Huskies Win Pac-10 Opener At Oregon, 60-56

Dec. 21, 2006

EUGENE, Ore. - Senior guard Cameo Hicks scored a team-high 17 points, including 11 in the final five minutes of the game, to lead Washington over Oregon, 60-56, in both teams' Pac-10 opener at McArthur Court in Eugene, Ore., Thursday.

The win was the fifth-straight for Washington, which improved to 8-4 overall and 1-0 in conference play. The Ducks (7-3, 0-1) suffered a rare home setback and lost their second-straight game.

Hicks sparked the Huskies down the stretch. After leading by as many as eight points four minutes into the second-half, the UW advantage fell to just one point, 43-42, with 6:13 remaining. After junior center Andrea Plouffe sank the first of two free-throws to give the Huskies a two-point cushion, Hicks took over scoring 11 of UW's last 16 points.

With 5:16 left in the game, Hicks drove through traffic for a layin and on the Ducks' next possession stole the ball and dribbled the length of the court for another layin, giving Washington a four-point lead, 48-42. After Oregon closed the gap to within two, senior forward Maggie O'Hara drained a pair of free-throws and senior guard Cheri Craddock sank a huge three-pointer to extend the Husky lead to seven (53-46) with 2:09 remaining.

The Ducks answered with a three-pointer from Kaela Chapadelaine, but Hicks responded with a trey of her own with 37.6 seconds left as UW regained its seven-point advantage (56-49). Oregon was forced to finish the game fouling the Huskies, and Hicks went to the line all three times, hitting four of the six free-throw attempts to sustain the UW lead.

The high-paced second-half followed a lackluster offensive performance for both teams in the first half. UW shot just 25 percent from the field in the opening 20 minutes, with the Ducks not much better with a 33.3 percent clip. The Huskies didn't reach double-digits until there were just over six minutes until halftime.

Oregon led for most of the first-half, including by as much as seven points with 7:09 left. But the Huskies finally found their stride, finishing the half on a 14-3 run. The run was sparked by junior guard Dominique Banks, playing in her first game of the season since undergoing surgery on both of her legs in September. Banks scored all seven of her points during a 9-0 run to end the first-half, including a three-pointer.

Craddock made her first start of the season, contributing eight points. O'Hara led the Huskies on the boards, grabbing a season-high nine rebounds as UW outrebounded Oregon, 45-38. Hicks added eight boards and junior point guard Emily Florence grabbed six. O'Hara also finished with nine points on 3-of-5 shooting and a 3-for-3 mark from the charity stripe.

Eleanor Haring led the Ducks with 17 points, and Jessie Shetters grabbed a game-high 10 boards. Tamika Nurse added 11 points for Oregon.

The Huskies continue their Pac-10 opening road swing facing Oregon State in Corvallis, Ore., Saturday, Dec. 23, at 4 p.m. The contest will be televised live on FSN Northwest.

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