March 31, 2019 / 9:02 PM / 3 months ago

Ionescu scores 31, Oregon upends Mississippi State

Sabrina Ionescu scored a game-high 31 points and added eight assists and seven rebounds to lead second-seeded Oregon to its first Final Four appearance, beating top seed Mississippi State 88-84 in the Portland Region final on Sunday.

Mar 31, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Oregon Ducks guard Sabrina Ionescu (20) scores a three point basket during the first half against Mississippi State Bulldogs guard Bre'Amber Scott (23) in the championship game of the Portland regional in the women's 2019 NCAA Tournament at Moda Center. Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon (33-4) will play on Friday at Tampa, Fla., against the winner of Monday’s Greensboro (N.C.) Region final between Iowa and Baylor. Mississippi State, which played in the past two national championship games, finishes its season 33-3.

The game — which featured 15 lead changes and 11 ties — was a rematch from a game on Dec. 18, when Oregon topped Mississippi State 82-74 at Eugene, Ore.

Satou Sabally added 22 points and seven rebounds, and Ruthy Hebard had 14 points for the Ducks.

Mississippi State had five players score in double figures, led by 19 points and 15 rebounds from Teaira McCowan. Jazzmun Holmes had 15 points and 13 assists.

Oregon, which shot 54.2 percent from the floor, made its last seven field goals in the game.

Ionescu had 14 of her points in the fourth quarter on 5-of-6 shooting from the field. Her step-back 3-pointer with 1:13 left put Oregon ahead 81-75.

Mississippi State’s Bre’amber Scott made a layup with 54 seconds left, but Maite Cazorla answered with a 3-pointer with 35 seconds left to give Oregon an 84-77 lead.

After Holmes made a jumper with 26 seconds left, Erin Boley, a 94 percent free throw shooter, made two free throws with 19 seconds left to put Oregon ahead 86-79.

Andra Espinoza-Hunter nailed a 3-pointer with 13 seconds left for Mississippi State. Ionescu was fouled and made two free throws with 11 seconds left to give Oregon the 88-82 lead.

A last-second shot made by Holmes was too little, too late.

Neither team had larger than a seven-point lead in the game.

After Oregon led 40-38 at halftime, the game remained close to the end of the third quarter with the game tied at 59. There were three more lead changes and four ties in the period.

Mississippi State shot 57.1 percent from the field in the third quarter while Oregon had only one turnover, made 7 of 10 from the free throw line and outscored the Bulldogs 12-6 in the paint.

—Field Level Media

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