Women's Basketball Comeback Falls Short Against Arkansas, 58-50
Nov. 28, 2003
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - For the second straight game Oregon State University's comeback fell short as the women's basketball team dropped its opening game of the Furama Thanksgiving Classic on Friday night to the University of Arkansas, 58-50.
Arkansas (3-0) streaked to an early 10-2 lead, taking advantage of second chance opportunities by dominating the offensive glass.
The Beavers (2-2) picked up the defensive pressure and fought their way back into the contest, narrowing the gap to 12-8 at the 13:00 mark after Leilani Estavan found Casey Bunn for a fastbreak lay-up.
Arkansas pushed its lead back to nine points (22-13) with 8:53 on the clock as both Estavan and Mandy Close were saddled with two fouls and forced to the bench.
Sophomore guard Ebony Young sparked the Beavers with seven first half points, but OSU went scoreless for a five-minute stretch near the end of the half, allowing Arkansas to take a 32-20 lead into the locker room.
Oregon State struggled shooting from the floor in the opening 20 minutes, hitting just 24-percent (7-for-29) of its shots compared to Arkansas' 35-percent (12-for-34) clip. The Lady Razorbacks held a commanding 30-17 rebounding at the break.
The Beavers streaked out of the gates in the second half, cutting the Arkansas lead to 41-38 with 10:59 on the clock after seven straight points from Bunn. The Lady'Backs answered the run however and eventually pulled in front by 10 (52-42) with six minutes remaining.
Oregon State continued to whittle away at the lead, closing to within three points 53-50 with 2:27 to play, but Arkansas scored the final five points to end the game.
Bunn finished with 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting, and nine rebounds to lead Oregon State.
'In the second half Casey really crashed the boards and I felt like she ran the floor well,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra.
No other Beaver player reached double figures in scoring. Estavan tallied a team-best five assists before fouling out in the final seconds.
'It was a gallant effort to cut their lead to three points,' said Spoelstra. 'This was on a night where the 'big three' - Estavan, Chapman, Chaney - weren't scoring.'
Shameka Christon finished with 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead Arkansas, while Rochelle Vaughn added 19 points and seven assists.
OSU finished the game shooting 31-percent from the floor, while Arkansas hit 35-percent of its shots. The Beavers crashed the boards hard in the second half, as both teams finished the game with 46 rebounds.
'I was proud that we were able to tie them in rebounds,' said Spoelstra. 'We really came back and had a good second half on the boards.'
Oregon State will face Providence College at 3 p.m. on Saturday in the consolation final.