Car­di­nal blown out at Maples by Ducks

40-point loss to No. 3 Ore­gon is worst of VanDerveer’s ten­ure

The Mercury News - - Sports - By Harold Gut­mann

STAN­FORD >> Maples Pavil­ion has hosted its share of blowouts over the past three decades. Just never one like this.

No. 3 Ore­gon handed Tara VanDerveer her worst loss in 33 sea­sons on The Farm, de­feat­ing No. 11 Stan­ford 88-48 in front of 5,250 Sun­day.

“We’re used to look­ing at the score­board with the num­bers re­versed,” said VanDerveer, who has 903 wins with the Car­di­nal. “We’ve had a lot of great games in this build­ing, and this was one of our worst.”

Be­hind 27 points, nine re­bounds and eight as­sists from ju­nior

Sab­rina Ionescu, a prod­uct of Mi­ra­monte High in Orinda, the Ducks (23-1, 12-0 Pac-12) left no doubt who the best team in the Pac-12 is.

The na­tion’s high­est-scor­ing of­fense (90.7 points per game) shot 57 per­cent from the field — in­clud­ing 12 of 16 from be­hind the arc — and scored at least 20 points in each quar­ter. Ore­gon scored 14 straight points in the first quar­ter to take con­trol, and then 15 straight points to end the first half up 44-20.

“It was a train go­ing down the tracks re­ally fast,” VanDerveer said.

Ore­gon had lost 29 straight at Maples Pavil­ion, though the Ducks beat the Car­di­nal by 20 in last year’s con­fer­ence tour­na­ment fi­nal.

“This (year’s) team has never lost to Stan­ford,” Ore­gon coach Kelly Graves said. “What they’ve done in the years be­fore these kids were born, who cares? We didn’t even talk about this game un­til yes­ter­day.”

Play­ing in front of about 100 friends and fam­ily mem­bers, in­clud­ing many of her for­mer high school and AAU team­mates, Io-

nescu shot 12 of 20 from the field and added to her NCAA-lead­ing as­sist to­tal while fall­ing just shy of her 17th ca­reer triple-dou­ble. Mean­while, Ore­gon’s switch­ing de­fense harassed Stan­ford’s start­ing front­court of Smith and Maya Dod­son into shoot­ing just 7 for 27 as the Ducks took a gi­ant step toward a se­cond straight Pac12 reg­u­lar sea­son ti­tle.

The Car­di­nal had been 3-0 against top 10 teams this sea­son, in­clud­ing Fri­day night’s 61-44 win over No. 7 Ore­gon State, and had lost three games by a to­tal of 14 points be­fore Sun­day.

Now it must bounce back from the pro­gram’s big­gest mar­gin of de­feat since a 9856 loss at Long Beach State in 1985, the sea­son be­fore VanDerveer ar­rived. Sun­day was also the se­cond-worst home loss ever, only trail­ing a 96-51 de­feat to Long Beach State in 1983.

VanDerveer noted that Notre Dame lost at Louisville by 33 last sea­son be­fore win­ning the NCAA ti­tle.

“Our team is re­silient,” VanDerveer said. “I think they will take it per­son­ally. I hope they will. … Some­times your strength

is your weak­ness. This is a great group. They’re re­ally kind peo­ple. Some­times you wish there was a just a real jerk in there that will, like, get an­gry. But I think they’ll come to­gether.”

NHAT V. MEYER—STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Ore­gon’s Sab­rina Ionescu, a Bay Area na­tive, scored 27 points in Sun­day’s big win against Stan­ford.

NHAT V. MEYER—STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Long­time Stan­ford head coach Tara VanDerveer suf­fered her worst loss in 33 years Sun­day, 88-48 against No. 3Ore­gon.

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