No. 6 Ducks pound Colorado in quarters
SEATTLE — Oregon freshman Satou Sabally adjusted quickly to conference tournament play.
The 6-foot-4 forward scored 21 points and Lexi Bando added 19 to help No. 6 Oregon beat Colorado 84-47 in the Pac-12 quarterfinals Friday.
The Ducks, the regular-season conference champions, will face No. 9 UCLA in the semifinals.
Oregon (28-4) led 45-18 at the halftime and used a 22-0 third-quarter run for a 77-37 lead entering the final period.
"I was just impressed with our energy on both ends of the floor, defensively and offensively we were on point," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said. "We spread the floor. We were shooting it well. The right people were getting the shots. It was just a really good game. I told them after the game they were inspiring."
Freshman forward Mya Hollingshed had 20 points, and Kennedy Leonard added 13 for ninth-seeded Colorado (15-16), which upended Utah 66-56 in the opening round.
"We ran into a little bit of a buzz-saw today in Oregon," Colorado coach JR Payne said. "You don't get to be a Top 10 team in the country by luck and they certainly showed why they're such a great team."
Ruthy Hebard added 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Sabrina Ionescu had 10 points, eight rebounds and tied a tournament record with 13 assists for the Ducks.
"Our coaches just told us that we had to be ready, so I think that's what it was," Sabally said. "We were just ready to play and I was dialed in. My teammates were all just dialed in."
Oregon was hot early from beyond the arc. The Ducks jumped in front 8-0 with consecutive 3-pointers by Maite Cazorla and Bando. Oregon pushed its lead to 20-9 with six of its first seven baskets from 3-point range.
The Ducks never let Colorado back into the game, using a 14-0 run to push the lead to 43-16 with 1:10 left in the half.
"We knew they were going to come out and they were going to play hard, and they were going to play hard the rest of the game," Ionescu said about Oregon's strong second-half performance. "We knew Kennedy and their guards were going to continue to take it to us. So, we knew that we had to continue to play well and grow as a team. You never know what happens in March, so we did not want to let them get back into the game."
Although they cooled off from long range, the Ducks shot 54.8 percent in the first half. Bando finished 6 of 9 from beyond the arc. The Ducks finished with a 40-24 advantage on the boards.
Oregon: Plays No. 9 UCLA today in the semifinals.
Colorado: Done for the season.