Women's Basketball Stopped By Washington State, 68-63

Feb. 12, 2005

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State University hit its free throws down the stretch allowing the Cougars to knock off Oregon State for the first time in 13 meetings, with a 68-63 victory in Saturday's Pacific-10 Conference women's basketball action.

The victory was the first for WSU (6-18; 2-13 Pac-10) against OSU (6-18; 1-13 Pac-10) since Feb. 13, 1999.

The Beavers were hot from the start, burying six of their first eight field goal attempts with all five starters scoring.

Shannon Howell hit her first four field goals and Anita Rivera followed with three straight, including a 3-pointer that gave OSU a 22-11 lead at the 9:29 mark.

The Cougars closed out the final eight minutes of the half on a 15-7 run as OSU starters Mandy Close and Howell saw limited action in the stretch while sitting with two fouls each.

Karen Vickery ended nearly a four-minute scoring draught for OSU with a lay-up, giving the Beavers a 33-30 edge at intermission.

Oregon State shot 54-percent (13-for-24) in the opening 20 minutes, compared to WSU's 41-percent (11-for-27) clip.

Howell led all players with 13 points before the break.

'We were hot offensively, but I think it made us a little complacent on the defensive end,' said OSU head coach Judy Spoelstra. 'The difference in the second half was our lack of defensive play on the inside.'

Washington State opened the second half on an 18-7 run allowing the Cougars to take a 48-40 lead with 11:09 remaining. WSU post Keisha Moore had 10 of her team-leading 17 points in the stretch.

WSU built as much as an 11-point lead on several occasions. The Beavers rallied back from a 57-46 deficit with seven minutes to play and made pulled within two (60-58) behind Close's 3-pointer from the left corner with 1:48 left.

The Cougars hit eight free throws down the stretch and Close pulled OSU within two again (65-63) with 30 seconds remaining, but the Beavers failed to get another bucket.

'We made a good run at the end,' said Spoelstra. 'Mandy Close hit some great shots for us.'

Howell broke the 20-point scoring barrier for the 10th time this season with a game-high 21 points on 7-of-18 shooting. Vickery posted another good offensive effort with 11 points and six rebounds, while Close added 10 points.

OSU finished with a 43-percent clip from the floor for the game, while WSU shot 44-percent. The Beavers held a 35-32 rebounding edge, but the Cougars hit 25-of-32 free throws.

Oregon State heads back to Corvallis to face University of Arizona on Thursday. Game-time is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Gill Coliseum.

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