Oregon St.'s Sage Indendi splits the UC-Davis defense for 2 of her 13 points. (AP photo)
Final Score: Oregon St. 66 UC-Davis 48
After a close second half, Oregon St. used a good shooting second half to pull away from UC-Davis to win their WNIT opening round game 66-48. The Beavers shot 62% from the field, and 50% from 3 point range, to expand on what was a 3 point game at halftime, with Oregon St. leading 23-20, to win easily. An 18-4 run over the first 7 minutes of the second half opened a 41-24 lead, and the Aggies never got the deficit down into single digits again.
Oregon St. twice opened 24 point leads, the largest of the game, with just under 5 minutes left.
The Beavers used balance, getting double digit scoring from 4 players, and also balance inside and outside, to out-distance the Aggies. 6'7" Thais Pinto came off the bench for a game high 14 points in just 18 minutes of action, while starting post Patricia Bright added 12 points. Both Pinto and Bright hit 6 of 8 shots from the floor.
To counterbalance the Oregon St. post players' production, Sage Indendi made 5 of 8 shots, including 3 out of 4 3 pointers, and finished with 13 points, while Earlysia Marchbanks added 12 more. Mollee Schweggler just missed being a fifth Beaver in double figures, with 8 points, including 2 of 3 from beyond the arc.
Overall, Oregon St. shot 54% for the game, while holding UC-Davis to only 33% shooting. The Beavers also dominated the boards, winning on the glass 36-25.
After UC-Davis made a 3 pointer on the initial shot of the game, Oregon St. answered with an 8-0 run, and opened a 10 point, 16-6 lead shortly before the midway point in the first half on a Pinto putback. The Aggies responded with a 7-0 run of their own, and eventually took a 20-19 lead 2:46 before halftime. The Beavers answered with layins by Marchbanks and Pinto for a 3 point lead at the break.
The stat that puts the inside dominance of the bigger Oregon St. players in focus is nothing short of staggering. The Beavers out-scored the Aggies in the paint 40-0. 3 pointing shooting was all that kept UC-Davis from the Big West Conference in the game.
The Aggies were led by Cortney French, who came off the bench to hit 3 3 pointers, and 9 points. No UC-Davis starter scored more than 7 points.
UC-Davis finished their season 17-13.
Oregon St. snapped a 3 game losing streak, and a stretch where they had lost 5 of their last 6 games, and improved to 19-12 for the year. The Beavers get a chance to go for 20 wins, and avenge one of their worse losses of the year Saturday night, and they will get to try to do so at home. Hopefully with more than the 800 fans that turned out on a soggy Thursday night, though the game being deep in "dead week", with finals looming next week, gives the student body a bit of a pass.
The St. Marys' Gaels (22-10, 11-5 in the West Coast Conference), 71-63 winners tonight over UNLV, will make their second trip of the year to Corvallis to take on the Beavers in the second round of the WNIT, with tipoff set for 7 PM.
The first time the Gaels blew into Corvallis, back on December 19th, for Oregon St.'s last non-conference game, they blew right by the Beavers for an 81-61 win. St. Marys' roared out to a 41-21 halftime lead, and after Oregon St. opened the second half with an 11-2 run, the Gaels gradually rebuilt the lead to 20 points on 2 different occasions.
Three point shooting will again be a factor. In the first meeting, St. Marys' shot 64% on 3 pointers, led by Jackie Nared, who hit 6 of 8 from behind the line, and posted a game high 26 points. Jasmine Smith hit 4 of 9 from 3 point range, and added 22 points.
The pair posted 22 and 21 points respectively in tonight's win over the Runnin Rebels.
And unlike UC-Davis, St. Marys can also rebound. The Gaels destroyed the Beavers 46-22 the first time around.
Ali Gibson and Marchbanks were the only Oregon St. players in double digits that night, with 14 and 11 points.