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Glad it's over

Oregon calmly celebrates first outright Pac-10 crown

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Posted: Saturday March 11, 2000 01:58 AM


EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- Aside from the obligatory cutting down of the nets, the Oregon Ducks did little gloating over the first outright Pac-10 championship in school history.

"I'm just happy it's done with and that we did it," Oregon's Shaquala Williams said after Friday night's 60-53 victory over Oregon State. "I can breathe now and move on to the NCAA tournament."

The Ducks are headed to their seventh straight tournament appearance in coach Jody Runge's seven seasons, but there will be no made-for-TV celebration on Selection Sunday.

Runge, still angry that her team was passed over for home games in the first two rounds last season and shipped to Ames, Iowa, for the second straight year, will take her team on a retreat to the Oregon coast, away from the cameras and tape recorders of a fan-oriented party for the men's team at McArthur Court.

"Absolutely, we deserve a home site," Runge said. "Anyone who wins the Pac-10 deserves to play at home. I would be hugely disappointed."

Jenny Mowe had 14 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Ducks, who have beaten Oregon State nine straight times.

The Ducks (23-7, 14-4 Pac-10) clinched a share of the conference championship when Stanford lost to Arizona 79-72 Thursday night. Oregon shared the title last season with UCLA.

Reda Petraitis scored 15 points and Sissel Pierce had 15 rebounds for Oregon State (14-16, 10-8). Pierce shot just 4-of-15.

The twice-annual "Civil War" game between the in-state rivals was not without controversy. One of the three referees, Debbie Adams, played for the Ducks from 1977-81 and was an opponent of Oregon State coach Judy Spoelstra when she played at Washington State.

Spoelstra, already incensed at the 17-8 disparity in fouls called in favor of Oregon, was furious when told that one of the officials was a Ducks' alum. Adams was honored before the game.

"You're trying to get a level playing field. How can that be fair?" she asked. "In a game this tight, the extra trips to the free throw line is the difference. You can't tell me they went the whole game and only fouled eight times."

Runge said it was the first time this season Adams had officiated one of the Ducks' games, but "I didn't think it was a poorly officiated basketball game."

The game was close throughout, and Oregon's perimeter defense, as well as the inside play of the 6-foot-5 Mowe, were keys in the final minutes.

A short jumper by Mowe broke a 46-all tie with 6:36 to play, and Williams added a long jumper and a 3-pointer to make it 53-48.

Felicia Ragland's 3-pointer pulled the Beavers to 56-53 with 41.3 seconds left. Oregon State trailed 57-53 when Petraitis sank a 3-pointer, but an official waved off the basket, ruling that the Beavers had called timeout first.

Mowe got a steal down low and hit two free throws to make it 59-53 with 11.3 seconds left.

Angelina Wolvert and Williams, who leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 17.9 points per game, added 13 for the Ducks.

"We knew it was going to be a fight," Williams said. "They did everything they could to be in it at the end, but we just willed ourselves to a win."

The sellout crowd of 9,087 was the second-largest in school history for a women's game, second only to the 9,738 that turned out on March 8, 1996, before McArthur Court was renovated. T

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