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OSU facing outside threats.

Byline: The Register-Guard

OMAHA, Neb. - With victories over Gonzaga and Nebraska, Oregon State has driven the farthest into the Women's National Invitation Tournament since the Beavers won the event in 1982.

"We're playing with a lot of mojo, a lot of passion," OSU coach Judy Spoelstra said on Tuesday, the day after a 75-67 win at Nebraska. "We haven't played like that in two consecutive games in a long time."

Today, the Beavers dip again into that mojo fuel tank, tangling with Creighton in the quarterfinals of the WNIT, a game scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. PST.

Oregon State (17-14) faces a Creighton team (21-9) that defeated Colorado State 79-68 and Washington 74-69 in road games to start its WNIT run.

"They are good shooters," Spoelstra said of the Bluejays, a Missouri Valley Conference club that is averaging more than 70 points a game. "And they like the three-pointer."

Creighton has taken 692 three-point field-goal attempts, connecting on 234. By comparison, OSU is 159-of-459 (35 percent).

"Creighton likes to drive, penetrate and kick it back out," Spoelstra said. "They had 27 three-point attempts in the win over Washington."

The key for Oregon State, Spoelstra said, will be defense.

"We must contain them, keep our hands up," she said.

The Beavers are allowing a bit more than 64 points a game this season. The game will be the second between the two schools. Oregon State won the first meeting 82-56 in 1985.

The Beavers have won two in a row after losing five of six games to end the regular season, including a win and a loss in the Pac-10 Conference tournament.

Shannon Howell, a junior transfer from Nebraska, continues to lead OSU in scoring with a 15.6 average. Brina Chaney and Hollye Chapman each are adding more than 10 points a game.

"Shannon, Mandy Close, Leilani, Hollye and Brina have played well, and the role players have done good jobs," Spoelstra said.

"I think we are trying to rise above the disappointment we felt during the last part of the (regular) season. We believed we could play (in the WNIT). I think everyone is having fun."

Creighton, a guard-oriented team, has four players with double-figure scoring averages - Laura Spanheimer (13.7), Dayna Finch (13.2), Christy Neneman (12.3) and Angie Janis (10.4).

Michigan Spoelstra said the Beavers would make a bid to play host to the semifinal contest at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.
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Title Annotation:Sports; Slowing Creighton's perimeter shooters will be the key
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Mar 24, 2004
Words:408
Previous Article:Hansen at home while leading Aztecs to Duck Invite win.
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