UCLA Defeats Oregon, 70-68, In Women's Basketball

Feb. 23, 2001

Los Angeles, CA - The UCLA women's basketball team defeated Oregon, 70-68, in front of 1,198 fans at Pauley Pavilion to stop a seven-game losing skid.

The Bruins (4-20, 3-10 in the Pac-10) rallied several times in the first half to stay in the game. Oregon (13-11, 6-8) took an early 9-1 lead to start the game and then went on a 10-0 run after the Bruins tied it at 11 to take a 21-11 lead with 7:08 to play in the first half. UCLA then went on a 10-0 run of its own late in the half to tie at 25 with 2:11 left in the half. Oregon took a 33-30 advantage into the locker room at halftime.

In the second half, Oregon led by as many as five points until the Bruins made another comeback. A three-pointer by Whitney Jones at the 9:37 mark gave UCLA its biggest lead up to that point, 52-49. Natalie Nakase made one of her career-high eight steals during Oregon's next possession, leading to a Gennifer Arranaga layup to give UCLA a five-point lead.

After UCLA took its biggest lead of the game, 67-61, at the 1:53 mark, Oregon answered with five consecutive points on a Lindsey Dion layup and a three-pointer by Alissa Edwards to trim the lead to one with one minute to play. With time dwindling, the Ducks began to foul to force the Bruins to win or lose the game on the free throw line. The Bruins had six consecutive attempts at the foul line and made just two, the last by Jones giving UCLA a 69-66 advantage with 34 seconds to play. Oregon's Jamie Craighead hit a jumper with 20 seconds to play to close to within one, at 69-68, and then the Ducks put Nakase on the foul line with 17 seconds to play. The Bruin point guard made the first free throw to increase the lead to two but missed the second. Oregon rebounded the miss and called time up after moving the ball into their front court with 12 seconds on the clock. With three seconds Fredrick missed a jumper from just beyond the free throw line, and a jump ball was called on the rebound, giving the Ducks possession with 2.2 seconds to play. But Nakase stole the inbound play to ensure the victory for the Bruins.

'We just wanted to go out and have fun,' UCLA head coach Kathy Olivier said. 'We started slow but came right back and played with a lot of confidence. We were very aggressive inside, and I thought that created problems for them.'

Several Bruins recorded career bests in the game. Jones led the Bruins with a career-high 15 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Kristee Porter recorded her third double-double of the season with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Nakase tied her career-best in assists with seven and set a new mark with eight steals. Freshman Jamila Veasley recorded career-highs in points (nine) and rebounds (11). Two other Bruins were in double-figures in scoring, Jalina Bradley with 10 points and three assists, and Gennifer Arranaga with 11 points (5-5 from the field). The Bruins played without the Pac-10's leading scorer Michelle Greco, who suffered a blow to the head in UCLA's game at Arizona State last Saturday and sat out for precautionary reasons.

'Without Michelle, we all needed to step it up,' said Olivier. 'We talked about it in the locker room. We all needed to be ready.'

Craighead led Oregon with 17 points and five steals. Alyssa Fredrick recorded 13 points with four boards and two blocked shots.

UCLA outrebounded the Ducks, 43-31, and shot a season-best 48.1% from the field.

'We did not defend anyone tonight,' said Oregon head coach Jody Runge. 'We scored enough points to win, but we had a hard time putting five people on the floor to get the job done defensively.'

'This is the worst thing that could have happened to our post-season chances,' Runge added.

The Bruins next host Oregon State on Sunday, Feb. 25 at 2:00 pm, while the Ducks travel downtown to face USC at the Sports Arena at 1:00 pm.

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