shooters,” USC coach Mark Trakh said.
USC cut its deficit to three points early in the second on a basket by Overbeck. The Ducks answered with an 18-5 run, including eight points by Hebard who dominated inside and consecutive 3-pointers by Boley, to go up 38-24 — the Ducks’ first double-digit lead of the game.
USC outscored Oregon 8-5 to go into halftime trailing 43-32. Both teams’ shot-making improved significantly in the second, with each hitting at least 60% from the floor.
The Ducks missed their first five shots of the game while USC raced out to a seven-point lead. Ionescu scored back-to-back baskets in the first quarter for her only points of the first half when she had eight assists.
Oregon: The Ducks’ winning streak is their longest of the season. Their last loss was at Arizona State on Jan. 10. They have four regular-season games remaining.
USC: The Trojans couldn’t maintain their momentum generated from a six-point upset of No. 11 Oregon State two days earlier. They concluded a stretch of playing five ranked opponents in six games, beating only the ranked Beavers and unranked California. Trakh figures they need 15 wins to earn a postseason berth in the WNIT.
It was a homecoming for Oregon senior Minyon Moore, who played three seasons at USC before transferring. She scored 1,173 points and had 450 assists and 221 steals in 89 games for the Trojans. But the USC band chanted “traitor, traitor” when Moore went to the free throw line for the first time. “Kind of inappropriate,” said Moore, who finished with 11 assists.
Oregon: At California on Friday in the third of a four-game trip.
USC: At Washington on Friday in the Trojans’ final road trip of the regular season.
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