Kraayeveld, Steen Help Lead Ducks to 65-60 Win at Montana

Dec. 19, 2002

MISSOULA, Mont. - Junior forward Cathrine Kraayeveld scored 18 points and grabbed a career-high 22 rebounds - the second highest total in school history - as the University of Oregon women's basketball team downed Montana 65-60 before 3,084 fans Thursday at Dahlberg Arena.

Trailing 58-57, freshman Carolyn Ganes made a lay-in to put the Ducks up by one at the 2:12 mark on a threaded pass in traffic from Kraayeveld. After Montana's Corrie Villegas missed a 3-pointer, Oregon's Kayla Steen drove the lane, faked a pass to her left - also faking out a Grizzly defender - then went up with an easy lay-in to make it 61-58.

Kraayeveld then blocked two straight Villegas 3-point attempts on two straight possessions while Steen hit two clutch free throws on the other end to help seal the game for the Ducks, who improved to 4-4. Montana fell to 6-2.

'(Cathrine) kept us in the game offensively, especially in the first half,' Oregon coach Bev Smith said. 'What was even more key was her blocked shots at the end. She was pretty much all-world tonight.'

Kraayeveld tied former Duck great Alison Lang for second-place on the single-game list and was four shy of Smith's record of 26, set in 1978. Kraayeveld, who hit 6-of-13 from the floor, including 4-of-6 on 3-pointers, also is the first Oregon player to pull down at least 20 boards since 1983.

'In the end it came down to rebounding and going all out on every possession,' Kraayeveld said. 'We really set the tone at the beginning with our rebounding.'

Steen, a junior guard, gave Oregon a huge lift after halftime, dropping in a career-highs of 14 points and six rebounds, all in the second half, along with a career-best five assists. It was Steen's and Ganes' first starts of the season.

'To win here is great,' Smith said. 'Some people don't understand how difficult it is to win at Montana. This is a solid, solid win for our program.'

Coming into the game, Montana had won 92 percent of its games at Dahlberg Arena, including a 136-4 mark in Big Sky Conference play.

Kraayeveld dominated the first half, scoring 15 points and grabbing 14 rebounds against Montana's signature 2-3 zone. She recorded her fifth double-double of the season with five minutes remaining before halftime. One of her biggest rebounds, her 19th, came with just over eight minutes left in the game. After the rebound, she passed it to a streaking Amy Taylor who scored a lay-in to give Oregon its largest lead, 50-46, at that point in the game, handing the momentum to the Ducks.

'I've just been hitting my shots lately,' Kraayeveld said. 'And my teammates have been getting me the ball.'

'(The win) is so huge for our belief in our team,' Smith said. 'Everybody we put on the floor can contribute.'

Taylor, a sophomore guard, also gave valuable minutes. After logging in 14 minutes on the entire year, she played in a career-high 23, scoring a career-best seven points and committing no turnovers.

'She's waited a long time for her opportunity,' Smith said of Taylor, who had played in just three games this year before tonight.

Oregon had been outrebounded in four of the last five games while Montana had nearly a plus-eight rebound margin. However, the Ducks crashed the boards, winning the battle 46-34. Oregon's defense also forced Montana into 37 percent shooting (25-of-68) from the floor.

Crystal Baird led the Griz with 15 points in 16 minutes off the bench. Also for Montana, center Hollie Tyler had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Kedzie Gunderson, who had started in the Ducks' first seven games this year, scored five points and had three assists in a reserve role. She left the game midway through the second half after a Montana player inadvertently broke her nose while forcing a jump ball. Gunderson is expected to be back in action in Oregon's next game at TCU (3-5), which has lost to five top-25 foes this year. Tipoff is at noon PST.

- www.GoDucks.com -
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