Sabrina Ionescu returned to play near her hometown Friday night and notched her 25th career triple-double in front of elite company.
Golden State Warriors superstar Stephen Curry and his daughters, Riley and Ryan, were in attendance and met with Ionescu after No. 3 Oregon’s 93-61 victory over Cal in Berkeley. The triple-double queen extended her record with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists on 7-of-9 shooting.
She’s now single-digit rebounds away from becoming the first NCAA player with 2,000 points, 1,000 rebounds and1,000 assists.
Ruthy Hebard had 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting with 15 rebounds in 29 minutes. Erin Boley scored 24 points in 26 minutes, shooting 8-of-9 from behind the arc.
Warriors point guard Ky Bowman and Hall of Famer Chris Mullin were also in attendance.
Curry: Can’t teach Ionescu’s competitiveness
Ionescu embraced Curry and his young daughters after the game before going on to spend time with her family, which came to watch from nearby Walnut Creek, California. She has attended many Warriors games and is close with Curry, who said he first noticed her junior year of high school.
Another dominant road win at Cal last night, 93-61. @sabrina_i20 gets Trip-Dub #25, @ErinnSB21 goes 8-9 from 3, & @RuthyHebard24 gets the quietest 20 pt & 15 reb game in history. Oh, & @StephenCurry30 pays @OregonWBB a visit post-game #FlyWithUs pic.twitter.com/hn584n3xHg— Kelly Graves (@GoDucksKG) February 22, 2020
As for what makes her stand out, it’s “everything. It’s hard to pick one thing,” the two-time NBA MVP told Pac-12 Network.
"I think — [it’s] the eye test when you see her out on the floor,” Curry said, via Pac-12 Network. “Stats, they mean a lot. But when you get to watching somebody and see the passion that she brings, it's in her eyes. The competitive nature that she has, you can't teach that."
The game was his daughters’ first women’s basketball game and they met Ionescu for the first time, Curry said. He said he isn’t sure if they’ll play basketball — Riley is 7 and Ryan is 4 — but it was important to show them role models and they were looking forward to it.
“I’m excited to share that with them. Riley has been asking me about it all day ‘when are we going, when are we going.’”
Ionescu to speak at Kobe Bryant’s memorial
Ionescu was very close with Kobe Bryan, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and the entire Bryant family. She will speak at the public memorial on Monday at Staples Center in Los Angeles, and afterward will fly to up to Stanford for ESPN2’s “Big Monday” match-up with the No. 4 Cardinal.
“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,” Oregon head coach Kelly Grave said after the game.
“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.”
Ionescu is closing in on more history with the regular season coming to a close next weekend.
Oregon-Stanford could be NCAA milestone game for Ionescu
Ionescu, who already holds and continues to extend the NCAA triple-double record for men or women, is closing in on another overall NCAA record.
The senior and projected No. 1 WNBA draft pick is nine rebounds away from becoming the first 2K-1K-1K player in men’s or women’s college basketball. She currently has 2,446 points, 1,029 assists and 991 rebounds.
She had a season-high 37 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists in Oregon’s first game against Stanford in Eugene on Jan. 16.
Ionescu has never had a triple-double against Stanford, one of only three in the Pac-12 schools she hasn’t done it against, per ESPN. The others are Oregon State and Arizona State, which Oregon might face in the Pac-12 Tournament beginning March 5.
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