The OSU women's basketball team returned to action Saturday afternoon after a nine-day break, cruising to a 69-44 victory over the Idaho Vandals. Besides a funky second quarter, the Beavers controlled much of the game. The win was their seventh straight, and they have now won 31 of their last 34 home games.
Guard Sydney Wiese made history in the game when she reached the 1,000 point career mark. She became the 19th player in OSU history to reach that milestone after she drained two free throws with !:05 remaining in the fourth quarter. She immediately checked out of the game to a roaring applause from the fans at Gill Coliseum. Wiese was the leading scorer, finishing with a double-double on 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The #7 Beavers (7-0) were able to secure the win despite an off-game from guard Jamie Weisner. Weisner, who was averaging 21.2 points per game going into today's game, finished with seven points on 1-7 shooting.
The performance came on an afternoon when everyone struggled shooting, as the Beavers finished with 39.7 shooting from the field as a team. Luckily, the OSU defense more than made up for all of the bricks that were heaved up.
OSU took an early 9-0 lead thanks to stifling defense and a couple of threes from Gabby Hanson, above, and Wiese.
The Vandals (7-2) were held to 0-9 shooting early in the first quarter before they called timeout. They ended the first quarter 2-20, which can be partially attributed to the solid defense provided by Marie Gülich off the bench for the Beavers. Gülich pitched in two emphatic blocks in the first quarter, helping the Beavers keep their lead while Hamblin rested on the bench.
Hanson led the charge offensively with all of her 10 points in the game in the first quarter, on two three-pointers on 4-7 shooting as the Beavers took a 20-4 lead to the second quarter. She did not score again for the rest of the game, but thanks to the team performance as a whole, she did not have to.
The Vandals looked like a different squad in the second quarter, kicking it off with a 9-2 run to put the score at 22-13 before OSU had to call a timeout of their own. It was not any prettier after that, with Idaho continually chipping away at the OSU lead while the Beavers struggled to gain any traction on offense. Despite the Beavers' size inside, they kept settling for contested mid-range jumpers, a shot that was not falling with much success.
Despite being outscored 20-13 in the second quarter by the Vandals, OSU still took a reasonably comfortable 33-24 lead into halftime. The second quarter proved to be an anomaly, as the Beavers regrouped at halftime and regained form when they hit the floor again.
The Beavers opened the second half with a more effective offensive strategy, feeding Ruth Hamblin, above, in the paint for two quick field goals to start the half. Looking rejuvenated on both sides of the ball, they dominated and all but put the game away in the third quarter with a 53-29 lead.
Wiese wound up with a 16 point, 10 rebound double double, but most of her points came relatively late in the game, when she decided to get the 1,000 point mark. Hamblin had 9 points, but also a game high 13 rebounds.
The real story of the game was the effectiveness of OSU's defense. Idaho finished with 13-64 shooting, which was good for 20.3 percent for the entire game. They had trouble finding any cracks to slip through, and their inability to score allowed the Beavers to get an easy win without any huge offensive performances.
Only Taylor Pierce, who came off the Idaho bench to hit 4 of 5 shots, including 3 of 4 3s, was in double digits for the Vandals. Geraldine McCorkel added 8 for Idaho, but was the only other Vandal with more than 5 points.
The OSU women's basketball team will next host CSU Bakersfield at Gill on Tuesday at 11:00 am. After that, they will get a chance to rematch Tennessee at home on Saturday, Dec. 19 as they hope to avenge last year's 74-63 loss to the Lady Vols.