Lady Ducks Bear Down on Cal

In the best of cases, the first conference game of the season would not follow two consecutive non-conference losses. In the next best of cases, if you have to open the conference season on the heels of two defeats, it would be nice if the opponent had an eleven game losing streak on your home court. So it was Monday night as the Oregon women's basketball team tangled with the California Bears in front of 3691 fans at McArthur Court.

Using their size advantage at every position to good result, the Lady Ducks ran away from the Bears 81-50 to raise their season record to 8-2 overall and 1-0 in conference play. The Bears fell to 6-4 and 0-1.

The game started slowly for the Ducks as California was able to use their quickness to pressure the ball and disrupt Oregon's offensive flow. The Ducks weren't able to get on the scoreboard until Corrie Mizusawa broke the ice with a nice feed to Andrea Bills in the paint for the first bucket three minutes into the contest.

With the score still close at the 8-minute mark, Oregon coach Bev Smith inserted Brandi Davis into the mix and the energy level seemed to pick up immediately. Though Davis was tagged with a charging call on her first drive to the hoop, it was apparent her quickness and willingness to attack the defense with the drive was just what the Ducks needed to get their offense jumpstarted.

Catherine Kraayeveld hit a trey, Davis followed with a steal and a nice assist on a Mizusawa finish of a fast break that brought the Ducks even at 19-19. Then a Davis jumper, a rebound of a Kraayeveld miss by Andrea Bills for a lay-up, and Davis again with a two point jump shot followed by a pretty backdoor cut for another deuce and the Ducks were on their way to what became an 18-6 run and a 37-25 halftime lead.

Speaking to OSN after the game, Coach Smith offered, "Brandi did a really nice job tonight. We've been working with her a lot on the defensive end and with her shot selection. She gave us a nice lift. Everyone on this team has a role and Brandi played her role well tonight."

The halftime break didn't solve much for the Bears as Oregon came out just as authoritatively as they had ended the first half, starting the second stanza with a steal and a three point play by Kristin Forristall and another 3-point bucket by Kraayeveld. Andrea Bills firmly established herself in the paint snaring a rebound, blocking a shot, forcing a steal and hitting a shot before California was able to score their first points of the second half. By then the Ducks were up by twenty and the contest fully decided except for the final margin.

The Ducks shot 52.4% for the game on 33-63 and out rebounded the Bears 34-29. Catherine Kraayeveld again led the Ducks in scoring with 15 while adding 5 rebounds, 3 assists and two blocked shots to her totals. Brandi Davis contributed 12 points and point guard Corrie Mizusawa led the team with 6 assists.

Kiki Williams was the only California player to reach double figures in scoring with 15 while Kristin Iwanaga led the Bears in rebounds with 6. California commited 10 more turnovers than did Oregon.

The Ducks next challenge is a daunting one; the nationally 5th rated and conference favorite Stanford Cardinal will pay a visit to McArthur Court Wednesday night for a 7 p.m. tip-off.

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