As the Oregon Women’s Basketball team prepare for the Final Four, Anaheim Calling would like to take a deeper look at the phenomenal career of Sabrina Ionescu.
There are many highlights and achievements one could focus on, to name a few:
- ESPNW Freshman of the Year
- Pac-12 Freshman of the Year
- Two Time All-Pac-12
- Pac-12 all-Tournament Team
- Nancy Lieberman Award Winner (National Point Guard of the Year)
- Pac-12 Player of the Year
- Pac-12 Tournament MVP
- Wooden Award finalist (National player of the year)
- Associated Press first team All-American
- Bleacher Report’s “50 Most Influential People in Sports Culture”
- General Badass
But this piece will focus on Ionescu’s 18 career triple-doubles, an NCAA record for both men’s and women’s basketball, and in doing so will track the momentum of the Oregon Women’s Basketball team as a whole.
1. San Jose State - Ionescu scored her first triple-double against the Spartans, joining Stefanie Kasperski and Bev Smith in the exclusive Duck Triple-Double Club. (11/27/16)
11 POINTS - 11 ASSISTS - 12 REBOUNDS
2. Clemson - The No. 25 Ducks played their first game as a ranked team since 2003, and defeated the Tigers 87-59 thanks in large part to Ionescu. (12/12/16)
23 POINTS - 10 ASSISTS - 12 REBOUNDS
3. Utah - Oregon was struggling in conference play and entered this contest with a 3-4 record, losing their first three PAC-12 matchups in a row. Ionescu’s high-level of play against the Utes not only gave the Ducks a much needed conference victory, but also gave the fans a glimpse at what this team would become in the future. (1/22/17)
14 POINTS - 13 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUNDS
4. #15 UCLA - Behind the excellent performances of Lexi Bando, Ruthy Hebard, and Sabrina Ionescu, the Ducks beat their first top-15 team in a decade. This game showed Duck fans the potential of both Ionescu and this team; Despite losing their last three games of the regular season, the Ducks were able to earn a tournament bid by making it to the semi-final of the PAC-12 Tourney, and once the Oregon women made it to the Dance, they took part in a Cinderella run that would end against the mighty UCONN in the Elite Eight.
The UCLA victory would be Ionescu’s final triple-double of the season and the most by any freshman in NCAA single-season history. (2/10/17)
11 POINTS - 10 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUNDS
5. Drake - Ionescu scored what was at the time a career high 29 points and the Ducks led wire-to-wire against a decent Drake team. After last year’s team ended in a surprising Elite Eight appearance, Oregon had some pre-season buzz, much of which was centered around their talented sophomore. (11/12/17)
29 POINTS - 11 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUUNDS
6. #19 Texas A&M - The Ducks gained a lot of attention with their 83-68 win over the Aggies at College Station. Losses against Mississippi State and Louisville kept the Ducks from being undefeated in non-conference play, but beating Texas A&M in Texas and then again in Oregon helped give the Ducks the resume they needed to eventually earn a 2-seed in the Big Dance. (11/16/17)
16 POINTS - 11 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUNDS
7. Ole Miss - Oregon Women’s Basketball bounced back from their 90-79 loss to Mississippi State by destroying Ole Miss, 90-46. Ionescu scored her seventh career triple-double which gave her the most in PAC-12 Women’s Basketball history over Stanford’s Nicole Powell. (12/17/17)
21 POINTS - 14 ASSISTS - 11 REBOUNDS
8. Washington - The game against Washington turned out to be a historic one for two reasons: Coach Kelly Graves earned his 500th career win and Sabrina Ionescu broke the NCAA Women’s Basketball record for career triple-doubles. Ionescu and Graves share an equal amount of credit in building up this program, and you get the feeling that only a national championship will satisfy their high expectations. (12/31/17)
24 POINTS - 10 ASSISTS - 14 REBOUNDS
9. Utah - Oregon beat a PAC-12 opponent and Ionescu dominated. (1/28/18)
19 POINTS - 13 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUNDS
10. Seattle U - In the first round of the tournament, the 2-seed Oregon Ducks were matched up against the 15-seed Seattle University Redhawks in Eugene. It was only the 11th triple-double in NCAA Tournament history but the sixth for Ionescu in the ‘18-19 season. Ionescu tied Danielle Carson’s single-season triple-double record but wasn’t able to surpass her long-standing record from 1986.
The Ducks once again ended their tourney run in the Elite Eight. (3/16/18)
19 POINTS - 11 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUNDS
11. Alaska Fairbanks - The first game of the season took place in Hebard’s hometown of Fairbanks, Alaska. A large crowd, or at least large for Fairbanks, arrived to cheer on Hebard, but all fans were rewarded with an early-season spectacle from Ionescu. (11/6/18)
18 POINTS - 12 ASSISTS - 11 REBOUNDS
12. Buffalo - In what Ionescu called “the worst triple-double I’ve ever had,” the Ducks proved that they were much more than a single star player (Oregon’s four other starters all earned more than 15 points apiece.) She committed seven of the Ducks’ 19 turnovers and was 1-of-7 from the floor, but still wound up with a triple-double and a win. (11/18/18)
12 POINTS - 10 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUNDS
13. Air Force - Then, she got the big one.
Against Washington, last season, Ionescu broke the women’s record. This time, with her thirteenth triple-double, she surpassed Kyle Collinsworth and became the all-time triple-double leader for both men’s and women’s basketball. The performance itself seemed strangely ho-hum, but the incredible becoming common has been a trait of Ionescu at Oregon. (12/20/18)
17 POINTS - 13 ASSISTS - 11 REBOUNDS
14. UC Irvine - How does Sabrina celebrate becoming a triple-double legend? By getting another triple-double the very next day, of course! Against UC Irvine, Ionescu showed why she could be the best player in the country: her resilience and consistent high-level of play assure that she will be a major factor in every game. (12/21/18)
13 POINTS - 14 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUNDS
15. WASHINGTON STATE - Ionescu laughed at the efforts of the Cougars as they visited Matt Knight Arena in front of a record crowd. The Ducks went on to win this one 98 to 58, finishing the sweep of the state of Lossington.
17 POINTS - 10 ASSISTS - 12 REBOUNDS
16. ARIZONA - How bad was this beatdown? At the end of the first quarter, the Ducks were up 31 to 4... so pretty bad. Like, possibly illegal. On top of that, Ionescu poured salt in the wound by earning her sixth triple double of the season, tying her previous season’s total.
21 POINTS - 12 ASSISTS - 12 REBOUNDS
17. USC - Just when you thought she couldn’t break anymore triple-double records, she scores her seventh of the season against a conference rival, officially breaking Danielle Carson’s single-season triple-double record of six. This was coming off Oregon’s back-to-back losses against the Beavers and then the Bruins, so it kind of felt like Ionescu was taking out some pent-up rage.
13 POINTS - 13 ASSISTS - 12 REBOUNDS
18. INDIANA - Then, she did it again, this time in a tournament game. A person really shouldn’t be able to do this against that level of contribution, but Ionescu is no mere mortal, she is an Oregon Duck legend! Much like Prefontaine and Mariota before her!
29 POINTS - 12 ASSISTS - 10 REBOUNDS