WOMEN: No. 8 Oregon beats Arizona 74-61 to clinch Pac-12 title

WOMEN: No. 8 Oregon beats Arizona 74-61 to clinch Pac-12 title
(Photo courtesy: Pac-12 Network)
(Photo courtesy: Pac-12 Network)

TUCSON, AZ (AP) - Ruthy Hebard scored 24 points and No. 8 Oregon clinched its first Pac-12 regular-season title in 18 years with a 74-61 victory over Arizona on Sunday.

Oregon (27-4, 16-2 Pac-12) won 24 games last season and took a big step this season, breaking school records for overall and conference wins. The Ducks closed the regular season with six straight wins and 10 of 11 to earn their first Pac-12 title since 1999-2000.

Sabrina Ionescu finished with 16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Oregon. Lexi Bando had 15 points and hit consecutive 3-pointers to turn back a late Arizona surge.

Arizona (6-23, 2-14) kept up with the high-flying Ducks and made a late run, but came up short. Freshman Sam Thomas had 17 points to lead the Wildcats, who closed the regular season with six straight losses.

Oregon ended one long streak on Thursday, knocking off Arizona State 57-44 to win in Tempe for the first time since 2000.

That gave the Ducks the opportunity to end another long streak: Their first Pac-12 regular-season title since that season.

Oregon routed Arizona in the first meeting, Jan. 12 in Eugene, holding the Wildcats to 29 percent shooting in the 62-44 victory.

Arizona put up a bit of a fight in the first quarter, shooting a respectable 6 of 13 to stay within six of the Ducks.

But Oregon, just as it did in the third quarter against Arizona State, clamped down defensively in the second quarter, holding the Wildcats to 4 of 15 shooting. The Ducks led 33-23 behind Hebard's 13 points.

Oregon continued to stretch the lead in the third quarter, pushing it to 52-33 with a late 6-0 run.

Arizona finally found a way to slow the Ducks midway through the fourth quarter, holding them scoreless for three minutes to trim the lead to 64-59.

Bando ended Arizona's comeback bid with consecutive 3-pointers with just under three minutes left.


Oregon closed the season strong to earn the top seed in the Pac-12 tournament and is in position for a high seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Arizona has struggled in Adia Barnes' second season as coach, but could at least gain some momentum with a win in next week's Pac-12 tournament.


Oregon has a first-round bye in next week's Pac-12 tournament in Seattle.

Arizona opens the Pac-12 tournament in the opening round on Thursday.

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