Women's Basketball Rallies Past Arizona, 67-66

March 1, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Ericka Cook's 20 points helped lead Oregon State's women's basketball team to a 67-66 victory against the University of Arizona on Thursday night.

The victory is the fourth consecutive for the Beavers who improve to 15-11 overall and 7-9 in the Pac-10 Conference while Arizona falls to 18-9 overall and 8-7 in conference action.

Seven turnovers in the last four minutes of action proved costly for the Wildcats as OSU rallied from a 61-58 deficit with 3:52 remaining to pull out the 67-66 victory.

Freshman Hollye Holbrook hit a free throw with just over one-minute on the clock to put the Beavers in front for good (64-63).

Oregon State's pressure trapping defense caused the Wildcats problems and made up for OSU's poor shooting from the field.

OSU senior Syesha Thomas stole the ball from Arizona's Reshea Bristol with just 10 seconds remaining and sank a pair of free throws after an intentional foul was called on UA's Veranda James. Cook was fouled on the ensuing in-bounds and sank 1-of-2 charity tosses to put the Beavers in front, 67-63. Bristol hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to narrow the final margin.UA led by as many as five points in the second half while OSU held a seven-point advantage (49-42) at the 11:29 mark.

Both squads pulled down 37 rebounds but OSU's 25 offensive boards kept them in the game and accounted for 25 points.

'We had 17 offensive boards in the first half and I thought our team was working really hard,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra. 'For a team that wasn't shooting the ball very well, we worked very hard to give ourselves second and third shots.'

The Beavers finished the game shooting just 26-of-73 (36-percent) from the field and 5-of-24 from 3-point range while Arizona hit 27-of-46 field goals (59-percent).

'Shooting isn't where the game is won or lost,' said Spoelstra. 'It's on the defensive end, and we tightened things up in the second half.'

Cook, celebrating her 22nd birthday, finished shooting 9-of-12 from the floor while junior Felicia Ragland also reached double figures in scoring with 12 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Freshman Leilani Estavan matched her career-high with nine assists.

Arizona was paced by Elizabeth Pickney's 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting. The junior forward added 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the season. Bristol also reached double figures in scoring with 18 points to go along with nine assists and seven rebounds.

The evenly matched first half saw four ties and no team led by more than five points.

Bristol's steal and lay-up as time expired capped a 6-0 Arizona run and gave the Wildcats a 34-30 halftime advantage.

Oregon State concludes its home season on Saturday afternoon against Pac-10 Conference leader, Arizona State. The Beavers and Sun Devils contest will be broadcast live on Fox Sports Net at 1 p.m.

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