Cal Women's Basketball: Steph Curry, Chris Mullin Watch Sabrina Ionescu, No. 3 Oregon Beat Bears
The best women's college basketball in the country and Warriors star Steph Curry came to Haas Pavilion in Berkeley Friday night, and those two talented point guards witnessed No. 3 Oregon's 93-61 victory over Cal.
Oregon's point guard, Sabrina Ionescu, had a more direct impact on the game than Curry, who sat in the first row along the baseline watching the contest. He is still sidelined from NBA action with a broken hand, so he and his two daughters attended the Cal-Oregon women's game featuring Ionescu.
Former Warrior star Chris Mullin was also in attendance, and both were impressed with Ionesu.
Ionescu, certain to be the No. 1 pick in the upoming WNBA draft and the front-runner for national player of the year, got her seventh triple double of the season and 25th of her career, finishing with 17 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds. No college player, man or woman, has ever had more career triple doubles. The men's record for career triple doubles is 12.
Ionescu achieved Friday's triple double with 2:47 still remaining in the third quarter. By the way, she was 7-for-9 from the field, including 2-for-2 on three-pointers, and 1-for-1 from the foul line. She committed two turnovers.
"She plays a different game from everybody else," Oregon coach Kelly Graves said.
She needs just nine rebounds to become college basketball’s first 2,000-point, 1,000-rebound, 1,000-assist player.
"It's special just having so many people who haven't seen me get [a triple double] live, and be able to be in the building and watch it," Ionescu said in a postgame interview with the Pac-12 Network. "But at the end of the day as long as we're winning, that's all that matters."
Curry said he likes the passion with which she plays, and she is worth making a trip to see, as Graves notes in the video above.
"She's the most recognizable player in the country," Graves said. "Name five players who are going to make the men's all-America team this year. Maybe you can name two. Maybe. She is the Zion of last year. She is the most recognizable face in college basketball right now."
Ionescu is from nearby Walnut Creek, and she and the Ducks had a large following at Friday's game. A good portion of the crowd of 4,518 (it looked like more) was Ducks fans.
Cal (10-16, 2-13 Pac-12) fell to 0-8 in conference home games. Senior Jaelyn Brown finished with 26 points and surpassed 1,000 points for her career.
Oregon (25-2, 14-1) plays a big game on Monday when it faces fourth-ranked Stanford on The Cardinal's home court. Oregon beat Stanford by 32 points earlier this season in Eugene, Ore.
Ionescu is scheduled to speak at Kobe Bryant's memorial that day, then will fly up to the Bay Area later the same day for what is expected to be the Ducks' biggest challenge of the season.
The Ducks took control of the game early. They jumped out to 15-2 lead, and after Cal cut the defiit to 23-19 at the end of the first quarter, Oregon scored the first 18 points of the second quarter to take command.
"Oregon is a beast," Cal coach Charmin Smith said.
Oregon's Erin Boley made her first six three-point attempts and scored 18 points in the first half, which ended with the Ducks leading by 19 points at 47-28.
Cal coach Charmin Smith noted below that she liked what she saw despite the loss.