Women's Basketball Ends Season With Heartbreaking Loss To Fresno State, 58-57
March 24, 2003
FRESNO, Calif. - Junior guard Leilani Estavan had a pair of field goal attempts fall short in the final seconds as Oregon State's season came to an end on Monday night with a heartbreaking 58-57 loss to Fresno State University in the second round of the Women's National Invitation Tournament. The game was witnessed by 4,507 fans - the largest crowd in Fresno State women's basketball history.
'We played really hard,' said OSU assistant coach Todd Corman. 'This was a great women's basketball atmosphere.'
Oregon State finished its season with a 15-15 overall record while Fresno State improved to 21-12 on the year and will face Baylor University in the WNIT quarterfinals.
The closely contested first half was a defensive battle that saw both teams struggle shooting. OSU jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead but FSU responded with back-to-back lay-ups by Mindy Clark to knot the score.
With the score tied at 14 and 12:42 on the clock, both teams went ice-cold from the field. Oregon State broke the scoring drought with a rebound and lay-up by Michelle Smith at the 7:15 mark and Leilani Estavan buried a 3-pointer to give the Beavers a 19-14 advantage.
The Bulldogs went scoreless for nearly nine minutes but reeled off six straight points to garner a 20-19 advantage with 2:36 remaining the half.
Brina Chaney's two free throws with just over one-minute left sent the Beavers into the locker room with a 21-20 lead.
The halftime lead was the first of the season for the Beavers in a road game.
Fresno State went on a 9-2 run to open the second half and take its largest lead at 29-23 with 13:56 remaining.
Freshman Casey Bunn came off the bench and sparked the OSU offense with five quick points and the Beavers pulled within one (33-32) on a pair of Estavan free throws. Fresno State responded with a 7-0 run that got the crowd into the contest and gave the Bulldogs their largest lead (40-32) with 11:09 remaining.
OSU wouldn't fold however, Hollye Chapman buried back-to-back 3-point field goals to pull the Beavers within two points (44-42) and eventually Estavan's jumper with six minutes remaining knotted the score at 49 a piece.
Lindsay Logan buried a 3-pointer that sparked a 5-0 FSU run but Krystal Turner and Mandy Close buried a pair of key buckets to keep the game close. Estavan's leaning jumper pulled the Beavers within one (56-55) with just over one minute on the clock but Omelogo Udeze hit a floater in the lane to put the Bulldogs ahead again by three.
Estavan came up big with a clutch jumper to make the score 59-58 with just 20 seconds remaining. Fresno State's Laura Garcia missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and the Beavers pulled down the rebound to set-up the last second shot by Estavan.
Estavan penetrated to the free throw line on the clear-out play but her jumper fell off the front of the rim. The Beavers corralled the rebound and Estavan was able to get off another off-balance 15-footer but the ball hit iron as the clock expired.
'It was a great effort tonight,' said Corman. 'We played really well - it was a great basketball game.'
Estavan finished with 19 points on 8-of-16 shooting and dished out a game-high six assists. Brina Chaney and Hollye Chapman pitched in eight points each. Smith, a senior, finished her OSU career with six points, three rebounds and two assists, while fellow senior Kristina Rukstelyte played six minutes in her last game as a Beaver.
Oregon State shot 43-percent (23-for-53) in the game while Fresno State hit just 37-percent (22-for-60) of its shots.
The Beavers lost for just the first time on the season when leading at the half (11-1) and put up their best road performance of the year.