Women's Basketball Wins Pac-10 Opener, 76-67 Over UCLA

Dec. 20, 2001

LOS ANGELES - The University of Oregon women's basketball established a big early lead and fought off a UCLA rally to defeat the Bruins 76-67 Thursday at Pauley Pavilion in the Pac-10 opener for both teams.

Oregon (6-4, 1-0), sparked by Edniesha Curry's 22 points -- all in the first half -- raced out to an early 50-25 lead with 18 minutes remaining.

UCLA, though, chipped away and harrassed the Ducks with its full-court press, eventually cutting the lead to 65-63 with 1:28 left on a Jalina Bradley lay-in.

Oregon proved resilient, however, as Cathrine Kraayeveld converted a lay-in on the next possession and was fouled by Kristee Porter. Kraayeveld hit the free throw and made two more on the next possession to give Oregon a 70-63 lead with 44 seconds on the clock.

UCLA's record dropped to 3-6 and 0-1.

'It's a 40-minute game,' first-year Oregon coach Bev Smith said. 'You play hard the whole way. We're slowly learning that lesson.'

The Ducks, which won their sixth straight conference opener, shot a blistering 58 percent in the first half as Curry hit 9-of-12 from the floor, including 3-of-4 from 3-point range. Oregon trailed 8-2 early, but Curry scored 12 successive points to put the Ducks up 14-8 at the 14:58 mark.

'It was a great opportunity for her to come home,' said Smith of Curry, who's from nearby Palmdale. 'She played hard, took advantage of her opportunities and set the tone defensively.'

Kraayeveld, who scored 12 points and grabbed a game-high seven rebounds, notched her second double-figure points total in a row and her third overall this year.

Shaquala Williams also helped run Oregon's offensive show, dishing out a game-best seven assists along with scoring 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting.

The Ducks had trouble taking care of the ball in the second half, though, as UCLA's pressure helped force 22 turnovers after halftime. Oregon committed a season-high 32 turnovers for the game.

Porter led the Bruins with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting while Bradley, Whitney Jones, and Gennifer Arranaga each had 10 points.

Oregon junior Kourtney Shreve provided valuable minutes off the bench, tallying four assists and hitting a 3-pointer in the second half.

Oregon next will play at USC on Fox Sports Net Saturday at 4 p.m.

-UO-
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