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Oregon tops Mississippi State 88-84 in Elite Eight

Teaira McCowan had 19 points and 15 rebounds in her final game for the Bulldogs.

Posted: Mar 31, 2019 5:48 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Off to Oregon's first appearance in the Final Four, guard Sabrina Ionescu set the theme for the second-seeded Ducks.

"All I gotta say is we're not done yet," Ionescu said after she had 31 points, eight assists and seven rebounds in Oregon's 88-84 victory Sunday over top-seeded Mississippi State.

Satou Sabally had 22 points and seven rebounds for the Ducks (33-4), who head to Tampa, Florida, to face the winner of Monday's game between top overall seed Baylor and Iowa.

At the final buzzer, Ionescu jumped into teammate Ruthy Hebard's arms and coach Kelly Graves flashed an "O" with his hands to the crowd. The Ducks had been eliminated in the Elite Eight the past two seasons.

As Ionescu cut down a piece of the net, fans at the Moda Center chanted "One more year!" at the junior guard, who has been dogged by rumors she may skip her final year to go pro.

Teaira McCowan had 19 points and 15 rebounds in her final game for the Bulldogs (33-3), who had played in the NCAA title game for the past two seasons. Two of Mississippi State's losses this season were to Oregon, and the first one was a true road game in Eugene.

It certainly had the feeling of an away game for Mississippi State, even though the Bulldogs wore their home whites. Attendance at the Moda Center was announced at 11,534, with the vast majority cheering on the Ducks -- a tough draw for a top seed.

"For us, man, I just can't be prouder of my team today. You talk about competitive, tough. I just thought my team just fought tooth and nail today in a really hostile environment," Bulldogs coach Vic Schaefer said.

Ionescu's jumper put Oregon up 78-73 with just under three minutes left. After McCowan made a pair of free throws, Ionescu added a 3 that put the crowd on its feet and essentially put it away for the Ducks.

Bre'Amber Scott's layup with 54 seconds left pulled the Bulldogs within 81-77, but Maite Cazorla answered with a 3-pointer for the Ducks. Jazzmun Holmes' jumper cut the margin to five points with 26.4 seconds to go, but Mississippi State could not catch up.

Oregon also beat Mississippi State in December, ending the Bulldogs' streak of 46 consecutive regular-season nonconference wins.

Ionescu averaged 19.6 points, 8.3 assists and 7.5 rebounds going into Sunday's game. The Pac-12 Player of the Year has 18 career triple-doubles, an NCAA record among men and women, including eight this season.

"I'm never amazed at anything she does really, after three years," Graves said. "You just expect the incredible."

The Bulldogs went up 15-8 early, but Sabally hit a 3-pointer that closed the gap as Oregon relied on its perimeter game. Oregon finished with 13 3s.

Ionescu's 3-pointer tied it at 19, but the Bulldogs had free throws to make it 21-19 at the end of the first quarter. The Ducks hit five of eight 3-pointers in the opening period alone.

Oregon pulled in front 30-27 on Cazorla's 3-pointer in the second quarter. The Ducks led 40-38 at the break. Ionescu led all scorers with 15 points, including three 3-pointers.

Hebard was tasked with guarding McCowan, but she had two fouls and went to the bench midway through the second quarter. But she opened the second half with a layup, and Ionescu added another to give the Ducks a 44-38 lead. Andra Espinoza-Hunter made a 3-pointer to close the gap.

Oregon held the edge until Howard's layup put the Bulldogs in front 54-53.

Mississippi State got a scare late in the quarter when McCowan went down hard on a layup attempt and stayed on the floor for several moments. She went to the bench holding the right side of her chest.

"A loss is a loss, you know? It doesn't feel good," McCowan said. "But I'm proud of my team, my coaching staff we got this far. We had a great season. Nothing to hang our heads on. Yeah, it hurts, but we'll be OK."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 13260

Reported Deaths: 625
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds89324
Lauderdale67855
Madison65421
Scott58910
Neshoba51231
Forrest48034
Jones46713
DeSoto4616
Leake38410
Holmes36523
Rankin3496
Jackson29613
Copiah2784
Attala27014
Lincoln24320
Monroe24224
Leflore24025
Harrison2346
Newton2243
Lamar2194
Yazoo2152
Pearl River20327
Pike19611
Adams18615
Lowndes1607
Noxubee1586
Washington1535
Warren1506
Bolivar14010
Jasper1393
Oktibbeha13410
Smith13110
Covington1271
Chickasaw12612
Clarke12616
Kemper12510
Lafayette1233
Carroll11310
Wayne1090
Marion1088
Lee1045
Clay993
Winston981
Coahoma983
Lawrence901
Hancock8711
Simpson850
Itawamba857
Yalobusha824
Wilkinson829
Montgomery781
Sunflower773
Grenada752
Jefferson Davis712
Union715
Tippah7011
Marshall693
Panola622
Calhoun604
Tate591
Claiborne581
Humphreys537
Amite521
Walthall510
Tunica483
Perry462
Jefferson400
Prentiss383
Stone300
Choctaw292
Webster271
Pontotoc263
Franklin252
Tishomingo250
Quitman240
Tallahatchie241
George191
Alcorn151
Benton140
Greene71
Sharkey70
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 14478

Reported Deaths: 551
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Mobile1996109
Jefferson161488
Montgomery118630
Marshall6499
Tuscaloosa50512
Lee49832
Franklin4476
Shelby43319
Tallapoosa39662
Butler34411
Chambers33623
Madison2964
Baldwin2749
Elmore2637
Etowah23610
DeKalb2213
Coffee2001
Walker1981
Dallas1973
Sumter1916
Lowndes18610
Houston1644
Morgan1621
Autauga1593
Calhoun1413
Choctaw1414
Pike1360
Colbert1362
Marengo1336
Hale1293
Russell1280
Lauderdale1282
Randolph1257
Wilcox1187
Marion11310
Bullock1111
Barbour1101
Clarke1022
St. Clair1021
Pickens934
Talladega912
Greene894
Chilton871
Dale830
Cullman760
Limestone740
Jackson692
Covington651
Washington645
Winston620
Macon602
Bibb591
Crenshaw582
Henry562
Blount491
Escambia433
Lawrence420
Coosa331
Geneva330
Cherokee332
Perry310
Monroe282
Clay272
Conecuh251
Lamar200
Cleburne131
Fayette110
Unassigned00
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