Women's Basketball Drops Heartbreaker To Creighton, 76-75

Dec. 2, 2004

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Senior guard Shannon Howell had 26 points and junior Kim Butler poured in 22, but it wasn't enough, as Oregon State University's women's basketball team dropped its home opener to Creighton University by a 76-75 margin on Thursday night.

OSU (2-3) had won 12 straight home openers heading into the contest - a rematch of last season's WNIT quarterfinals.

The back-and-forth game came down to the final possession as both teams struggled to find the basket in the last three minutes.

Amy Hoffman's lay-up on an inbounds play with 22-seconds on the clock ended a six-minute scoring draught for the Bluejays (3-2) and proved to be the game-winner. Oregon State had its chance down the stretch, but the Beavers missed three field goals and a pair of free throws in the final nine seconds.

OSU took a 65-61 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the game, but Creighton rallied back to score nine straight. CU senior guard Laura Spanheimer scored six of her game-high 31 points in the stretch before recording her fifth foul with 6:27 to play.

The Beavers went on a run of their own after Spanheimer was forced to the bench. Oregon State took a 75-74 lead on a Karen Vickery lay-up with 3:24 left, but failed to score again.

'There were a lot of great stops and hustle plays right down to the wire,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra. 'We'll learn from this and we'll use this to work hard for our next game.'

Creighton held a 44-40 edge at halftime, helped in part by four 3-pointers from Spanheimer.

Howell reached double figures in scoring for the fifth time this year and led the team with four assists while playing all 40 minutes. Butler scored 20-plus points for the first time at OSU and led all players with eight rebounds, including four offensive. Casey Bunn added eight points, seven boards, and two blocks.

Spanheimer finished the game with a 10-for-11 shooting clip from the field and hit 7-of-8 free throws. Three other Bluejays also reached double figures in scoring.

Oregon State hits the road to face UC Santa Barbara on Sunday. Tip-off is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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