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Oregon rallies past ASU to clinch share of PAC-12 title

Sabrina Ionescu scored 16 points and No. 8 Oregon moved a step closer to its first Pac-12 title in 18 years, beating Arizona State 57-44 Friday night to end a 15-game losing streak in Tempe.

Posted: Feb. 23, 2018 10:32 PM

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Sabrina Ionescu scored 16 points and No. 8 Oregon moved a step closer to its first Pac-12 title in 18 years, beating Arizona State 57-44 Friday night to end a 15-game losing streak in Tempe.

Oregon (26-4, 15-2 Pac-12) won the first meeting by shutting down Arizona State in the third quarter. The Ducks took control of the rematch with similar blueprint.

Trailing by one at halftime, Oregon hounded the Sun Devils (19-10, 10-7) into one missed shot after another to build an 11-point lead. Arizona State scored eight points in the quarter and went 4 for 17 from the floor.

The Ducks broke the school record for wins in a season and matched the mark for conference wins, set in 1998-99. They had not beaten Arizona State on the road since 2000.

Oregon has won five straight, nine of 10 and needs only to beat struggling Arizona on Sunday to win its first Pac-12 title since 1999-2000.

Oregon took a big step toward its first Pac-12 title in 18 years by knocking off then-No. 10 UCLA last week, giving the Ducks a one-game lead over No. 16 Stanford.

A sweep of the Arizona schools would clinch it.

The Ducks beat Arizona State, Jan. 14 in Eugene, 74-64 after holding the Sun Devils to five third-quarter points.

The Sun Devils had trouble getting shots to fall against Oregon's out of the gate in the rematch, but also has the Pac-12's top defense.

The Ducks missed 11 of their first 15 shots and went 1 for 7 from the 3-point arc in the first half. Oregon was 11 for 30 in the opening 16 minutes.

Arizona State shot 10 of 28 and led 25-24.

Oregon had an easier time solving Arizona State's defense in the third quarter, hitting seven of nine shots and going on an 11-0 run lead 40-31.

The Sun Devils couldn't find the same seams in Oregon's defense to start the third quarter, going scoreless for nearly 7 minutes.

Oregon kept the cushion in double digits most of the fourth quarter to end its long desert drought.

BIG PICTURE

Oregon's last win in Tempe came the same season it won its last conference championship. The Ducks are in prime position to do it again after sweeping the Sun Devils.

Another poor third quarter against the Ducks doomed Arizona State, all but ending the fifth-place Sun Devils' bid for a first-round bye in the Pac-12 tournament.

UP NEXT

Oregon plays at Arizona on Sunday.

Arizona State hosts No. 11 Oregon State on Sunday.

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