Huskies End Season as Oregon Wins Fourth Meeting, 77-73, in WNIT Third Round
March 20, 2002
By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) _ Jamie Craighead is certain Washington's Loree Paynehelped her 3-pointer swish through the net.
A little tip from Payne's hands.
Maybe so, but she didn't get any assistance on the next two.
Craighead made three 3-pointers in the final 2:15 and finished with 17points and seven assists as Oregon defeated Washington 77-73 Wednesdaynight in the quarterfinals of the women's NIT.
Craighead swished one from the baseline over Payne's outstretched armswith 2:15 left for a 70-69 Ducks lead.
'I thought it was going to be an airball,' she said.
Payne turned the ball over on Washington's next possession, throwing ahigh pass that went out of bounds off Andrea Lalum's hands and Craigheadscored another 3 at 1:47.
Lalum answered with a 3 for the Huskies at 1:31 before Craighead cameup big from long range again with 41.6 left.
'We weren't going to go home with a loss,' Craighead said. 'We wantedto play at home again and against a team we haven't seen.'
The Ducks (20-13) got their wish.
They will play at home at 7 p.m. Saturday against Michigan State, a79-61 winner over Alabama on Tuesday. The championship is scheduled fornext Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday at the site of one of the final twoteams, to be determined by results.
The other semifinal this weekend matches Houston at Virginia Tech.
'We needed to get this win, a road win in the postseason, to know howhard it is and so we know how to do it,' Oregon coach Bev Smith said.
Cathrine Kraayeveld led the Ducks with 26 points and 12 rebounds. Shescored 16 in the first half on 7-of-9 shooting.
Oregon also eliminated Washington from the Pac-10 tournament with a14-point win March 2, and won three of four meetings between the teams thisseason.
Lalum scored 21 points, including her team's first nine, to lead threeWashington players in double figures. Lalum also had a team-high ninerebounds.
Giuliana Mendiola had 18 points, seven rebounds and five assists forthe Huskies, who ended their season at 19-12 and missed reaching the finalfour of a national tournament for the second consecutive year. They wereeliminated in the final eight of the NCAA tournament last season.
They considered their NIT run a positive step toward getting back inthe NCAA tournament next year.
But it was tough to end the season against Oregon.
'I know our team gets pumped up to play them and I'm pretty sure theyget just as excited to play us,' Mendiola said.
Payne added 15 points and six rebounds for the Huskies.
Washington coach June Daugherty was called for a technical foul with5:18 left for arguing and Craighead made both free throws to pull the Ducksto within 66-62. Craighead then made a 3-pointer at 4:36 and Kraayeveldconverted a one-and-one free-throw opportunity at 3:51 to pull Oregonwithin one, 68-67. Craighead finished 5 of 15 from the field, including 5of 13 from 3-point range.
'We came in with good confidence,' she said. 'It is always a good gamehere.'
The Ducks shot 51.5 percent in the first half for a 45-39 halftimelead. But they started the second half 0 for 8 with six turnovers andWashington went on a 12-0 scoring spurt that featured 3-pointers by Payneand Mendiola.
Kraayeveld made a 3-pointer at 13:16 for Oregon's first field goal ofthe half.
'I felt like things were going our way,' Daugherty said, notingWashington was backed by one of its loudest crowds of the season. 'You haveto give them credit, they had one run left in them.'
Alyssa Fredrick added 11 points and four rebounds off the bench forOregon.