BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — Sabrina Ionescu has won the hearts of little girls and NBA stars alike with her dynamic play, and during the start of an emotional weekend she shined as Stephen Curry watched and shook his head from courtside.
Ionescu recorded her NCAA-best 25th career triple-double with 17 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds as fan and two-time MVP Curry supported her, leading No. 3 Oregon to its 13th straight win with a 93-61 victory over California on Friday night.
On Monday, Ionescu will speak at Kobe Bryant’s memorial service in Southern California then fly back to the Bay Area to face Stanford that night with the Pac-12 regular-season title likely riding on the result.
“Monday’s going to be a difficult day for her to speak at the memorial for Kobe and Gianna, but what a great opportunity and a great privilege and a great honor,” coach Kelly Graves said.
“And then to have to fly up and have to play what is going to be a really big game on Monday night, but if there’s anybody that can handle something like that, it’s her. She’ll use it as fuel. It wouldn’t surprise me if she has a game for the ages that night, because that’s how she’s wired.”
Erin Boley hit six of her eight 3-pointers in the first half on the way to 24 points as the Ducks (25-2, 14-1 Pac-12) closed in on another conference title.
Ionescu shot 7 for 9 in the seventh triple-double of her career that came on the road. She has the most in NCAA history, in the men’s or women’s game. Back home in her native Bay Area, Ionescu received a rousing ovation when introduced before the game and again when she left for good with 4:27 remaining. She didn’t speak to the media afterward to enjoy some rare time with family and friends.
After reaching the 1,000 assists mark in last Friday’s 80-66…