Sabrina Ionescu and the Ducks put on a dazzling performance at Matthew Knight Arena.
Now Oregon, the No. 2 seed in the Portland Regional, will take the show up the road after running away from No. 10 Indiana 91-68 in the second round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Sunday night.
Ionescu finished with 29 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds to extend her career NCAA triple-double record to 18. The junior guard also had a triple-double in the first round last year against Seattle University in Eugene.
“It was cool,” said Ionescu, who has six more triple-doubles than anyone in men’s or women’s NCAA history. “But I’m just honestly really happy that we played really well.”
The Ducks (31-4) will face the winner of Monday’s game between No. 3 Syracuse and No. 6 South Dakota State in the Sweet 16 on Friday at Moda Center.
Oregon defeated the Orange (25-8) 75-73 on Nov. 10 in Eugene and beat the Jackrabbits (27-6) 87-79 on Dec. 12 in Brookings, S.D.
Top-seeded Mississippi State and No. 5 Arizona State will meet in the other Sweet 16 game in Portland.
“It will be kind of a reunion,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. “We’ll know everybody up there. It doesn’t happen too often in the tournament this way.”
Satou Sabally finished with 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting and eight rebounds, Erin Boley had 14 points and five made 3-pointers, and Ruthy Hebard added 10 rebounds for the Ducks. Oregon made 13 3-pointers and shot 51.5 percent from the field.
“I couldn’t be more proud of how hard they played and how well they played together,” Graves said. “Offensively, we got a bit of our mojo back that we hadn’t seen for a week or two.”
The Hoosiers (21-13), who beat No. 7 Texas 69-65 on Friday, made the first two baskets of the fourth quarter to cut their deficit to 11.
Then Ionescu responded with a 3-pointer to start a 16-4 avalanche. Indiana coach Teri Moren was hit with a technical foul after protesting a non-call on what she thought should have been an Oregon foul with 4:42 left.
“We just needed to pick up our defensive intensity. We allowed them to take some shots that they made and are good at making,” Ionescu said. “We just needed to adjust a little bit and went into a zone and chased them off the line and got some stops that led to easy transition baskets.”
Ali Patberg led Indiana with 16 points, and Jaelynn Penn added 15 points. Despite the 23-point margin on the scoreboard, the Hoosiers clearly earned the respect of their opponent.
“We would want any of them on our team,” Ionescu said. “They play so hard and with so much heart. That’s awesome to see.”
A 3-pointer by Sabally gave the Ducks a commanding 49-33 lead early in the third quarter.
Indiana lost dynamic sophomore guard Bendu Yeaney, a Portland export, to an injury with 6:54 remaining. Moren feared the former St. Mary’s Academy star ruptured her Achilles’ tendon.
“I’ve known (Yeaney) for a long time, she went to my wife’s alma mater, and I really feel for her,” Graves said. “Anytime your tournament ends with an injury like that, that’s a sad day. So I just want her to know all Ducks everywhere are cheering for her and hopefully she recovers.”
Oregon took a 16-8 lead on a 10-0 run that included a 3-pointer off the glass by Boley and a three-point play by Oti Gildon.
The Hoosiers missed their first five 3-pointers before Penn buried one with three seconds left in the first quarter to get the visitors within 24-19.
Brenna Wise started a wild second quarter with a 3-pointer and Penn finished the 12-0 run to give Indiana a 28-24 lead.
Ionescu completed a four-point play to tie the score and ignite a 14-0 counterpunch by the Ducks.
A basket by Lydia Giomi made the score 40-29 before the Hoosiers ended a field goal drought of 7 minutes, 19 seconds on a jumper by Yeaney.
Ionescu added another 3-pointer to give her 17 points in the first half and extend Oregon’s cushion to 43-31 at the intermission.
Former Stanford All-American and Oregon assistant Nicole Powell is the only other player to record multiple triple-doubles in the NCAA Tournament (two in 2002).
“That’s the special thing about Sabrina is she really does not care about the stats,” Sabally said. “She doesn’t brag about it, she’s not the kind of person who’s hunting stats. This is what makes her unique and she’s probably the greatest team player I’ve played with with her aggressiveness and ambition.
“Yeah, that’s Sabrina I would say.”