Oregon Builds a Big Lead, Coasts to Victory over OSU

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), February 6, 2005 | Go to article overview

Oregon Builds a Big Lead, Coasts to Victory over OSU


Byline: Bob Rodman The Register-Guard

The Ducks were expected to do a number on Oregon State, one a shade greater than the 64-55 Civil War victory they exacted from the Beavers on Saturday night.

But sometimes it's not how much, just how.

Oregon used an OSU dry spell that lasted for the first 6 1/2 minutes of the second half to fuel a lead that eventually reached a game-high 23 points before cruising to the finish.

"I think we got a little comfortable with the lead we had," surmised Cathrine Kraayeveld, who had 17 points and was the only Oregon player to score in double figures.

"And it wasn't even that big of a lead."

Still, the Ducks won for the third straight time, made it seven straight Pac-10 wins at McArthur Court and nestled into a third-place tie with UCLA at 8-4 before an announced crowd of 5,245 - a season high and the largest in two years.

Oregon, 15-6 overall after winning six of its past eight games, has made the home court a real advantage, collecting 10 victories in 11 tries at Mac Court.

The Beavers lost for the 11th time in their last 13 games, and fell to 6-16 overall and 1-11 in the Pac-10, tied with Washington State at the bottom of the league.

Oregon's nine-point decision was unexpected after they held a 61-38 lead with six minutes left.

"I think we just got content with how we were playing," said Corrie Mizusawa, whose game-high 10 assists gave her 148 and a sixth-place spot on the UO single-season list - 42 from tying the record of 190 held by Jacquie Semeniuk (1988-89).

"We got content with the victory."

Which was never seriously in doubt, though the Beavers - who have won at Mac Court just five times in the 75-game series - refused to knuckle under to the waves of Ducks that Oregon coach Bev Smith threw at Oregon State.

Twelve UO players had minutes and 10 of them scored.

"We can put teams away if we have a confident lead," said Smith, who raised her Duck coaching record to 8-3 over Oregon State.

"In the first few minutes, we got aggressive, and down and dirty. Once we had a lead, we relaxed."

Oregon endured six ties and a two lead changes in the first half before using a 12-1 run early to shrug off an Oregon State 8-6 lead and take an 18-9 advantage.

With five minutes left in the half, however, Shannon Howell scored twice, each hoop forging ties, the first at 23 and the second at 25. But a 10-2 run to finish the first half gave the Ducks a 35-27 edge at the break.

Howell, the Pac-10's leading scorer, would finish with a game-high 18 points. The Beavers would outshoot Oregon from the field, 39 percent to 37 percent. And they would outrebound the Ducks 37-34.

But the Corvallis bunch would not win, in part because they could not score for the first third of the second half.

Of the Beavers' first 14 possessions of the final half, 11 were missed field-goal attempts and three were turnovers.

"And a number of times we were just 5 or 6 feet away," said Judy Spoelstra, the OSU coach whose 10-season record against Oregon fell to 4-17. "We just missed those shots, and then it becomes a much bigger deficit to overcome."

Mandy Close, who had 12 points for the Beavers, said the game was decided in those first six minutes of the second half.

"We got tentative, and it gets frustrating when the shots don't fall," she said. "On the opposite end, we weren't getting the stops, either."

Oregon, which held an opponent to fewer than 60 points in a game for the 12th time this season, leaned heavily on its defense and its ability to take care of the basketball. …

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