Women's Basketball Hopes to End Losing Skid to Washington Schools

Feb. 12, 2001

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Oregon, which has lost four straight and six of its last seven games, returns home after two consecutive weeks on the road to take on the Washington schools. The Ducks play host to Washington State (9-12, 4-7) at 7 p.m. on Thursday, then take on Washington (15-6, 8-3) at 1 p.m. on Saturday before a nationally-televised audience. The Huskies, ranked No. 23 in the Associated Press poll, are in a three-way tie for first place in the Pac-10 with Stanford and Arizona State. Oregon has never lost five in a row under coach Jody Runge.

RADIO/TVThe Oregon-Washington game Saturday will be nationally televised on Fox Sports Net. All Oregon women's basketball games are broadcast by KSCR (1320 AM) in Eugene and KUIK (1360 AM) in Portland, with Ray Martin providing the play-by-play for the sixth consecutive year. Games that don't conflict with Oregon men's basketball broadcasts will be carried by KUGN (590 AM) in Eugene, KXL (750 AM) in Portland and KTBR (950) in Roseburg. Radio broadcasts also can be heard on the Internet at www.goducks.com.

The Ducks lead the series 39-8 and have won 10 of the last 11.

Joanna Smith came off the bench in the second half to hit three critical shots as Washington State edged Oregon 67-64 on Jan. 20, breaking a 10-game losing streak to the Ducks. Smith gave the Cougars their first lead of the game, at 51-50, with a 3-pointer with just over nine minutes to play. The Ducks led 64-62 on a jump shot by Kourtney Shreve with 1:05 left. Smith then hit her third long-range shot with 17 seconds to play, putting Washington State ahead 65-64. Victoria Harrod's free throws gave the Cougars their final lead with 2.2 seconds left on the clock. Kelly Berglund led the Cougars with 14 points, while Jessica Ottmar added 12. The Cougars hit all 15 shots from the free throw line. Brianne Meharry led Oregon with a game-high 17 points and eight rebounds while Ndidi Unaka added a career-high 15 points in a reserve role.

Oregon leads the series 30-28, which includes 10 wins in a row over the Huskies. Washington's last win over Oregon was Jan. 13, 1996, at Seattle.

Jamie Craighead scored 16 points and Oregon snapped a tie by scoring the game's final 14 points to beat Washington 67-53 at Seattle. The decisive run began with the teams tied at 53 with 4:40 remaining. Oregon lost starting forward Angelina Wolvert to a sprained medial collateral ligament in her left knee just 4:55 into the game. Brianne Meharry scored 11 for Oregon and Jenny Mowe added 10.

Jody Runge is in her eighth season at the helm of the Ducks. She has compiled an impressive 155-70 (.689) record in her Oregon tenure, which includes a 95-42 (.693) mark in conference play. Her resume includes seven straight NCAA Tournament berths along with claiming back-to-back Pac-10 Conference championships in 1999 and 2000 for the first time in school history. She earned Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors in 1999 and in 1994. In addition, the Women's Basketball News Service selected Runge as its Coach of the Year in 1998.

Fred Litzenberger enters his sixth season in the Ducks' program. A native of Longmont, Colo., Litzenberger's 34 years in coaching includes six seasons as a men's collegiate head coach and 15 appearances for his teams in the NCAA Tournament. Second-year coach Dan Muscatell, the recruiting coordinator, and third-year coach Kirsten McKnight, a four-year Oregon basketball letterwinner, complete the coaching staff.

Jamie Craighead ranks third in the Pac-10 with a .434 mark (56 of 129) from 3-point range and also is first in 3-pointers per game (2.7). Two weeks ago, she hit 12 of 22 combined, including a career-high seven bombs against Arizona, the highest total in the Pac-10 this year. Craighead has made at least three 3-pointers in 11 games this season. In 1999-00, she shot .306 (30 of 98) from long range.

The Ducks have had just one losing season on the road under Jody Runge (5-6 in 1994-95), but are only 3-8 this season. Oregon was 10-5 on the road last year.

Oregon received 21 votes in the Associated Press Poll (No. 32). It dropped out of the AP poll Feb. 5 for the first time this season. It had been ranked for 12 straight weeks in the AP poll, which is the best mark under Jody Runge, and second only to the 1980-81 squad which was in the top 25 for 18 weeks in a row. The Ducks also left the ESPN/USA Today poll, after being No. 23 last week, but received 54 votes to come in at No. 26. Oregon has played seven current AP top-25 teams, which range from No. 14 Texas Tech to No. 24 Arizona State.

Put Lindsey Dion in the starting lineup and the Ducks usually win. In her four-year career, the Ducks are 30-9 with Dion starting. In the last two years, Oregon is 27-9 with her in the starting five (8-5 this season) and 8-8 when Dion isn't.

Oregon coach Jody Runge has an 18-29 record, including 12-8 at McArthur Court, against nationally-ranked opponents. Last year, she was 5-2 overall against top-25 teams.

With 56 3-pointers, junior Jamie Craighead already has the second-best single-season total in school history. Missy Croshaw owns the school-record with 70, established in 1993-94. Craighead also ranks fourth all-time at Oregon for career 3-pointers with 88, two behind third-place Michelle Eble (1987-90).

Senior forward Brianne Meharry went over the 1,000-point mark with 3:45 left in the Stanford game last Thursday on a put-back lay-in. Teammate Angelina Wolvert hit the 1,000-point plateau Dec. 9 at Texas. Meharry, who has 1,017 points, became the 15th Oregon player to accomplish the feat.

Oregon ranks second in the Pac-10 with its .459 field goal percentage and first with a .389 mark for defensive field goal percentage. The Ducks' defense also held UCLA to a 22 percent mark from the field (15 of 68) Jan. 27 -- the lowest total by an Oregon defense (and lowest in Pac-10 this year) since it held Portland State to a school-record .183 (11 of 60) last year.

Lindsey Dion played in her 100th career game last Saturday at California. She is the third Duck to accomplish the feat this season, following Angelina Wolvert and Jenny Mowe. Meanwhile, Brianne Meharry has played in 97 career games.

Since Jody Runge's first year in 1993, the Ducks are 83-18 (.822) at home. Oregon hasn't lost two in a row at McArthur Court since February 1993 -- before Runge became coach. The Ducks also haven't lost more than three games in a season at 'The Pit' since Runge's first year.

Eight Ducks have scored in double-figures this season. Jamie Craighead and Angelina Wolvert each lead Oregon with 13 double-digit scoring games.

The Ducks rank No. 46 nationally in the latest Collegiate Basketball News RPI. It also lists Oregon's strength of schedule at No. 28.

Oregon finished first in the Pac-10 in attendance last season, averaging 5,852 fans -- the second-best mark in Pac-10 history. Oregon ranks first again this year in the Pac-10, averaging 4,799 fans -- the 15th-best mark nationally.

Ducks at California, Feb. 10
The backcourt of Courtney Johnson and Kenya Corley combined for 39 points leading California to a 68-57 victory over Oregon. The Bears fought back from a 12-point second-half deficit to record their fourth straight Pac-10 win and snap a 15-game losing streak to the Ducks. Cal went on a 14-2 run capped by two free throws by Johnson to take only its third lead of the game, 48-47 with 7:07 remaining. Angelina Wolvert, who led Oregon with 18 points, countered with a baseline drive and layup, but Corley pulled up for two straight jumpers to give Cal the lead for good. Johnson finished with a game-high 20 points and added eight rebounds and six steals. Corley scored all of her 19 points in the second half. Brianne Meharry added 16 points for the Ducks, who committed 24 turnovers and made just 23 of 66 from the field.

Ducks at Stanford, Feb. 8
Lauren St. Clair had 14 points, including four 3-pointers in the second half, as Stanford extended its winning streak to six games with a 63-54 victory over Oregon. Angelina Wolvert had 11 points and seven rebounds for Oregon. The Ducks kept it close after the Cardinal took their biggest lead of the game, 33-22, on St. Clair's 3-pointer to open the second half. Oregon came back to within 50-49 with just more than three minutes left, but St. Clair hit two more 3-pointers in a critical 8-0 final run that stretched Stanford's lead to 58-49.

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