Women's Basketball Holds Off South Dakota State, 68-65

Nov. 27, 2004

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands - Senior guard Shannon Howell led all players with 24 points, as Oregon State's women's basketball team outlast South Dakota State University, 68-65, in Saturday's action at the Paradise Jam.

The balanced Beaver (2-2) attack saw nine different players reach the scoring column in the opening half, led by Howell's 15 points - eight of which came from the free throw line.

South Dakota State (4-2) struggled from the start as OSU pulled in front by a 10-3 margin over the first five minutes. The Jackrabbits crept back into the contest at the free throw line, but a 12-0 run by Oregon State put the Beavers in front by a 22-9 margin with 8:37 in the half.

OSU took a 39-26 lead into the locker room at the break.

A futile second half nearly did the Beavers in for a third straight game, but Howell came alive in the final minutes to help secure the victory.

'We didn't have five people on the same page,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra. 'South Dakota State is a scrappy team and their 3-point shooting hurt us in the second half.'

SDSU rallied back to take a 61-58 lead after a 3-point play from Megan Vogel with 5:54 remaining, but the Jackrabbits went cold from the field and the Beavers responded with eight straight - including six from Howell - to help OSU regain the lead for good.

South Dakota State had a chance to tie it in the final seconds, but a 3-pointer from Shannon Schlagel fell short off the rim at the buzzer.

Howell added a team-high four assists and three steals to her 24 points, while Kerstin Brosterhous and Karen Vickery chipped in with career-bests of eight points each. Brosterhous also added a team-high six rebounds. Mandy Close added nine points and five rebounds before fouling out.

'I thought our post players did a good job,' said Spoelstra. 'We did a good job of pulling down a lot of boards near the end of the game.'

OSU shot 47-percent for the contest, while South Dakota State managed just a 39-percent clip.

Oregon State returns to Corvallis for its home opener on Thursday, when the Beavers face 2004 WNIT champion Creighton University. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 p.m.