PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — Washington State had no answer for Oregon sophomore Satou Sabally on Friday night.
Sabally scored a career-high 33 points, including eight 3-pointers, as No. 5 Oregon beat Washington State 79-64 for its 11th consecutive victory. The forward connected on 11 of 16 shots and added eight rebounds. About the only thing she couldn’t do was make free threes, hitting just 3 of 7 from the line.
“Satou was terrific all night,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. “We needed her tonight.”
Sabally said she has been playing well in several recent games.
“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).”
Ruthy Hebard added 20 points and 14 rebounds and Ionescu 14 points for Oregon (18-1, 7-0 Pac-12), which is enjoying the best Pac-12 start in its history.
Borislava Hristova scored 29 points for Washington State (7-12, 2-6), which led at halftime. Chanelle Molina added 18 points and Alexys Swedlund scored 14. Although this game was much closer than an earlier 40-point loss to Oregon, Washington State coach Kamie Ethridge was not satisfied.
“We’ve got a lot of things we’ve got to get better at,” Ethridge said.
Satou was playing out of her mind,” Ethridge said. “She was pretty unstoppable.”
Molina said the game provided a confidence boost to the Cougars. “We are not going to play anyone better than this team,” Molina said.
Taylor Chavez hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Oregon to an 18-17 lead after the first quarter. Swedlund had 10 points in the first for Washington State.
Molina hit consecutive 3-pointers as Washington State built a 30-24 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Cougars outscored Oregon 17-12 in the second quarter to take a 34-30 lead at halftime. Hristova had 16 points at halftime to lead all scorers.
Oregon took control in the third, when they outscored the Cougars 30-12.
Ionescu scored seven points as Oregon opened the third with an 18-2 run to take a 48-36 lead. Sabally hit four 3-pointers in the third.
While the Cougars did not hit a field goal in the first five minutes, Oregon made 11 of 15 shots in the third to take a 60-46 lead heading into the final quarter.
“We took a break at the beginning of the third quarter,” Hristova said. “To win this game we need to play 40 minutes.”
The Ducks maintained their lead in the fourth quarter.
Washington State shot just 38.7 percent in the game, and sank just 9 of 28 from 3 point range. Oregon made 13 of 22 3-pointers. Only four WSU players managed to score.
Maria Kostourkova led Washington State with 11 rebounds, but did not score.
Oregon: The Ducks came in averaging 90.4 points per game, second in the nation … Sabally, Ionescu and Hebard average better than 17 points per game in league play … all five starters average in double figures … Ionescu’s 16 career triple-doubles are the most in NCAA history for a man or a woman.
Washington State: The Cougars came in having lost five of their previous six games, including a 40-point loss at Oregon … They are allowing 71.5 points per game … Hristova is averaging 21.3 points per game, third in the league.
Oregon plays at Washington on Sunday.
Washington State hosts No. 9 Oregon State on Sunday. “‘We have to recover and regroup and play another Top 10 team on Sunday,” Ethridge said.
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