USC Downs Beavers, 69-67 In Overtime

Jan. 27, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State junior Felicia Ragland's career-high 29 points and career best 13 rebounds were not enough, as USC escaped with a 69-67 overtime victory in Saturday afternoon's women's basketball action.

USC improves to 8-9 overall and 3-4 in the Pac-10 Conference with the win, while the Beavers fall to 11-6 and 3-4 in league play. OSU has yet to win back-to-back conference games this season.

USC got on the scoreboard first, taking an early 3-0 lead but OSU went on a 17-6 run over the next nine minutes, helped in part by two Southern California technical fouls that resulted in four Ragland free throws.

Ragland, a legitimate All-America candidate, kept the Beavers in the game, scoring 21 first half points on 6-of-9 shooting and a perfect 9-for-9 clip from the free throw line.

With the Beavers up by 10 points (26-16) the Women of Troy reeled off nine-straight to narrow the lead to 26-25 with 3:44 remaining in the half. Neither team would lead by more than four points for the rest of the game.

OSU took a narrow 35-34 advantage into the locker room at halftime of the foul-plagued contest.

Both teams shot nearly identical from the floor and the free throw line in the opening 20 minutes. Oregon State hit 11-of-24 shots from the field and 12-of-14 from the line while theWomen of Troy buried 10-of-25 from the floor and 11-of-14 from behind the line.In the second half both teams struggled to score as fouls continued to start and stop action.

Junior post Ericka Cook scored nine of the Beavers' 18 points in the half as OSU's inside game showed some life.

Oregon State led by four points (49-45) with just over five minutes left but USC would not go away and the Women of Troy scored six-straight to regain the lead at the 3:49 mark.

Denise Woods' lay-up with 2:12 on the clock gave Southern Cal a 53-51 advantage. Both squads exchanged misses over the next two minutes until OSU freshman Leilani Estavan's high-arching 4-footer tied the score with :04 ticks remaining to send the game into overtime.

Both squads got more into the offensive flow during the overtime period, scoring a combined 30 point in five minutes compared to just 37 points in the second half.

After exchanging early baskets, Cook sank a pair of charity tosses to knot the score at 64-64 with 39 seconds remaining but a defensive breakdown allowed USC's Ebony Hoffman to get free and hit a lay-up to give the Women of Troy the lead for good. Cook's jumper on the ensuing possession went awry and USC hit 3-of-4 free throws in the final :06 seconds to seal the victory.

'We just played really tentatively at the end of the game,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra. 'We need to be more aggressive and more physical, we can't back down. It's our fourth loss by a total of 12 points now... we're right there.'

Ragland recorded her third consecutive double-double while playing all 45 minutes of the overtime game. Cook finished with 16 points and six rebounds while Estavan scored a career-high 10 points including a 3-pointer with 1-second remaining in overtime.

Aisha Hollans led USC with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting. Hoffman recorded her second consecutive double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds, while teammates Tashara Carter and Tiffany Elmore added 12 and 10 points, respectively.

The Beavers hit 21-of-55 shots from the floor and 23-of-31 from the line while the Women of Troy connected on 25-of-60 field goals and 16-of-24 free throw attempts.

The Beavers return to the court next Thursday when they travel to Arizona State. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. PST.

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