Guards, Defense Lead Women's Basketball to 83-65 Win Over Miami

Nov. 18, 2001

EUGENE, Ore. - One day can make a difference-at least for the University of Oregon women's basketball team Sunday. The Ducks bounced back from a sluggish start yesterday to defeat Miami 83-65 in front of 3,846 fans at McArthur Court.

The Ducks (1-1) were fueled by their starting back court of Shaquala Williams (16 points), Jamie Craighead (16) and Edniesha Curry (10), who accounted for just over half of the team's scoring.

The win marked Oregon coach Bev Smith's first as her team improved its rebounding and cut down on turnovers from Saturday's 75-57 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay.

'It's a great feeling,' Smith said. 'We came back and played Duck basketball. I'm a new coach and an old player with a young team, and today we played the defensive boards hard and talked about playing tough.'

Oregon, which led the entire way except the first five minutes of the game, really took off in the second half. Miami's Heather Cusick (21 points) drilled one of her five 3-pointers on the night to cut the Ducks' lead to 45-44. But Oregon responded with a 15-4 run, sparked by two Craighead 3-pointers and two baskets by Williams. A stingy defense helped the Ducks went on another 16-4 spurt to put the game out of reach at 76-52 with 4:18 on the clock. The RedHawks managed just four points from the 13-minute mark to the 4-minute mark.

Craighead, after missing all seven of her shot attempts Saturday, nailed 4 of 4 from 3-point range and 4 of 4 from the foul line to go with five assists. Meanwhile, Williams hit 8 of 16 from the floor and Curry converted 4 of 8.

'Jamie had great composure today,' Smith said. 'She's our shooter and she came out and moved the ball for us.'

Oregon outrebounded Miami 37-31, despite foul trouble in the Ducks' front line. Senior Ndidi Unaka along with freshmen Andrea Bills and Amy Parrish stepped in to grab five rebounds each. Bills, who played just three minutes Saturday, saw 20 minutes of action against the RedHawks, hitting 3 of 6 from the field and finishing with seven points.

Another Oregon freshman, Kedzie Gunderson, also chipped in at the end with eight points in six minutes, including back-to-back reverse lay-ins.

'The freshmen have a no-fear attitude that is really going to help take this team to another level,' Smith said.

The Ducks hit 50 percent of their shots overall (33 of 66) as well as 7 of 16 from 3-point range. Miami (0-2) shot just 33 percent overall and 23 percent in the second half.

Oregon next hits the road the first time this season Tuesday, taking on Portland, 74-61 winners Friday over Miami, at the Chiles Center. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. The Ducks then will play Saturday vs. TCU at the annual Pape' Jam at the Rose Garden.

-UO-
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