EUGENE, Ore. — Sabrina Ionescu didn’t notice the Oregon crowd’s roar when she finally went to the bench with a career-high 37 points against Stanford.
The Ducks’ fans were aware she’d set the school’s career scoring record. For Ionescu, all that mattered was that the sixth-ranked Ducks were well on the way to handing No. 3 Stanford its first conference loss with an 87-55 victory Thursday night.
“I didn’t know they said something at the game, did they? Ionescu said. “I didn’t hear it.”
Ionescu went into the game needing 24 points to match Oregon career leader Alison Lang, who had 2,252 between 1980-84. When the record was announced on the video scoreboard, the crowd gave the senior guard a standing ovation.
Her previous career high was 36 points, set against Stanford on March 4, 2018. She also had 11 rebounds and seven assists for her ninth double-double of the season for the Ducks (14-2, 4-1 Pac-12). Satou Sabally added 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Kiana Williams had 15 points for Stanford (15-2, 4-1), which trailed by as many as 32 points. Lexie Hull added 10.
‘’They had Sabrina and we didn’t,” Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. “She was phenomenal. She is that good and the people around her are very good also. We have our work cut out for us to be ready for them the next time.”
Ionescu gave a little wave when she took her seat with 2:21 left, and admitted afterward it was directed at Stanford.
Oregon coach Kelly Graves elaborated about what the win meant: “Stanford’s the standard by which we’re all judged. They always have been. So any time you can beat them, it’s a feather in your cap, there’s no question about it.”
The Ducks’ win likely means another shakeup in the rankings. Oregon had climbed to No. 2 but fell last week to Arizona State 72-66. The Sun Devils went on to also defeat No. 3 Oregon State last weekend, becoming the first unranked Division I team to knock off a pair of top-three opponents in back-to-back games.
As a result of ASU’s sweep, UConn’s loss to defending national champion Baylor and other upsets, South Carolina moved into the top spot. Stanford, the previous No. 5 team, moved up two spots, while the Ducks dropped to sixth and Oregon State — the Cardinal’s opponent Sunday, fell to eighth.
UCLA, the only undefeated team in the country, moved up to No. 7. The Bruins face USC on Friday. With Arizona and Arizona State, the Pac-12 has six teams ranked in the top 25.
Stanford took an early 15-8 lead against the Ducks after Hull’s layup and 3-pointer. Ionescu answered with a 3, but Oregon trailed 17-13 at the end of the opening quarter.
Ionescu’s 3 tied it at 20 but the Ducks couldn’t pull ahead until Sabally’s layup made it 25-24. Sabally’s 3-pointer extended the lead to 34-28 with just over three minutes left in the half, and Oregon went into the break ahead 36-30.
Stanford opened the second half with a 7-0 run to take a 37-36 lead. But the Ducks reeled off seven straight points of their own to reclaim it. After Ionescu’s layup put Oregon up 50-42 in the third quarter she let out a loud yell and jump-bumped a teammate. She finished with 14 points in the third quarter alone.
The Ducks stretched the margin to 60-46 on Taylor Chavez’s layup to put the sellout crowd on its feet. A short time later, they were on their feet again when Ionescu made a 20-foot jumper to move into first on Oregon’s career list.
Ionescu’s 3-pointer sent the Ducks into the final quarter with a 65-48 lead and Stanford couldn’t muster a comeback.
Stanford was coming off a pair of wins last weekend against Cal. The Cardinal’s only other loss this season came on the road against Texas on Dec. 22.
Oregon rebounded from the loss to the Sun Devils with a 71-64 road victory over Arizona on Sunday. In addition to the Wildcats, the Ducks also fell to No. 8 Louisville in late November at the Paradise Jam.
Stanford owns a 54-11 advantage all-time against the Ducks. The Cardinal won the last meeting, 64-57, in last season’s Pac-12 Tournament title game.
Stanford: Cardinal freshman Haley Jones was the reigning Pac-12 freshman of the week after averaging 19 points in the team’s two games last week. Jones is the first player to score in double figures in her first four conference games since Nicole Powell in 2001. She finished with eight points against the Ducks.
Oregon: Ionescu collected her ongoing NCAA-record 22nd career triple double and fourth this season last Sunday against the Wildcats. She already has the most assists in both Oregon and Pac-12 history. … Oregon missed its first seven 3-point attempts and finished the opening quarter 1 for 9. The Ducks would go to make eight, with Ionescu landing five.
MAGICAL: Graves said Ionescu was ‘’magical’’ against Stanford in a lot of different ways.
“She seems to always do it on nights like this, too. When her best is needed, that’s when she usually steps up,” Graves said.