Women's basketball earns Oregon's respect after Sweet 16 loss
SPOKANE, Washington — A Central Michigan women’s basketball loss to Oregon didn’t mean a loss of respect from the Ducks.
CMU, the 11th seed in the Spokane Region in the NCAA Tournament, fell 83-69 to the No. 2 Ducks in the Sweet 16 matchup March 24 at Spokane Arena.
Despite the loss, the Chippewas received high praise from Oregon coach Kelly Graves, who opened his postgame press conference by giving credit to the Chippewas.
“I want to congratulate (CMU head coach Sue Guevara) on a tremendous season,” Graves said. “The run they made is pretty special. Those kids will remember that forever. I’ll tell you, they were tough as nails tonight, that’s for sure.
“(Guevara’s) a great coach. What I really appreciate is you can tell those players love her and they play really hard for her. I wish Central Michigan all the best.”
Junior guard Presley Hudson finished with 15 points, including 10 in the third quarter. Sabrina Ionescu, Oregon’s All-American guard who finished with 16 points, said she tried to stop Hudson as best as she can.
“We knew (Hudson) was going to come out and try and giver her team the best shot of winning,” Ionescu said. “She does that night in and night out for her team. She hit some pretty big shots there. But she didn’t hit enough to beat us. We just had to make sure we stood out on her and made her take tough shots and try to keep her out of the paint because she’s a great facilitator, as well.”
Oregon forward Ruthy Hebard and CMU senior forward Tinara Moore each finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds each.
“Yeah, (Moore’s) definitely a great post player, really physical,” Hebard said. “Fun to go against an elite post, best in her league. Yeah, it was really fun.”
To open her press conference, Guevara credited the Ducks.
“They’re tough, they have a lot of weapons,” she said. “When they’re firing, they’re firing.”
CMU ends its season at 30-5 — the best in program history. Oregon faces No. 1 Notre Dame at 9 p.m. EST March 26 with a trip to Columbus, Ohio for the Final Four on the line.