Beavers Split Washington Trip, Ending Losing Streak, But Still Finish Last In Pac-10

Oregon St. dropped a 67-49 decision to Washington Friday night at Bank of America Arena in Seattle, but finally broke their 16 game Pac-10 losing streak, and 17 game overall slide, with a 50-45 win at Washington St.

Despite the win over the only conference team they have beaten this year, on New Year's day, the Beavers didn't catch Washington St. to climb out of the cellar, and will face Washington again Thursday evening at 8:15 in the Galen Center in Los Angeles in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament.

Talisa Rhea led Oregon St. against the Huskies with 12 points, and Haiden Palmer added 10, but a lack of depth, and a second half shooting collapse allowed Washington to pull away from what was a close game in the first half.

The differential was never more than six points, and there were seven ties in the first half, and Oregon St. held a 33-32 lead at the break.

But Washington dominated the second half, shooting 52% from the floor, while Oregon St. made only five shots, and was 20% on 5 of 25 shots. The Beavers were also only 2 of 17 from three point range.

Washington was led by Sami Whitcomb's 14 points, while Kristi Kingma added 11, and Laura McLellan came off the bench with 12 points.

The Beavers got only nine points from their bench.

Saturday's regular season finale was the opposite, as Oregon St. rallied from five down at halftime to pick up their tenth win of the season in Pullman.

The Beavers overcame a horrendous 17% shooting average in the first half by hitting 50% of their shots in the second half, while the Oregon St. defense held the Cougars to 25% shooting for the game.

Kirsten Tilleman came thru with a double double for Oregon St., ten points, and fourteen rebounds, to about offset Katie Madison's 13 point, 11 rebound double double for Washington St.

Julie Futch led the Beavers with 13 points, matching April Cooks' 13 for the Cougars.

Futch scored eight straight points early in the second half to give Oregon St. the lead for good, and Anita Burdick extended the run to 12-0 with a pair of baskets, as the Beavers surged to a 33-26 lead four and a half minutes into the second half.

Futch and Burdick are both seniors, playing their last regular season games for Oregon St.

Rhea's jumper opened Oregon St.'s largest lead of the game, nine points with 8:31 left, putting the Beavers ahead 41-32. The Cougars ran off six straight points, but never got closer than three points on two occasions.

The opening of the Pac-10 tournament, and the bottom of the conference standings, gives one an idea of the overall state of womens' hoops, and recruiting for the womens' hoops programs, in the northwest. Three of the four teams are in the play-in games, and Oregon just escaped, posting a sixth place conference finish.

Oregon St. (10-19, 2-16) managed one more win than coach LaVonda Wagner's 9-19 low-point in 2006-07, her second season with the Beavers, but experienced their worst conference season under Wagner, with two wins being half of the 2007 and 2008 win totals.

The Beavers face a Husky squad (13-16, 7-11) that defeated them 69-64 in their first meeting in Corvallis, and is on a three game winning streak, after downing Oregon 62-53 Sunday.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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