Mandy Close Sparks Women's Basketball Past South Alabama, 49-41

Dec. 15, 2004

MOBILE, Ala. - Oregon State University's women's basketball team used pressuring second half defense to record a 49-41 victory at University of South Alabama on Wednesday night.

A dismal first half saw both teams struggle to score. Both squads were shooting just 27-percent from the floor as South Alabama held an 11-10 lead with 7:28 to play.

Oregon State junior post Kim Butler kept the Beavers in the game with six points and freshman post Tiffany Ducker scored seven straight points to close out the first half and knot the score at 21-21 at the break.

USA used a 7-0 run, capped off by a 3-pointer from Genevieve Delk to give the Jaguars a 35-29 lead with 11:39 left.

OSU responded with its most energy of the night, reeling off 10 straight points to take the lead for good. Mandy Close sparked the offense with an old-fashioned 3-point play on a fast break lay-up off a pass from Ebony Young. Oregon State's momentum continued when Young followed with a reverse-layin to pull the Beavers within one and Ducker tied the score with a free throw.

Close broke the tie when she buried a pair of free throws after a technical foul on the South Alabama coach. Another jumper from Close gave OSU a 39-35 advantage with 6:24 left.

The Jaguars would get no closer than within four points the rest of the way.

Close finished with a team-leading 11 points - all in the second half - and dished out a game-high four assists. Ducker buried 4-of-5 field goals for a career-high 10 points and pulled down six rebounds. Casey Bunn added nine rebounds to lead all players.

'This was a great overall team effort,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra.

South Alabama's Delk led all players with 18 points on 7-of-13 shooting.OSU hit just 36-percent from the field for the game, but held USA to only 31-percent shooting.

Beaver senior guard Jessica Mellinger was forced to miss the game after taking an elbow to the head during Tuesday's practice and experiencing concussion-like symptoms. Mellinger had played in 101 consecutive games for the Beavers.

Oregon State heads back to Corvallis for just its second game of the season, when the Beavers host Pacific on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

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