Ducks, Ionescu have the look of pos­si­ble champs

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - COLLEGE BASKETBALL - By Tom FitzGer­ald Tom FitzGer­ald is a San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle staff writer. Email: tfitzger­[email protected] sfchron­i­ Twit­ter: @tomg fitzger­ald

Af­ter the worst de­feat of her 33-year ca­reer as Stan­ford’s head coach, Tara VanDerveer likened Ore­gon to “a train go­ing down the track very fast.”

The No. 3 Ducks ran over the No. 11 Car­di­nal 88-48 on Sun­day in the sec­ond-worst home loss in Stan­ford women’s bas­ket­ball his­tory. The worst was a 96-51 de­ci­sion to Long Beach State in 1983.

Stan­ford was hop­ing to knock off a top-10 team for the fourth time this sea­son. In­stead, the Car­di­nal were taken to school be­fore a stunned crowd of 5,250 at Maples Pav­il­ion.

“We knew com­ing in that we’d have to play an ‘A’ game on of­fense and an ‘A’ game on de­fense,” VanDerveer said. “It wasn’t an ‘A,’ ‘B’ or ‘C’ game on of­fense or de­fense.”

The Ducks, who count Stephen Curry, LeBron James and Kobe Bryant among their fans on so­cial me­dia, looked ev­ery bit like a team that could win a na­tional cham­pi­onship.

Sab­rina Ionescu staged her own per­sonal bas­ket­ball clinic, com­pil­ing 27 points and nine re­bounds. The Mi­ra­mon­teOrinda alum said she loves com­ing back to the Bay Area but said she didn’t an­tic­i­pate a blowout win.

“I know that we’re ca­pa­ble of it,” she said. “I thought if we would be able to stop them de­fen­sively and get them out of their rhythm, that we’d be able to score how­ever we wanted of­fen­sively.”

Ore­gon head coach Kelly Graves called it “an amaz­ing ef­fort. That’s what it takes to beat a great team like Stan­ford.”

More pre­cisely, that’s what it takes to beat Stan­ford by 40.

In snap­ping Stan­ford’s 22game home win­ning streak with a vengeance, the Ducks (23-1, 12-0 Pac-12) had too much for the Car­di­nal (19-4, 9-3) in ev­ery depart­ment and won their 16th straight game, the long­est ac­tive streak in the coun­try.

Ruthy He­bard added 18 points and eight re­bounds for Ore­gon, and Erin Bo­ley scored 12 points.

DiJonai Car­ring­ton scored 13 points to lead the Car­di­nal, who shot 32 per­cent. None of her team­mates reached dou­ble fig­ures. Alanna Smith made just 3 of 14 field-goal tries — 0-for-5 from long range — and fin­ished with six points, 15 be­low her av­er­age.

The Ducks have the most po­tent of­fense in the coun­try, lead­ing the NCAA in points per game (90.3), field-goal per­cent­age (52.5) and 3-point-shoot­ing per­cent­age (42.9) com­ing into the game. On Sun­day, they showed why.

They hit 57 per­cent of their shots from the floor and went 12-for-16 from be­yond the arc. They piled up their points while tak­ing just five foul shots, mak­ing four.

“We put five kids that can score on the floor pretty much the en­tire game,” Graves said. “It’s hard to de­fend us a lot of nights.” He also called it the team’s best de­fen­sive per­for­mance of the sea­son.

Stan­ford has “Fi­nal Four po­ten­tial,” he said. “They al­ways seem to be play­ing their best bas­ket­ball in March.”

VanDerveer pointed out that Notre Dame re­cov­ered from a 100-67 loss to Louisville last sea­son and won the na­tional ti­tle. She said her play­ers are re­silient.

“I think they’ll take it per­son­ally, which I hope we will,” she said.

Ore­gon ex­tended its win­ning streak to 16 games, the long­est in the coun­try.

Un­til the de­feat, Stan­ford had beaten Ore­gon 29 straight times at Maples since win­ning the first matchup be­tween the two schools there in 1987.

“I had no idea of that,” Ionescu said. “I don’t think we’ve ever talked about that. It was go­ing to be just an­other game for us that we were go­ing to have to come in and take care of busi­ness.”

She said she has “ab­so­lutely no idea” whether she’ll turn pro af­ter this sea­son, de­spite me­dia spec­u­la­tion that she would be the No. 1 pick in the WNBA draft.

“I’m fo­cus­ing on what we’re build­ing here, and I think ev­ery­one on the coach­ing staff and my team­mates know I’m 100 per­cent di­aled into this game and this team,” she said.

She es­ti­mated her cheer­ing sec­tion at “100 fans” from her for­mer high school and club teams, fam­ily and friends.

Scott Straz­zante / The Chron­i­cle

Ore­gon’s Sab­rina Ionescu out­re­bounds Stan­ford’s Maya Dod­son dur­ing the sec­ond quar­ter of the Ducks’ 88-48 rout at Maples Pav­il­ion. It was the Car­di­nal’s worst home loss since 1983.

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