Arrow-right Camera

Sports

Savasta’s Free Throws Lift UW

Sun., March 19, 1995

Laure Savasta had more to celebrate than her 21st birthday Saturday. Her free-throw shooting earned the Washington Huskies a trip to Knoxville.

Savasta made six free throws in the final 20 seconds as No. 14 Washington held off No. 15 Arkansas 54-50 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

“I was very happy they fouled Laure Savasta,” Washington coach Chris Gobrecht said. “We tried very hard to keep the ball in her hands - it wasn’t coincidental.”

Dreams of advancing to the Mideast Regional in Knoxville, Tenn., motivated Savasta, a native of France playing her first year in America.

“In my mind I had to make those shots for the team, for us to get to Tennessee,” Savasta said.

The Huskies advance to face No. 5 Texas Tech on Thursday night. The Lady Raiders, who won the NCAA title in 1993, beat Wisconsin 88-65 Saturday.

Savasta came off the bench to score 16 points and hit all eight of her free-throw attempts in the game. The rest of the team was just 3 for 13 from the free-throw line.

Christy Smith’s 3-pointer from the top of the key cut Washington’s lead to two points with 3 seconds remaining, but Savasta hit both ends of a 1-and-1 to secure the win for the Huskies.

Washington of the Pacific-10 Conference (25-8) led the entire game and held the Lady Razorbacks to a season-low in points.

Rhonda Smith, the career scoring leader for Washington, scored 11 of her 14 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds.

“We knew we needed to attack their zone better in the second half and really get after them,” Smith said. “When our guards started to penetrate, it really opened things up.”

Arkansas of the Southeastern Conference (23-7) shot just 34 percent for the game and went to the free-throw line just four times, making two.

Christy Smith finished with 14 points for Arkansas.

Washington’s full-court pressure defense forced 23 turnovers, nine by Christy Smith.

Washington 54, Arkansas 50

ARKANSAS (23-7)

Jones 5-9 2-5 12, Johnson 2-9 1-2 5, Bloomer 6-10 0-0 12 Smith 3-16 7-8 14, Twiggs 1-4 0-0 2, Wilson 2-7 0-0 5, Christensen 0-0 0-0 0 Roberson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-56 10-15 50.

WASHINGTON (28-4)

Wuschnig 4-11 0-2 8, Lewis 3-6 0-2 6, Smith 6-13 2-5 14, Foucade 2-6 0-1 5, Kelly 0-3 0-1 0, Savasta 4-8 8-8 16, Pelz 1-6 1-2 3, Perkins 1-2 0-0 2, Niemela 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-55 11-21 54.

Halftime-Washington 23, Arkansas 18. 3-point goals- Arkansas 2-4 (Smith 1-1, Wilson 1-3), Washington 1-10 (Foucade 1-3, Wuschnig 0-3, Kelly 0-3, Savasta 0-1). Fouled out-Bloomer. Rebounds-Arkansas 39 (Jones, Johnson 8), Washington 38 (Smith 10). Assists-Arkansas 7 (Twiggs 3), Washington 13 (Smith, Kelly, Savasta 3). Total fouls-Arkansas 21, Washington 16. A-4,597.



Click here to comment on this story »