SEATTLE (AP) -- Jill Bell has had so many knee operations she's
not sure of the total.
Still, she put aside her physical problems Thursday night to
contribute a career-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, leading
Washington to a 61-55 comeback victory over Oregon to improve the
Huskies' NCAA tournament hopes.
The Huskies (17-7, 10-5 Pac-10) trailed by 15 points with 5½
minutes gone in the second half, but rallied behind the 6-foot
Bell, a junior forward who had 12 points and eight rebounds in the
"She's just one of those kids who doesn't have good knees, but
tonight they were real good for her," Washington coach June
The athletic Bell had her most recent knee surgery in September.
She played 22 minutes against Oregon, but had to come out of the
game late because she was winded.
"I think I've had about three or four surgeries," she said.
Andrea Plouffe added 13 points and Cameo Hicks 10 for the
Huskies, who trailed by nine points at halftime.
Gabrielle Richards, a 6-foot-3 sophomore center from Australia,
had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Oregon (14-11, 5-10). The Ducks
lost a golden opportunity for their first Pac-10 road win of the
The Huskies got back into the game with a 13-0 run that included
four consecutive baskets by Bell, including a 3-pointer and a
one-handed eight-footer with 8:22 to go that cut Oregon's lead to
"She was the difference tonight," Daugherty said of Bell.
"I was just trying to do what I could to bring us back," said
Bell, who has been coming off the bench this season primarily
because her knees don't allow her to stay in top condition. She
started 22 games as a sophomore.
"I haven't been very consistent," she said. "I can't practice
Washington tied the score at 51 on a 3-pointer by Plouffe with
4:03 left on the clock.
Oregon's biggest lead of the game was 15 points at 42-27 after a
3-pointer by Carolyn Ganes with 14:30 left.
The Ducks led 31-22 at halftime.
It was another disappointing road loss for the Ducks and their
coach, Bev Smith.
"That seems to be the story of our season so far," Richards
said. "It's really frustrating. In the second half when Washington
stepped it up, we didn't respond."
"It hurts, it really hurts," she said. "Our girls played
really hard tonight. They were fired up about getting a road win."
In the first half, the Ducks went on a 16-0 run after Bell
picked up a loose ball on a scramble and sank a 15-footer to put
the Huskies ahead 13-11.
Dominating Washington with their inside size, the Ducks scored
on a short hook by 6-foot-6 Jessie Shetters, a layup by Shetters, a
layup by 6-2 Kristen Forristall, an offensive rebound putback by
the 6-3 Ganes, an offensive rebound putback by Richards, a
five-foot bank shot by 6-1 Eleanor Haring and, finally, a 3-pointer
by Tamika Nurse for a 27-13 lead by Oregon with 3:59 to go.
The Huskies didn't score for nearly eight minutes until Hicks
sank two free throws with 3:49 on the clock.
Oregon beat Washington 81-73 on Jan. 21 in Eugene. The Ducks
also knocked the Huskies out of last season's Pac-10 tournament.