Hebard helps hand Team USA first loss to NCAA team in 20 years
Ruthy Hebard of Fairbanks has worn a Team USA jersey in each of the last four summers, but she probably never thought about facing Team USA, let alone defeat Team USA.
Yet that’s what happened when Hebard and No. 1-ranked Oregon handed the American senior national team its first loss to a college team in 20 years after a 93-86 exhibition win in Eugene, Oregon.
Hebard, of West Valley High fame, bagged 18 points, 11 rebounds, one assist and one steal in 29 minutes.
The starting 6-foot-4 forward held her own in the paint, sinking 9-of-14 field goals and grabbing four offensive rebounds.
Team USA had a full compliment of WNBA all-stars like Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi, Nnemkadi Ogwumike and Sylvia Fowles.
Hebard matched up with the 6-foot-6 Fowles and proved to be effective on both ends of the floor.
“Ruthy carries us early in the game,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said.
Hebard enters her senior season poised to break the state scoring mark for NCAA D1 players form Alaska, needing 236 points to break the record of 2,033 points held by Eagle River’s Kelsey Griffin at Nebraska.
Hebard is also back on the preseason watch list for the Katrina McClain Award, which is presented to the nation’s top power forward. She won that award as a sophomore and was a finalist last season.
With Team USA, Hebard has won three medals, a gold with the 2019 3×3 U20 team, a silver with the 2017 U19 World Cup squad and a gold with the 2016 U18 national team.