EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon women's basketball guard Sabrina Ionescu has been named the Pac-12 player of the year, the conference announced on Tuesday during its awards show on Pac-12 Networks.
"Sabrina sets the tone for us," said head coach Kelly Graves. "Her consistency, competitiveness and willingness to take the big shot are unmatched. She's the engine that makes us go."
Ionescu is the third player in program history to be named Pac-12 player of the year, joining Shaquala Williams, who won in 1999-2000, and Lauri Landerholm, who won in 1986-87, the first year the Pac-12 handed out the award.
After winning Pac-12 freshman of the year honors last season, Ionescu joins Washington's Kelsey Plum, Stanford's Chiney Ogwumike, and Stanford's Jayne Appel as players in the last 10 years to win both the league's freshman and player of the year honors. Williams also won both for the Ducks, taking freshman of the year honors in 1998-99 before being named player of the year the following season. Ionescu is the league's first sophomore to win player of the year since Stanford's Candice Wiggins did it in 2004-05.
Ionescu leads the Pac-12 with both 19.2 points per game and 7.8 assists per game. She is ranked 16th in the conference in rebounding, grabbing 6.7 per game. The guard matched the UO single-game assists record twice this year, with 14 helpers in a win over Weber State on Dec. 2 and 14 more in win over Ole Miss on Dec. 17. She is second in the Pac-12, behind only teammate Lexi Bando, with a 44.3 three-point percentage and has 12 double-doubles, good for third in the conference. Ionescu's 595 total points this season are the most in the conference and she became only the third player in UO history to 1,000 career points as a sophomore. Ionescu had a career-high 35 points in an overtime loss at Oregon State on Jan. 19. She hit a game-tying three-pointer with just seconds remaining to force extra time.
Ionescu made history this season when she posted her eighth career triple-double, with 24 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists, on Dec. 31 against Washington. The triple-double broke the NCAA career record of seven, coming in just her 48th career collegiate game. Ionescu then tallied her ninth career triple-double on Jan. 28 at Utah with 19 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists. She had back-to-back games with triple-doubles this season, with one on Nov. 12 against Drake and another on Nov. 16 at No. 19 Texas A&M. After posting four last year as a freshman, she has five triple-doubles this season. The Ducks have won all nine games when Ionescu has tallied a triple-double.
Ionescu and the No. 6 ranked Ducks open the Pac-12 Tournament in Seattle on Friday as the No. 1 seed.