The NCAA’s triple-double queen will be on the same floor where one of the previous record holders made history.
Sabrina Ionescu and No. 3 Oregon will headline the Saint Mary’s Thanksgiving Classic in Moraga, Calif.
The Ducks (4-0) open the tournament against the UC Riverside Highlanders (2-3) at noon Friday and play the host Gaels (2-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Ionescu had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists during Sunday’s 102-82 win over Buffalo at Matthew Knight Arena. The junior guard added to her NCAA record with the 12th triple-double of her career.
The mark was previously held by Saint Mary’s Louella Tomlinson (2008-11) and Penn State’s Suzie McConnell (1985-88), who had seven triple-doubles each.
Ionescu called her most recent performance “the worst triple-double” of her career after finishing 1-for-7 from the field.
“I think this is the first and last time I’ve ever made only one shot before,” Ionescu said.
Oregon coach Kelly Graves isn’t worried about the first-team All-American going into a prolonged offensive slump.
“The other night against Syracuse she hits two late threes when we were down six. And then (against Buffalo) she struggles from the field and she finds a way to get it done on the boards and with her assist game,” Graves said. “That’s what she does, that’s why she’s considered one of the best players in the country, and I certainly trust her.
“For whatever reason, she wasn’t in sync with her shot, wasn’t even looking for it sometimes.”
Ionescu is averaging 17.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists this season. All five of Oregon’s starters are averaging double figures in scoring, led by forward Ruthy Hebard’s 18.3 points per game.
UC Riverside is 0-2 against Power Five teams this season with losses to USC (73-55) and Oklahoma State (76-51). The Highlanders have split two previous meetings with the Ducks.
The Gaels have already played two Pac-12 opponents, beating Washington State 70-64 in Pullman and losing to No. 9 Oregon State 89-56 in Corvallis.
Oregon leads the all-time series with Saint Mary’s 6-2, but lost the previous two meetings in 2011 (72-62) and 2012 (78-69).
Jannon Otto leads UC Riverside in scoring (11.8 ppg), and Sydney Raggio leads Saint Mary’s in scoring and rebounding (13.7 ppg, 7.7 ppg).
The Ducks’ next home game is against Long Beach State on Dec. 2.