Late Surge Not Enough as Women's Basketball Falls 77-73 to Portland

Nov. 20, 2001

PORTLAND, Ore. - Too little, too late for the University of Oregon women's basketball team. The Ducks got down earl y, and despite a late-game surge, fell short Tuesday to the University of Portland 77-73 before 582 fans at the Chiles Center.

Portland (2-0), which defeated Oregon for only the second time in 18 games, led 66-56 with 3:30 left in the game. But the Ducks fought back behind senior guards Shaquala Williams and Edniesha Curry. Williams connected on a 3-pointer and two free throws while Curry made consecutive lay-ins-both times winding her way from one end of the court to the other. Curry capped the 17-8 run with a 3-pointer to cut the Pilots' lead to 74-73 with 21 seconds remaining.

Following two free throws by Portland freshman Hanna Selzter (11 points, Oregon never got a shot off on the ensuing possession as Ashlee Giles (18 points) stole Williams' pass near the 3-point line with 11 seconds on the clock.

'We struggled tonight,' first-year Oregon coach Bev Smith said. 'We have to have five people ready to play. I give credit to Portland because they ran their offense well and did the things they had to do.'

The Ducks (1-2), whose only lead was in the game's second minute,had a difficult time hitting open shots. Oregon shot a season-low 38 percent from the floor and made just 3 of its first 22 3-pointers, before going 4-for-6 down the stretch.

'There comes a time in the season where you have to make some changes and find a starting five,' Smith said.

'We're just not jelling yet,' said Curry, who scored a game-high 20 points, grabbed six rebounds and had five assists. 'We didn't have that cohesiveness for the whole 40 minutes. We have to come out ready to play.'

Williams, who had a team-best six assists, struggled from the floor, hitting 3 of 14, including 2 of 9 from 3-point territory.

Freshman Kedzie Gunderson provided a first-half spark for the Ducks, tying her career high set Sunday by scoring eight points and pulling down three rebounds in 17 minutes.

The Pilots led by as many as 13 in the first half as they caught the Ducks sleeping on several fast breaks and some back-door lay-ins.

Oregon won the battle of the boards-barely- 42-41 as Cathrine Kraayeveld had a game-high 10 while Ndidi Unaka grabbed eight.

The Ducks next take on Texas Christian (2-0)Saturday at the annual Pape' Jam at the Rose Garden. Tipoff is at 5 p.m. The Oregon men will follow at about 7:30 p.m. against Louisville.

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