No. 5 Oregon already has two bonafide stars in Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard.
Ionescu is the reigning Pac-12 player of the year, the nation’s leader in assists (8.4 per game) and the NCAA triple-double record holder (16 and counting).
Hebard, who set an NCAA record with 33 consecutive made field goals last season and won the Katrina McClain Award given to the nation’s top power forward, is averaging 16.9 points and 9.1 rebounds this season.
But Satou Sabally has stepped into the spotlight and established her own dominance since Pac-12 play began.
After scoring a career-high 33 points on 11-for-16 shooting during Oregon’s 79-64 victory on Friday night at Washington State, Sabally is averaging a team-high 22.1 points per game in conference games.
The sleek sophomore forward is shooting 50.5 percent from the field, including 25-for-48 (52.1 percent) on 3-pointers, against Pac-12 defenses.
“She’s shooting the ball the best that I’ve ever seen her shoot it,” Ionescu said of Sabally last week. “A lot of confidence and momentum. She’s getting to the basket, she’s making her free throws, she’s doing a lot of the things that she was timid to do but we knew were in her.
“Sky’s the limit for her. We’re going to continue feeding the hot hand.”
Sabally is also averaging 8.1 rebounds in Pac-12 play with 12 blocks and 11 steals.
“She’s being a lot more aggressive on the boards, she’s being more aggressive inside, a lot more confident this year,” coach Kelly Graves said of Sabally, who has scored 19 or more points in eight of the last nine games. “I think she’s now seeing how good she can be, and that confidence grows even more.”
The Ducks (18-1, 7-0), off to the program’s best Pac-12 start in its history, are seeking their 12th consecutive victory against Washington on Sunday at Alaskan Airlines Arena (2 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).
The Huskies (8-12, 1-7) are coming off an 86-39 loss to No. 9 Oregon State. Amber Melgoza scored 20 of Washington’s points as the team shot a season-worst 21.7 percent from the field.