Estavan's Miracle Stuns Huskies

Leilani Estavan's heave from a stride behind the half court line as the final buzzer sounded sent the game into overtime Thursday night, and her runner in the lane with 11.4 seconds left in the extra session secured a 73-71 win for Oregon State over the Washington women in front of 3,064 fans at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.

It marked OSU's fourth overtime game in its last six contests, and became UW's first overtime loss of the season.

Washington (16-10, 11-6 Pac-10) seemingly had the win in its grasp in the final 15 seconds of regulation. Ahead one point, OSU stole an errant pass by Emily Autrey but turned the ball over at the other end of the court with just four seconds remaining. Washington forward Kellie O'Neill grabbed the ball and passed it to Loree Payne, who got fouled under the Beavers' basket with 2.5 seconds remaining.

Payne headed to the other end of the court and, despite OSU's effort to ice the junior with a timeout, nailed both free throws. As the Husky crowd jumped to their feet expecting victory, Estavan took the inbounds pass and raced toward halfcourt with the defense playing back and deciding not to foul. From there she shot the ball towards the bucket.



With momentum now wearing a Beaver uniform, the visitors from Corvalis, Oregon started the extra session just how they ended the first, with a three-pointer from Estavan. Payne answered for the Huskies with a three and a layin to make it a 69-67 Washington lead, but OSU's star player Felicia Ragland nailed a leaner from the left baseline to knot the score at 69. With under a minute remaining, the Beavers again went to Ragland, this time under the basket, and the senior from California managed to hit an impossible twisting layin through two Husky post players.

Kellie O'Neill had a chance to tie up the score with two free throws on Washington's next possession, but both attempts skidded off the rim. That set up Estavan for her third huge shot in less than a five minute span, this one coming from the left elbow as the shot clock ticked down to one second. Up four with 11 ticks left, the Estavan and the Beavers put it out of reach for good.

"We didn't have much time so we wanted to get the ball in and push it and look for Felicia [Ragland], but she wasn't open," said Estavan in the media room after the game, trying to hide her smile. "I just thought, 'Drive, drive, shoot it... and I hit it!"

"We were up on her, going sideways and didn't want to foul her," explained a stunned Washington Head Coach June Daugherty after the game of Estavan's half-court shot. "She made an amazing shot. You have to give her credit. It was an impossible shot and she made it possible."

By pulling the rabbit out of their hat, Oregon State (14-13, 10-7 Pac-10) moved a game over the .500 mark, led by Felicia Ragland's 25 points. Estavan finished with 13, as did center Brina Chaney.

Before the buzzer beater, it would have been easy to call this game ugly. To put it simply, it was a defensive war, and to put it truthfully, it was flat out painful to watch during some stretches. The Beavers limited the Huskies just 27 percent shooting from the floor for the game, but were forced into an inexcusable 24 turnovers by a fiery Husky defense.

It was so bad in the first half that neither team scored for a stretch spanning from 14:39 to the 7:55 mark, when Estavan - of all people - ended the drought with a three-pointer. Washington managed merely one field goal inside the three point arc, and that didn't even come until Kellie O'Neill picked up a lose ball and laid it in 17:00 into the game. That was it. The remaining 26 of Washington's 28 first-half points came either via the free throw line or from three-point territory.

Part of the reason for the Huskies' struggles came from their lack of a low post game, which took a severe hit just 1:11 after the opening tip when starting sophomore center Andrea Lalum hit the deck hard going for a defensive rebound and had to be carried from the court because of a sprained left ankle. Without Lalum, the Huskies became content with long-range jumpers, launching 16 three-pointers before halftime. Had it not been for OSU's inability to take care of the basketball, the game would have undoubtedly been in the bag sooner than later for the Beavers.

But that wasn't the case, as Kellie O'Neill stepped in and immediately made a difference, going for 10 points before intermission in Lalum's absence to keep the home team in the game. The older O'Neill sister on the team finished with a team-high 16 points by game's end, and also grabbed a team-leading seven rebounds in the process.

Giuliana Mendiola added 14 points, while Autrey and Payne each added 13 to lead the Huskies on the night.

"I thought we played hard," said Daugherty. "We left it all out on the floor. All you can do now is go out and prepare for Saturday [against Oregon]."

Game Notes:

Up Next: The Huskies play their final regular season contest on Saturday, a 1 p.m. home game against the rival Oregon Ducks. Now holding a 16-10 record, the Huskies need every win they can muster for an NCAA tournament bid so it should be a doozy come Saturday.

Bobblehead Mania Returns: Legendary Washington crew coach Dick Erickson will be remembered at Saturday's game when fans are able to collect a limited edition bobblehead doll of his likeness. The bobbleheads will be given to the first 2,500 fans through the gates.

Lalum Update: After the game, Head Coach June Daugherty told the media that the latest news on Andrea Lalum was that she had suffered a badly sprained left ankle. Lalum fell to the floor in pain just 1:11 into the contest and was helped off the hardwood into the lockeroom. She reappeared on the Husky bench just prior to halftime to cheers, but again left for much of the remainder of the game.

Husky Stats:

Points: Kel. O'Neill 16, Giu. Mendiola 14, Autrey 13, Payne 13, Kri. O'Neill 6, Keeler 4, Burt 4
Rebounds: Giu. Mendiola 7, Kel. O'Neill 7, Autrey 5, Payne 4, Keeler 3, Burt 3, Kri. O'Neill 2
Assists: Giu. Mendiola 4, Burt 3, Payne 3, Autrey, Kri. O'Neill, Kel. O'Neill, Gio. Mendiola
Steals: Autrey, Kri. O'Neill, Keeler, Burt, Kel. O'Neill, Gio. Mendiola, Sorenson
Blocks: Autrey
Husky men win on road

Washington is now in the driver's seat to earn the 8th and final position to qualify for the Pac-10 tournament after this evening's 68-63 win over Oregon State in Corvallis.

Curtis Allen's 15 led the Huskies. Doug Wrenn added 14 and David Dixon chipped in 12.

When OSU got the game to within four points, Errol Knight hit back to back buckets and then a Doug Wrenn jumper put the Dawgs on top by 10 at 61-51.

Guard CJ Massingale made four key foul shots down the stretch to ice the game.

OSU was led by Philip Ricci's 24 points.

Bender's squad next takes on Oregon at The Pitt in Eugene. Top Stories