Dec. 27, 2002
EUGENE, Ore. - UCLA's full-court press and hot hand on the offensive end helped down the University of Oregon women's basketball team, 93-68, before 4,700 at McArthur Court in both teams' Pac-10 opener Friday.
UCLA freshman guard Nikki Blue scored a game-high 26 points - 20 in the second half - while Whitney Jones tied her career-high with 24 on the night. The Bruins improved to 6-4 and 1-0 in the Pac-10, while the Ducks dropped to 4-6, 0-1.
Oregon had trouble with UCLA's full-court press, especially in the first half, where the Ducks committed 11 of their 19 turnovers. The Bruins raced out to a 27-7 lead in the first 10 minutes, as the Ducks could get no closer to 13 down the rest of the way.
"I felt if we could have taken care of the ball, it would have been a much closer game," second-year Oregon coach Bev Smith said. "We battled with them and I'm pleased with our play in the second half."
The Ducks were without their star forward, Cathrine Kraayeveld, whose right knee suffered severe inflammation Thursday night before practice. Tests on the sore knee are being evaluated and her return is unknown. Kraayeveld leads the team with averages of 16.7 points and 11.7 rebounds.
"We were really hurt by not having Cathrine," said Oregon sophomore guard Brandi Davis, who had nine points and three assists. "We pushed and went hard and unfortunately did not get a win. I'm pretty confident in our team without having Cathrine. We're not going to stop ... we are going to jump every hurdle."
Oregon's 25-point deficit was its second-worst defeat at home to a Pac-10 team. It also marked its worst loss since UCLA beat the Ducks by 28 in 1998, which also was the last season the Bruins won at Mac Court.
"We need to play like we did tonight (in terms of effort), but we need to be more prepared making sure everyone is doing their job," Smith said.
UCLA shot 63 percent in the first half to take a 49-28 lead. The Ducks also lost the rebounding battle for the seventh time this year, 37-29. Oregon is 1-6 this year when being outrebounded.
Freshman post player Carolyn Ganes kept Oregon alive on the offensive end with 20 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field and 7-of-7 from the foul line. It was her second 20-point game of her young career. Andrea Bills added 16 points, hitting 7-of-10 from the floor, and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Amy Taylor was Oregon's only other double-digit scorer, adding a career-high 10 off the bench.