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Slow Starts Cost Buffs A Chance Against Ducks

Dec 9, 2006

PORTLAND, Ore. - Eleanor Haring scored a game-high 18 points and the University of Oregon used big runs at the beginning of each half to hold off the University of Colorado 70-60 at the Rose Garden Arena in the 2006 Pape Jam.


Jackie McFarland led Colorado (5-5) with 14 points and 15 rebounds for her seventh double-double of the season, and the 26th of her career. McFarland's 15 rebounds were just one off a career high ? she had 16 against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez last December ? and her 26th career double-digit rebounding performance, tying former Buff Britt Hartshorn (1998-02) for fourth on CU's all time list.


Oregon (6-1) scored the first 14 points of the game, hitting 7-of-9 from the floor, and opened up a 16-2 lead at the 15:10 mark of the first half. Colorado fought back immediately from long range. Senior Jasmina Ilic scored CU's first seven points, including the 108th 3-pointer of her career, while Bianca Smith and Anna Nedovic also added treys as the Buffaloes answered with an 18-5 run of their own, closing the gap to 20-19 with 7:17 remaining.


The Ducks widened the gap back to nine at the end of the first half. Kaela Chapdelaine, entering the game averaging less than four points per contest, had eight of her season-high 16 points in the first 20 minutes, five of which came during Oregon's 11-3 run to end the half.


"In the first half were consistently getting stops and making plays, but we started putting them on the line (in the second half) and we stopped doing what we did to get us back," CU head coach Kathy McConnell-Miller said. "I just think it is a sign of youth, not really understanding the game as well as they need to. I am proud of the plays we made, but all of a sudden they started feeling a little good about themselves and stopped doing the things (that brought us back)."


Oregon opened up the second half on a 10-2 run to move its lead back up to 17 points at 41-24. Haring had 12 of her 18 points in the second half and at one point scored seven straight and nine of 11 for the Ducks.


CU fought back again, cutting the Ducks' lead to 60-51 with 3:08 remaining on a 3-point play by Whitney Houston. The freshman guard scored all of her career-high 13 points in the final 5:38 of the contest to spark the Buffs rally.


Oregon held off the last-gasp CU spurt at the free-throw line. The Ducks didn't attempt a foul shot in the first half, but connected on 17-of-20 in the final 20 minutes.


"The slow starts aren't anything other than trying to get a feel for each other on the floor," McConnell-Miller said. "The different line ups we have had, the different match ups, a different style of play with particular players."


Ilic and Smith both finished with 11 points for the Buffaloes. Houston added four assists and a career-best five rebounds to her totals. Nedovic had five points and a season-high six rebounds.


Colorado will be back in action on Wednesday, Dec. 13, at 7 p.m. MST against South Dakota State University in Brookings, S.D.