EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Texas Southern had its uniforms stolen before the game and any hope of an upset over No. 1 Oregon vanished quickly as Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard were their usual dominant selves Saturday in leading No. 1 Oregon to a 99-63 win.
The Tigers’ game jerseys were in a black duffel bag according to police that was taken from a downtown hotel conference room. They were forced to wear practice uniforms with some players having taped numbers to the back of their maroon tops.
Ionescu raised her NCAA record for triple-doubles to 19 with 10 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists, reaching the standard on a pair of free throws with 5:19 remaining in the third quarter as the crowd cheered in acknowledgment.
Fellow senior Hebard, meanwhile, recorded the 42nd double-double of her career with 31 points and 13 rebounds and like Ionescu didn’t play in the fourth quarter.
Ciani Cryor, a graduate transfer from Rutgers, led Texas Southern (1-1) with 22 points.
Taylor Chavez added 11 points and Lydia Giomi had 10 points and seven rebounds for Oregon (3-0), which shot 53.3 percent from the field.
As they had in their previous two victories, the Ducks established their superiority quickly. Oregon scored the game’s first 10 points as it took the Tigers more than four minutes to put the ball through the net, and the first quarter ended with the Ducks up 24-10.
The lead ballooned to 52-21 at halftime as the Ducks shot 56.8 percent from the field. Hebard was already close to her double-double with 21 points and nine rebounds and Ionescu had a triple-double within reach with five points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in those opening 20 minutes.
Oregon: The Ducks, who started with an exhibition victory over the U.S. women’s national team, have hardly been tested in winning their first three counting games by an average of 45 points. Oregon has yet to trail in a game, though the schedule gets considerably more difficult with top 20 teams Syracuse and Louisville among the next four opponents.
Texas Southern: The Tigers have all but one of their 11 non-league games away from their home arena, but at least there are no more opponents ranked in the current top 25.
While this was the first meeting between Oregon and Texas Southern, TSU coach Cynthia Cooper-Dykes has gone against the Ducks 10 times, winning four, with the previous meetings when she was at Prairie View A&M and USC.
Oregon play its first road game of the season when the Ducks go to No. 20 Syracuse on Nov 24. The Orange took the Ducks to the wire a year ago in Eugene before Oregon prevailed 75-73.
Texas Southern is at Iowa State on Tuesday, the third of five games away from home to open the season.