Sabrina Ionescu scored 17 of 21 Oregon points in the championship game.
A new look to the Red Bull USA Basketball 3×3 Nationals tournament led to the same results for the University of Oregon on Saturday night – its second consecutive championship.
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The Ducks (6-1) beat the Drive team (6-2), 21-20, in the title game of the tournament, which was held outside for the first time in its history.
Sabrina Ionescu continued her dominance on the court, scoring 17 of Oregon’s 21 points in the victory while assisting on the other four. She received MVP honors for the second year in a row.
“It speaks volumes about us as individuals,” she said after the game according to USA Basketball. “We practice 3×3 almost every day and practice it when the season starts because our coaches value what you learn in the game.”
In addition to Ionescu, Otiona Gildon and Ruthy Hebard also returned to the tournament for the Ducks this year, while teammate Lydia Giomi played in her first-ever tournament.
“We were loose and we have good team chemistry, and we were here to have fun and not take ourselves too seriously,” Giomi said after the game. “We then just get super competitive when we are on court, so naturally good things came about.”
The Drive team, made up of players from four different schools, kept the game close the entire way, leading Oregon at least twice before the Ducks responded with scoring runs of their own. Despite that, Drive did not go down without a fight. North Carolina’s Janelle Bailey scored with 22 seconds left to tie the game at 20 each before Ionescu hit a free throw to give the Ducks the 21st point – and the win.
“I think it was great for us to come out here with a new team, adding Lydia Giomi, and our post players played great, played great defense,” Ionescu added after the game. “I think what we learned here is going to help us with our season next year.”
In addition to Bailey, the Drive team consisted of Kentucky’s Rhyne Howard, Oregon State’s Destiny Slocum, and Drake’s Rebecca Hittner.
According to USA Basketball, this tournament served as the team trials for the 2019 USA Basketball Women’s 3×3 National Team as everyone eligible from the tournament will be considered for the Pan-American Games squad. The organization says that team will be announced after the five-on-five trials May 16-20.
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