MORAGA, Calif. — Sabrina Ionescu's homecoming is off to a terrific start.
Ionescu had 14 points, six rebounds and six assists, and No. 3 Oregon coasted to a 94-44 victory over UC Riverside on Friday in the opener of the Saint Mary's Thanksgiving Classic.
Ionescu attended Miramonte High School in nearby Orinda, less than 10 minutes from the Saint Mary's campus. She hadn't played a game in the area since high school.
"I'm so excited, I had so much family and friends that came out to watch me," she said. "It's just been awesome."
Ruthy Hebard scored 19 points for Oregon, and Satou Sabally had 17.
The Ducks (5-0) led 52-18 at halftime on their way to another lopsided win. They entered with a 33-point average margin of victory, their closest game being a two-point victory over then-No. 18 Syracuse on Nov. 10.
Ionescu played a prominent role in the fast start with 11 points in the first half, including three three-pointers.
"We wanted to get better defensively and we did," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. "Some of the little things, we talked better, we scrambled better, we dominated the boards. I actually was pleased with the effort."
Hebard went 8 for 9 from the field while playing just 18 minutes. Most of Oregon's starters were out by the fourth quarter.
UC Riverside (2-4) was led by Lauryn Pointer's nine points. The Highlanders had trouble with the Ducks' pressure defense in the first half, committing nine turnovers, and shot just 35 percent (8 for 23) from the floor over the first two quarters.
"Maybe that's one of the things we can take away from this game," UC Riverside coach John Margaritis said. "When you find out quickly that there's probably very little chance that you can win, can you stay focused on what you're trying to do rather than get distracted thinking that there's no opportunity here."
Oregon outscored UC Riverside 40-18 in the paint, consistently finding the open player for easy shots underneath the basket.
Graves is enjoying a homecoming as well, having coached Saint Mary's from 1997-2000.