Women's Basketball Cruises to 75-55 Win Over Western Oregon

Nov. 8, 2001

EUGENE, Ore. - Spurred by guards Edniesha Curry and Shaquala Williams, the University of Oregon women's basketball team defeated Western Oregon 75-55 in the season's final exhibition tuneup before 3,706 fans Thursday at McArthur Court.

Williams, a junior, scored 16 of her game-high 23 points in the first half. Curry, meanwhile, applied relentless defensive pressure, which helped lead to 34 Western Oregon turnovers, as well as added 15 points and three assists.

'I'm pleased with the effort they are giving,' said first-year Oregon coach Bev Smith of her starting back court. 'We had good play by the guards, but we need to establish a presence at the post. We need to be tougher and more aggressive and have a balanced attack.'

The Ducks lost the battle of the boards as the Wolves outrebounded them 33-27.

'Everyone knows the perimeter is our strength, but we need production from the post to be successful,' said Williams, who nailed 8 of 14 from the floor, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range. 'If we can't rebound, we can't be successful.'

The Ducks led 40-33 in the first minute of the second half, but went on a 15-6 run over the next four minutes, sparked by two Curry 3-pointers.

'Looking at the big picture, effort was there for the whole 40 minutes,' Smith said. 'there were a few mental lapses both offensively and defensively, but the defensive pressure we were looking to apply was there.'

Oregon swiped 22 steals, five by Williams along with three each by Curry and Ndidi Unaka. The Ducks scored 18 of their 22 points off turnovers in the first half.

Mandi Dinan led the Wolves, an NCAA Division II program from Monmouth, with 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds.

The Ducks, who have made eight straight NCAA Tournament appearances, open the regular season Nov. 17 at home against Wisconsin-Green Bay, a WNIT postseason participant one year ago. Tipoff is at 1 p.m. at McArthur Court.

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