The Cougars grabbed the lead right back, and never relinquished it until five straight Alyssa Fredrick points tied the game up going into the half, 27-27.
In the second half, Houston's Chandi Jones scored eight points opening up the second half, and putting the Cougars up 37-30. After a Catherine Kraayeveld free throw, her first point of the game, a Valerie Munoneke lay-in gave Houston a 39-31 lead with nearly 12 minutes to go.
Following a pair of Catherine Kraayeveld free throws, the pace of the game slowed tremendously. Turnovers, fouls and jump balls littered the next few minutes of play. Although Oregon struggled to get anything going offensively, Kraayeveld continued to shine, even cutting the Houston lead down to one point after one of her inside shots, with under five minutes to go.
After a couple more of Houston baskets, Ednisha Curry made the front end of a one and one, and Kraayeveld made a steal, leading to a pair of Alyssa Fredrick free throws, which brought the Ducks to within one point.
With 1:33 to go in the game, Chandi Jones was fouled, and made the front end of her one and one, giving Houston a 50-48 lead. At the other end, Jamie Craighead came up big again in the post season, drilling a three-pointer to give Oregon their first lead since the score was 30-29.
After a Chandi Jones missed three pointer, Curry grabbed a rebound and got the ball to Craighead, who was fouled. After making one of the free throws, Jones found her way to the rebound of the second shot, and Houston had a chance to tie. Jones found Valerie Muoceke for a short pop, and a tie ballgame, 52 all with 38 seconds left.
At the other end, Jamie Craighead missed a three-pointer, but the rebound caromed off a Cougar player and out of bounds, giving Oregon a chance at the last shot.
Shaquela Williams was given the ball at the point to start the Oregon possession. After having two high screens, Williams drove right and found Kraayeveld. The sophomore from Kirkland, Washington did the rest, going up for a floater, and sinking a finger roll to give Oregon a two point lead with just seconds remaining.
Houston didn't even get off a shot to try to tie, as there was confusion on the floor and the clock ran out.
Leading the way for Houston was Jones with 16 points, and Muoneke with 12 points. The Ducks leading scorers were Kraayeveld with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Ednisha Curry with 11 points. Kraayeveld's double double was her fifth of the WNIT.
Wednesday's win gives Oregon their first ever WNIT Championship, adding another banner to the Mac Court rafters.
The Ducks will have a strong team coming back again next year as they lose only Ndidi Unaka, Alyssa Fredrick, Ednisha Curry, and Jamie Craighead. Oregon looks to once again be in contention for the PAC-10 Title and a run at the NCAA Tournament again next season.
Stats from www.goducks.com.