UCLA Squeaks by Women's Basketball 56-54
March 1, 2003
LOS ANGELES - Senior Michelle Greco hit a 12-foot jumper with 6.1 seconds left to lift UCLA to a 56-54 come-from-behind win Saturday over the University of Oregon women's basketball team before 5,027 fans at Pauley Pavilion.
The Ducks did have three chances, though, to send the game to overtime. On the inbounds play after Greco's shot, Kourtney Shreve launched a perfect 70-foot pass to a streaking Cathrine Kraayeveld. Kraayeveld then missed a close shot in traffic with 2.7 seconds left. Oregon then inbounded to Kraayeveld under the basket, but she missed and the ball went out of bounds with 1.6 seconds on the clock. Another inbounds play to Kraayeveld resulted in an errant shot from 10 feet.
'In the end it boiled down to making some plays and we didn't finish those plays,' said Oregon coach Bev Smith, whose team will again play UCLA next Saturday in the Pac-10 Tournament at 7:15 p.m. at San Jose's HP Pavilion. The Bruins (17-10, 12-6) are the No. 4 seed while the Ducks (12-15, 8-10), although tied with Oregon State and USC, win the tiebreaker because of their 3-1 record against those teams.
Oregon held its largest lead, 39-26, with 15:04 left in the game, but UCLA slowly chipped away at the lead from the foul line. The Bruins hit 8-of-8 free throws during a 15-5 run to trail just 44-41 at the 7:08 mark. UCLA had its first lead of the second half on a Michelle Greco 3-point play to lead 50-49 with 3:43 left.
Oregon regained the lead at 54-52 on two Kraayeveld free throws, but Greco answered with a 17-foot jumper with 59 seconds on the clock. After another Oregon missed shot, Greco hit the game-winner.
'We didn't attack like we should have,' said Kraayeveld, who finished with nine points and eight rebounds. 'We were too concerned about the score and I think that really hurt us.'
Despite the loss, the Ducks outrebounded the Bruins 41-34 and held them to under 60 points for just the third time this season. Oregon, coming off its USC win, barely missed sweeping the L.A. schools on the road for the first time in school history.
Andrea Bills led Oregon with 15 points and 11 rebounds - her first double-double this year and second of her career. Greco, who scored UCLA's final nine points, finished with 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting while Jamila Veasley had 11. The Ducks' defense held UCLA's Nikki Blue, who had 26 points against Oregon in Eugene, to seven points on 3-of-13 shooting.
With Oregon trailing 52-51, the Ducks' Kayla Steen stole the ball, went in for a lay-in and had her left knee buckle as she planted her foot. Smith said it could be a possible anterior cruciate ligament tear, although Steen will have an MRI performed upon her return Sunday to determine her official status. Steen had seven points and a team-leading four assists against UCLA.
The Ducks committed 21 turnovers in the game, including 15 in the second half, most against a swarming Bruins full-court pressure. It was the most turnovers by Oregon in 15 games.
The winner of the Oregon-UCLA game next Saturday will play the winner of the Stanford-Arizona State/California game on Sunday at 3 p.m.
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