Women's Basketball Rallies Past New Mexico, 75-64

Dec. 28, 2000

Corvallis, Ore. - Oregon State University's women's basketball team overcame a 12-point halftime deficit to rally for a 75-64 victory against the University of New Mexico on Thursday night.

It was a tale of two halves as the Beavers found themselves trailing 36-24 at intermission after the Lobos utilized a 19-8 run over the final nine minutes of the half to take a commanding lead into the locker room.

New Mexico rode the strength of its shooting, hitting 15-of-28 first half field goals for 53-percent and burying 6-of-12 shots from 3-point range. OSU struggled from the offensive end for the third straight game, shooting just 38-percent on 11-of-29 attempts from the floor and failed to connect on a 3-pointer (0-5) in the opening 20 minutes of action.

Everything changed in the second half as the Beaver defense came alive and spurred the offense into motion. Oregon State's trapping press forced 13 second half New Mexico turnovers and kept the Lobo offense out of sync for the remainder of the game.

The Beavers capitalized on a 15-3 run to open the second frame and took their first lead, since the 12-minute mark of the first half, at 40-39 with 13:53 remaining. New Mexico regained the lead at the 12:23 mark on a Molly McKinnon lay-up but OSU's Michelle Estell responded with a 3-point basket on the following possession to give the Beavers the lead for good (43-41).

OSU outscored UNM 51-28 in the half while connecting on 15-of-23 field goals for 65-percent and knocking down 19-of-22 free throw attempts. New Mexico went ice-cold from the floor, making just 7-of-24 shots for 29-percent and just 2-of-12 attempts from beyond the arc.

'It was our defense that needed to get us some transition buckets and Nicole Funn, Fee (Felicia Ragland), Sy (Syesha Thomas) and Leilani Estavan all got some great steals that led to transition buckets,' said Oregon State head coach Judy Spoelstra. 'We were able to get our hands up and knock some passes down which started to shake their confidence a little bit - that's what they were able to do to us in the first half. In the second half we played a good, solid, 20 minutes.'

Felicia Ragland recovered from her recent scoring slump to lead the Beavers with 19 points on 5-of-11 shooting and an 8-for-11 effort from the free throw line. Ragland also grabbed seven rebounds and had a team-high three steals. Junior post Ericka Cook finished the night with 18 points and a game-high eight rebounds while teammate Funn rebounded from recent shooting woes with 16 points on 8-of-14 field goals. Estavan was a perfect 2-for-2 from the field and 3-for-3 from the free throw line for a career-high eight points to go along with a team-high five assists.

Three New Mexico players reached double figures in scoring with Chelsea Grear's 12 points and six rebounds leading the way. Post Jordan Adams finished with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting while McKinnon added 10 points and four steals. Senior Nikki Heckroth dished out a game-high nine assists.

For the game Oregon State shot 56-percent from the field (26-52) while New Mexico hit 42-percent of its field goal attempts (22-52).

OSU (7-2) hits the court for its final tune-up prior to Pac-10 Conference action when the Beavers host Boise State University (3-7) on Sunday. Game-time is set for 1:05 p.m.

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