Oregon State Women Eliminated from WNIT by New Mexico

From the Oregon State official release:

RIO RANCHO, N.M. - Brittney Davis scored a team-leading 19 points, but the Oregon State women's basketball team saw its season come to an end with a 61-56 loss at New Mexico Friday night.

The Beavers end their 2008-09 campaign with a 20-12 overall record, reaching the third round of the WNIT after defeating Portland State last week.

Davis scored her last collegiate three-pointer with 7.2 seconds remaining to pull the Beavers to within three, 59-56. The shot, a running jumper from way beyond the three-point line, came just seconds after New Mexico nailed two free throws.

The Lobos, after an Oregon State foul, sealed the game with two free throws from Amy Beggin with five seconds left. The win pushed New Mexico to 25-10 this season and advanced the Lobos to a quarterfinal game Monday at home against Kansas.

The three-pointer was the third of the night for Davis, with each coming in the second half and each pulling the Beavers to within five of the Lobos. She hit one at 3:24 and 1:41 before the final one of her career. The game Friday night was also the final one for fellow seniors Tiffany Ducker and Mercedes Fox-Griffin.

Ducker was second on the team with 11 points while she grabbed seven rebounds for the Beavers, who finished with a 35-33 advantage on the boards. Kirsten Tilleman led Oregon State with 11 boards. Fox-Griffin finished with eight points and four rebounds.

Although the loss in the third round of NIT is obviously frustrating for LaVonda Wagner and her team, the team improved greatly this year. They won all of their non-conference games, nearly knocking off then-No. 1 ranked North Carolina at the beginning of the season. 

The team loses three seniors: Mercedes Fox-Griffin. Brittany Davis, and Tiffany Ducker. Davis led the team in scoring with 14.5 points per game. Fox-Griffin turned in four assists per game, and shot 90 percent from the free throw line on the season, missing only nine shots. Ducker led the team in rebounding with seven per game. All three seniors started every game for Coach Wagner.

The Beavers will return second-leading scorere Talisa Rhea to next year's team, who scored 13.5 points per game. She was the one who had the 41-point outburst against Portland in the first game of the season, and led the team in three point shooting. Freshman guard Kirsten Tilleman also returns, along with center Alex Mitchell. 

Like I said earlier, the Beavers improved by leaps and bounds this year. But Coach Wangner still doesn't think the Beavers are getting the attention they deserve, as she told Lindsey Schnell of the Oregionan a few days ago:

"The fact that we went 13-3 in Gill (Coliseum) -- and the three teams we lost to (Stanford, Arizona State and California) are in the sweet 16, that's amazing. The fact that we won 20 games for the first time in 15 years, that we tied for fourth in the (Pacific-10 Conference) without a top-tier player, that's amazing. We're not getting the respect we deserve."

The Lobos now move on to play Kansas as one of the last eight teams remaining in the WNIT.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)

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