Stanford Wins Thriller In Oregon

Jan 11, 2003

By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer

EUGENE, Ore. - Oregon's Kedzie Gunderson sobbed as she watched Stanford's Nicole Powell hit a pair of free throws with 1.3 seconds left. That's because she knew the Ducks' chance to pull off a major upset was gone.

Gunderson fouled Powell as she drove for the basket after catching a 75-foot inbounds pass. Powell made both foul shots to give No. 5 (tie)/6 Stanford a 75-74 victory Saturday night over the Ducks.

'I thought Kedzie did the right thing by fouling her and making her earn it,' Oregon coach Bev Smith said.

Although Gunderson was distraught after the game, she knew she had no choice - Powell had a clear lane to the basket.

'The first instinct was: I knew there was nobody behind me so I've got to foul her,' Gunderson said. 'I just reached out and grabbed anything I could.'

A pair of free throws by Carolyn Ganes had given the Ducks a 74-73 lead with 3.3 seconds left.

T'Nae Thiel, who led the Cardinal with 18 points, made the long pass to Powell.

'I just let it go and I prayed Nicole would catch it,' she said.

Chelsea Trotter added 16 points for Stanford (12-1, 4-0), which has won seven straight overall and 25 straight in the Pac-10 Conference.

Powell, playing in her fourth game of the season after missing Stanford's first nine games with a back injury, had 10 points and nine rebounds.

'We won more than a game tonight,' Stanford coach Tara VanDerveer said. 'Nicole got a chance to get in there and make an all-American play and that was great for her.'

Alissa Edwards scored a career-high 17 points for Oregon (6-9, 2-4). Ganes had 14 points.

Stanford led by as many as 15 points in the second half. But a wide-open 3-pointer by Edwards and a leaning jumper by Gunderson pulled the Ducks within three, 66-63, with 5:27 to go.

After Thiel hit a 3-pointer for the Cardinal, Edwards nailed another 3 for Oregon and Andrea Bills added a long jumper to close to within 69-68 with 3:56 to go.

Powell hit a pair of foul shots before Gunderson's turnaround layup pulled Oregon to 71-70 and she added a steal at the other end that led to Yadili Okwumabua's layup to put the Ducks ahead 72-71.

Chelsea Trotter put Stanford back up 73-72, but then fouled Ganes with 3.3 seconds left. Ganes made both her shots to give Oregon back the brief lead.

'I thought Oregon played just great basketball,' VanDerveer said. 'They had a great game plan. They didn't give up when we had them down.'

Oregon kept up with the faster and stronger Cardinal through much of the first half and trailed 25-24 when Ganes made a 3-pointer with 5:50 to go.

But then Stanford started to pull away, wrapping up the half with a 14-4 run that gave the Cardinal a 39-28 lead.

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