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CU Buffs women routed by No. 3 Oregon

Sabrina Ionescu records triple-double as Buffs drop fifth straight to Ducks

  • Colorado's Emma Clarke, right, battles with Oregon's Sbrina Ionescu on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Charlotte Whittaker drives on Oregon's Jaz Shelley on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer

    Colorado's Lesila Finau, left, and Charlotte Whittaker watch a loose ball with Oregon's Lydia Giomi and Sabrina Ionescu on Feb. 1, 2020.

  • Colorado's Aubrey Knight shoots over an Oregon defender on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Emma Clarke, right, and Oregon's Minyon Moore, run down a loose ball on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Emma Clarke shoots over Oregon's Erin Boley, left, on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Lesila Finau drives past Oregon's Jaz Shelley, (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Charlotte Whittaker shoots past Oregon's Holly Winterburn on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Emma Clarke shoots over Oregon's Erin Boley on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Charlotte Whittaker goes up on two Oregon defenders on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Peanut Tuitele rebounds past Oregon's Lydia Giomi on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • BOULDER, CO - Colorado's Lesila Finau drives on Oregon's Lydia Giomi on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Mya Hollingshed defends Oregon's Erin Boley on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Emma Clark, left, battles with Oregon's Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard on the rebound on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Emma Clark, left, battles with Oregon's Satou Sabally and Ruthy Hebard on the rebound on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Emma Clarke, right, battles with Oregon's Sbrina Ionescu on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

  • Colorado's Charlotte Whittaker shoots past Oregon's Holly Winterburn on February 1, 2020. (Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

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Several times this season, the Colorado women’s basketball team has shown an ability to play with some of the top teams in the country.

For whatever reason, though, the Oregon Ducks are a nightmare matchup for the Buffaloes.

On Saturday, the third-ranked Ducks built a big lead early and never let up in a 101-53 victory against the Buffs at CU Events Center.

It was the fifth straight loss for CU (14-7, 3-7 Pac-12) against the Ducks, with the last four being decided by 37, 59, 58 and 48 points.

“I think they’re the best team in the country, but I don’t know what it is,” CU head coach JR Payne said. “If we’re going to end up playing them again, potentially in (the Pac-12) tournament, that’s something that we really need to figure out. What is it about this team besides just that they’re good? Because there’s a lot of great teams that we’ve been very competitive with.”

Not this team, though. With star point guard Sabrina Ionescu leading the way, Oregon (19-2, 9-1) jumped to a 31-11 advantage after one quarter and stretched the lead each quarter.

Ionescu, a two-time Pac-12 player of the year and arguably the best in the country, recorded her 23rd career triple-double, extending her national record. She finished with 24 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds, despite playing just three quarters.

Colorado’s Lesila Finau drives past Oregon’s Jaz Shelley,(Cliff Grassmick/Staff Photographer)

“She’s hard to guard because she can do everything,” Payne said. “She’s got incredible vision, she can rebound. … She just does a little bit of everything, so it’s hard to guard. She’s a big, strong physical guard that can shoot the 3 and rebound and she’s tough.”

Ionescu has a pretty good supporting cast, too. Satou Sabally had 17 points, Minyon Moore 15 and Ruthy Hebard tallied 10 points and eight boards.

The Ducks outscored the Buffs 52-24 in the paint, 21-0 in fast break points and turned 17 CU turnovers into 27 points.

Recent results against Oregon suggests there’s a mental hang-up for the Buffs when playing the Ducks, but sophomore Emma Clarke said the Buffs weren’t intimidated.

“We were really excited coming in, because it’s a great opportunity for all of us,” said Clarke, who had a team-high 18 points. “We were really excited and it’s good to really test what we’ve been working on, day in day out in practice. It’s fun, but it’s hard because we know that there’s going to be adversity. It’s just how we respond to that.”

Clarke scored 12 of her points in the second half, showing signs of getting back in a groove offensively.

“I wasn’t thinking about the sets too much or their points and I wasn’t trying to hang my head,” she said. “I was just like, ‘I’m just going to be aggressive’ and I attacked the basket a lot more than I usually do. It was just experimenting. I thought it was a good game, especially in the second half, to experiment and see where I can get better.”

For all the Buffs, that will be the focus next week. They’ll get a day off Sunday and then get ready for a trip to the Washington schools next weekend.

“We’re already there; we’re already in that place,” Payne said of turning the page. “For us, this game is over and we’re going to take a much needed day off tomorrow. … I want everyone to rest and get ready. We’re going to have a great week of practice and we’re going to play very well next weekend.”

Notable

Freshman point guard Jaylyn Sherrod had three assists, giving her 112 for the season. That ranks as the fifth-best total for a freshman in CU history, passing Linda Lappe, who had 110 in 1998-99. … Mya Hollingshed added 11 points and eight rebounds for CU. … Oregon connected on 60 percent of its shots (39 of 65), the first team to hit 60 percent against the Buffs in Boulder since Texas A&M on Feb. 27, 2010. … The Buffs have lost 30 consecutive games against Associated Press top-25 teams. … Saturday’s attendance was a season-high 3,669.

Fast break

What went right: During the second half, the Buffs were competitive against the Ducks. They also showed some aggressiveness throughout the game, especially on the offensive glass.

What went wrong: The Buffs were simply out-matched by one of the country’s best teams. Oregon was sharp with it shots, dominated the paint (54-24) and burned the Buffs in transition, with a 21-0 advantage in fast-break points.

Star of the game: Emma Clarke. The sophomore hit 8-of-16 shots and finished with a team-high 18 points, along with five rebounds.

What’s next: The Buffs visit Washington State on Friday at 8 p.m. MT.

No. 3 Oregon 101, Colorado 53

OREGON (18-2, 8-1 Pac-12)

Sabally 6-11 4-4 17, Boley 2-6 2-2 7, Hebard 5-9 0-0 10, Ionescu 10-14 2-2 24, Moore 5-6 3-3 15, Chavez 2-2 1-1 6, Shelley 2-4 1-2 7, Giomi 3-5 0-0 6, Winterburn 1-4 0-0 3, Yaeger 1-2 0-0 2, Cochrane 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 39-65 13-14 101.

COLORADO (14-6, 3-6 Pac-12)

Tuitele 2-5 2-2 6, Sherrod 1-8 0-0 3, Clarke 8-16 0-0 18, Hollingshed 5-16 0-0 11, Knight 2-4 1-1 6, Whittaker 0-5 0-2 0, Caylao-Do 0-3 0-0 0, Finau 4-7 0-0 9, Volcy 0-1 0-0 0, Kulinska 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-67 3-5 53.

Oregon                        31        21        29        20        –           101

Colorado                     11        11        18        13        –           53

3-point goals – Oregon 10-22 (Shelley 2-4, Ionescu 2-3, Moore 2-2, Boley 1-5, Sabally 1-4, Winterburn 1-3, Chavez 1-1), Colorado 6-23 (Clarke 2-6, Hollingshed 1-7, Sherrod 1-3, Knight 1-3, Finau 1-2, Tuitele 0-1, Whittaker 0-1). Rebounds – Oregon 39 (Ionescu 10), Colorado 33 (Hollingshed 8). Assists – Oregon 28 (Ionescu 13), Colorado 10 (Sherrod 3). Steals – Oregon 13 (Sabally, Boley 3), Colorado 6 (Caylao-Do 2). Turnovers – Oregon 8, Colorado 17. Total fouls – Oregon 11, Colorado 17. Fouled out – None. Attendance – 3,669.