Sports Spectrum Magazine Summer 2021

Sabrina Ionescu's career game makes her Oregon's all-time leading scorer

Sabrina Ionescu scored a career-best 37 points during No. 6 Oregon’s 87-55 domination of No. 3 Stanford on Thursday night, and in doing so became the University of Oregon’s all-time leading scorer with 2,265 career points.

“She seems to always do it on nights like this,” UO coach Kelly Graves said of Ionescu’s latest record. “When the best is needed, that’s when she usually steps up.”

>> Subscribe to Sports Spectrum Magazine for more stories where sports and faith connect <<

Thursday night’s game didn’t begin as a blowout. Both teams struggled to score early, and though the Ducks were up at the half, a 7-0 Cardinal run to start the third quarter briefly put them in the lead. After that it was all Oregon, led by Ionescu’s total stat line of 37 points (14-of-26 shooting), 11 rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. It’s the sort of Herculean effort that has made Ionescu a legend with her teammates and coaches. Graves calls Ionescu’s leadership and competitive nature the heart and soul of the team.

Ionescu told Sports Spectrum Magazine for its Spring 2019 issue that her Romanian background and her identity in Christ has given her the confidence to accomplish as much as she has. Ionescu was raised by two Christian parents but it wasn’t until middle school that she truly began to understand what it meant to be a follower of Christ. The increased independence of college life in Eugene has only served to deepen her faith. When Ionescu pulls down yet another triple-double to add to her all-time record in that category, she wants Christ alone to be glorified.

“I do everything for (my coaches and teammates),” she said, “and try to have Christ live through me.”

RELATED STORIES:
Oregon QB Tyler Shough gets baptized, excited for what God has planned
Oregon forward Ruthy Hebard’s focus, faith have guided her from Fairbanks to the Final Four
Oregon’s Sabrina Ionescu wins PAC-12 Player of the Year while playing for Christ