Women's Basketball Falls Short At California, 74-60

Feb. 24, 2005

BERKELEY, Calif. - Oregon State University's comeback bid fell short on Thursday night as the Beavers dropped a 74-60 decision against University of California in Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action.

Oregon State (6-21; 1-16 Pac-10) started the game strong as both teams matched each other bucket for bucket. The Beavers scored six straight to take an 18-14 lead on Mandy Close's backdoor lay-up at the 8:19 mark.

It appeared as if OSU held all of the momentum, but senior guard Shannon Howell was forced to the bench with her second foul and junior post Kim Butler was saddled with three personals. The Golden Bears (10-16; 4-13 Pac-10) took advantage by holding the Beavers to just one field goal for the remainder of the half and used a 24-4 run to head into the locker room with a 38-22 advantage.

'We were one-and-done in that six-minute stretch of the first half which just put the ball in their hands too many times,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra. 'We just couldn't get our shots to fall and we really weren't taking the right ones to begin with.'

The Bears pulled in front by a 52-31 margin with 16:21 left, but Oregon State clawed its way back with an 11-0 run capped off by a steal and fastbreak lay-up from Anita Rivera.

OSU continued to fight and back-to-back 3-point field goals from Howell and freshman Alcha Strane, followed by a lay-up from Tiffany Ducker brought the Beavers within 12 points (62-54) with just over five minutes left.

Casey Bunn's rebound and put-back made the score 64-57 with 3:02 remaining but the Beavers would not get any closer.

The Bears proved why they are the second-leading free throw shooting team in the conference as they hit eight straight from the charity stripe down the stretch and 22-of-25 shots in the game to provide the difference.

Howell finished with one of her best all-around games of the season, recording 21 points, six assists and four rebounds.

Close added 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting and dished out four assists, while Ducker pulled down seven rebounds and added four blocked shots.

California posts Jessica Lawson and Kiki Williams combined to score 25 of the Bears' 36 second half points and Williams led all scorers with 23 points and eight rebounds.

Oregon State's 17 total assists on the night matched the season-high for a single game.

The Beavers wrap-up regular season action on Saturday against No. 3 ranked Stanford University. OSU has never won a game in Maples Pavilion (0-19). The Cardinal has won 36 straight games against Pac-10 opponents in Palo Alto.

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