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SOUTHLAND WOMEN

Greco Goes Out a Winner in Her Finale at Pauley

March 02, 2003|Mike Terry | Times Staff Writer

Michelle Greco's final home game at UCLA was not a fairy-tale afternoon. But it did have a storybook ending.

Battling nerves and hounded by the Oregon defense, Greco struggled to make seven of 17 shots. But the fifth-year senior made her last basket the most important one -- a 13-foot jumper with 6.1 seconds left to give UCLA a 56-54 victory before 5,029 at Pauley Pavilion.

"I couldn't have drawn it up any better, to have the ball in my hands and knowing my shot could win the game," said Greco, who had 18 points.

"I'd been thinking of this game since last night. I wanted to put on a show for the crowd as a way to say thank you."

The win gave UCLA, 17-10 overall and 12-6 in the Pac-10, its best regular season record in three seasons and a fourth-place finish in the conference.

UCLA had a 9-0 lead after five minutes as Oregon (12-15, 8-10) either missed shots or turned the ball over in its first eight possessions. But then the Ducks surged to a 39-26 lead and appeared to be in control.

UCLA switched to a full-court press to chip away at the lead. A three-point play by Greco with 3:43 to play gave the Bruins the lead, 50-49.

The loss dropped Oregon into a three-way tie for fifth with USC and Oregon State. But the Ducks will be the seeded fifth based on tie-breakers.

That means another game with UCLA next Saturday in the conference tournament quarterfinals. Oregon lost both games against the Bruins this season.

*

Aisha Hollans scored 20 points and Rachel Woodward had 19 as USC beat Oregon State, 87-44, at the Sports Arena.

Despite the win, USC (13-16, 8-10) finishes tied for fifth in the Pac-10 with Oregon and Oregon State (14-13, 8-10).

To make the conference tournament, the Trojans (13-16, 8-10) must beat Washington State in a play-in game Friday.

Oregon and Oregon State earned spots in the tournament by virtue of a tiebreaker.

Associated Press

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