STORRS: Kelly Graves and Oregon made history, handing UConn one of its worst home losses under Geno Auriemma.
Ruthy Hebard had 22 points and 12 rebounds as No. 3 Oregon rolled past the fourth-ranked Huskies 74-56 on Monday night, UConn’s first loss on campus in seven years.
UConn had never had a defeat this bad while playing in Gampel Pavilion, which opened in 1990.
“It means a lot. This is hallowed ground, so to speak,” Oregon coach Graves said of the win. “They’ve been so good for so long. It means a great deal. … It’s icing on the cake — a pretty sweet cake. Who doesn’t look up to Geno? He’s an icon and great coach.”
It was UConn’s worst home loss on any court since Dec. 5, 2005, when North Carolina beat the Huskies by 23 points in Hartford, their other home.
UConn’s previous worst margin of defeat at Gampel was 17 points against Iowa in 1990 and against Syracuse in 1992. The Huskies were beaten by 25 points in 1980 by St. John’s when the team played at The Field House.
“They came in here and did something that very few people have been able to do,” Auriemma said. “In that first quarter it was evident that physically we couldn’t match up with them tonight, plain and simple.”
Sabrina Ionescu added 10 points, nine rebounds and nine assists for the Ducks (20-2), falling short of increasing her NCAA-record 23 triple-doubles.
“To walk into this arena, we were all star-struck looking at the walls and banners,” Ionescu said. “It’s where we’re trying to get our program and model after them. Huge for us to do what we did, but still a lot of room for improvement.”
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