#23 Oregon Holds Off WSU Rally for 65-54 Win
February 11, 1999
February 27, 1999 - Oregon out-rebounded Washington State 46-33 and put together two timely runs at the beginning of each half to pace a 65-54 victory Thursday night at Friel Court in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action.
The Ducks (19-4 overall, 10-2 in Pac-10 action) were led by Brianne Meharry's 12 points and nine rebounds. Angelina Wolvert came off the bench to score 11 points, while Nicole Strange and Natasha O'Brien poured in 10 apiece.
Jennifer Kerns scored all of her game-high 14 points in the second half for the Cougars (9-12, 3-9) on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and 4-for-4 from the charity stripe. Cathy McNeely grabbed a team-high six rebounds and drained two of her four three-point attempts en route to 13 points.
In the first half, 23rd ranked Oregon showed patience in its shot selection and tenacity on defense to take an 8-0 advantage six minutes into the game.
WSU's scoreless streak was broken at 13:58 when Jennifer Stinson took the ball to the basket and produced a lay-in and a foul on Wolvert. Sinking her free throw, Stinson started what would be a record night for the Cougars from the charity stripe as WSU sank a school record 14-of-14 free throw attempts.
The Cougs looked to climb into the game from the perimeter but shot only 2-for-10 from beyond the arc while Oregon grabbed 30 first-half rebounds to keep WSU at bay and take a 30-19 lead into intermission.
Early in the second half, McNeely looked to narrow Oregon's advantage with a foul-drawing bucket and made free throw at 18:16 that cut the Duck lead to eight. But O'Brien would bring Oregon's offense to life with lay-up at 18:04 and a three-pointer at 17:25 that sparked an 11-0 run and put the Ducks ahead by 19 points, 41-22 at 14:28.
For the next seven minutes, WSU and Oregon would alternate baskets until the Cougs had crept two points closer by virtue of three three-point plays compared to only one by the Ducks and WSU trailed 52-35 with 4:57 left.
At 4:51, with only three points to her name, Kerns exploded, scoring six of nine Cougar points that came in just 64 seconds and cut Oregon's lead to eight, 52-44, with 3:47 left. But in the final three minutes, the Ducks would prove too strong as they hit 7-of-8 free throw attempts and 3-of-3 field goal attempts to dash WSU's upset hopes.
"We got off to a slow start offensively," said WSU head coach Harold Rhodes, whose Cougars managed only six made field goals in the first half. "Defensively, except for them out-rebounding us 30-18 in the first half, I thought we played well because we forced them to win from the perimeter."
Saturday the Cougars will look to snap a four-game losing streak at 1:00 p.m. when Oregon State comes to Friel Court.
Oregon (19-4/10-2) - O'Brien 4-7 0-0 10,Meharry 4-8 4-5 12, Mowe 1-4 0-0 2, Williams 0-2 0-0 0, Strange 4-7 2-2 10, Piers 4-9 0-0 9,Craighead 0-1 0-0 0, Bowyer 2-8 3-4 9, Dion 0-4 0-0 0, Wolvert 5-7 1-2 11, Curtis 1-8 0-1 2, Team 25-65 10-14 65.
Official Website of Washington State University Athletics | Bohler Athletic Complex | PO Box 641602 Pullman, WA 99164-1602 | 1.800.GO.COUGS