Oregon advanced to its third consecutive Elite Eight appearance behind 24 points and 14 rebounds from Ruthy Hebard in a 63-53 win over South Dakota State in a Sweet 16 game of the NCAA Women’s Tournament on Friday night at Portland, Ore.
The second-seeded Ducks (32-4) will face No. 1 Mississippi State (33-2) in the Portland Region final on Sunday. No. 6 South Dakota State, the first Summit League team to make the Sweet 16, finishes its season 28-7.
Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu had 17 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds. She has 18 triple-doubles in her career, including two in the NCAA Tournament.
Satou Sabally added 14 points and nine rebounds for the Ducks, who have won eight of their past nine games.
Macy Miller had 19 points and seven rebounds to lead South Dakota State, which played in its first Sweet 16 game in program history.
The Jackrabbits came out cold from the start, shooting only 20.5 percent (8 of 39) from the field in the first half, and they trailed 31-22 at halftime. They finished shooting 26.7 percent overall.
Myah Selland and Miller each had seven points by halftime for the Jackrabbits, but they combined to shoot 5 of 21 from the field.
Oregon’s trio of Sabally, Hebard and Ionescu fared better from the field than South Dakota State in the first half. They made 12 of 24 shots while combining for 28 points.
The Ducks controlled the paint behind Sebally and Hebard, outscoring the Jackrabbits 40-30.
Oregon started pulling away with a 9-0 run, capped by a Sabally 3-pointer, that enabled the Ducks to take a 29-19 lead with 2:14 left in the second quarter. Sabally scored seven points in that stretch.
Oregon continued to build its lead, taking a 47-28 edge with 4:38 left in the third quarter. Hebard had eight points in the period.
A 3-pointer by South Dakota State’s Tylee Irwin cut the lead to 49-37 with 9:44 remaining in regulation. The Jackrabbits could not get closer than that until Miller made a shot in the lane with 10 seconds left for the final score.
—Field Level Media