On this Groundhog Day (six more weeks of winter folks) Oregon State started their regular line up with Ruth Hamblin, Devon Hunter, Jamie Weisner, Sydney Wiese, and Ali Gibson all taking the floor to start the game at Gill Coliseum.
The game started a bit sloppy with both teams turning it over on their first possessions, but then UCLA scored first on a Jordin Canada basket. Solid Oregon State defense then helped the offense establish their inside game with Ruth Hamblin scoring the first points on two free throws. UCLA took the lead again, but OSU's size advantage in the paint continued to grab offensive rebounds leading to more Hamblin scoring.
UCLA though continued to play tough, which included an impressive falling down 3-point shot by Kari Korver, strong defense, and offensive rebounding retook a 9 to 4 lead at the 15:06 mark. Additionally 1 for 8 Oregon State shooting helped the Bruins out.
Jamie Weisner, above, broke out of the Beavs drought with back-to-back 3-point baskets to put Oregon State up 10 to 9 at the 13:56 mark (the Beavers' first lead of the game).
Weisner's spark put UCLA a bit on their heels and with the Bruins' shooting going cold Coach Rueck went to his deep Oregon State bench with Marie Gülich and Gabriella Hanson coming into the game. But both teams tempo slows down in terms of scoring until a Jordin Canada layup put the Bruins back up on the scoreboard, to be answered by two Gabriella Hanson free throws that bounced the Beavs back up 12 to 11. Sydney Wiese took advantage of another Hamblin power rebound to nail a 3-point shot to put Beavs up 15 to 11, but the UCLA's Canada cut the lead to two points with another layup.
Jamie Weisner's three point play then helped the Beavers extend out their lead to 9 points and was a key moment of the first half for Oregon State to finally start to pull away from UCLA.
The Bruins though took advantage of some bounces going their way to keep the game under a double digit lead until a Weisner 3-point shot at the 5:12 mark put the Beavs up 29 to 17. Indeed the last five minutes of the first half continued for the most in OSU's advantage, but UCLA was able to execute some solid breaking down the Beavers' defense and cut the lead to 8 points at 3:49 mark. Oregon State behind Weisner, who earned her 1000th career point at the free throw line, was able to keep their lead to 42 to 31 into the halftime.
Oregon State's first half shooting came in at 44% (14-32) from the field, 5 for 15 in 3-point shots. The Beavs made all 9 of their free throws, had 23 rebounds, and turned it over 7 times. The leading scorer for Oregon State was Jamie Weisner with 18 points and was followed by Ruth Hamblin with 8 points. UCLA shot 42% (13-31) and went 1 for 4 from the 3-point arc; they also hit 4 for 9 of their free throws, had 16 rebounds, and 7 turnovers. The Bruins were led by Jordin Canada with 12 points.
Oregon State opened the second half trying to establish their inside game, and on a nice out-of-bounds play Devon Hunter scored the first points of the half, to be followed by a Ruth Hamblin basket in the paint to put the Beavs up 46 to 31.
UCLA kept trying to chip away at the Oregon State ball handling with some cranked up defensive pressure and the Bruins were also able to work the boards with some solid rebounding, but the Bruins' aggressive play led to multiple quick fouls and Devon Hunter nailed a 3-point shot to really open the second half up for the Beavers. Oregon State was also able to recover well against the UCLA running game after Beavs' scores, which then allowed OSU to really control the clock and tempo to grind UCLA down. It was classic Rueck and Oregon State "quiet" but dominating play that all of the sudden had an opponent finding themselves down big, in this case UCLA found itself down 18 points (52 to 34) at the 15:24 mark.
"We had to do a better job in transition," Oregon St. coach Scott Rueck said. "They got to the rim a little too much for me in the first half."
In the second half Ali Gibson made her own historic OSU mark by scoring her way into the Oregon State women's basketball top ten all-time scorers list.
Oregon State was able to extend their lead to 20 points with two Ruth Hamblin free throws. From there the Beavs were able to continue their grinding down the Bruins, which allowed Rueck again to go to his bench with Samantha Siegner, Gabriella Hanson, Jen'Von'Ta Hill, and Marie Gülich all seeing solid playing time in the second half. The bench held its own and kept the Beavers' lead at or above 20 points for a good amount of the middle of the second half, including a strong Jen'Von'Ta Hill layup to put the Beavs up 68 to 46 at the 8:33 mark.
The last five minutes saw UCLA perk up a bit. This then combined with some not as sharp OSU play, which also included some referee calls that were not popular by the large Oregon State home crowd, allowing the Bruins to slightly cut into the OSU lead. The result though was not really in doubt, but Rueck did have to get some of his starters back in, such as Hamblin, to help quell the UCLA pressure that got the OSU lead down to 15 points at the 2:38 mark. In the end Oregon State still held on easily to win the game 82 to 64.
The Beavers ended the game by shooting 47% (27-58) from the field, hit 11 of their 27 three-point attempts, made 17 out of 24 free throws, grabbed 42 rebounds, and ended up with 11 turnovers. UCLA ended at 40% (24-60), made 5 for 12 three-pointers, hit 11 of 20 free throws, had 32 rebounds, and had 10 turnovers.
The leading scorers were Jamie Weisner with 18 points and Ruth Hamblin with 15 points for Oregon State (five Beavers finished in double digits). Hamblin, above, had a double double, with a game high 12 rebounds, as the Beavers out-boarded the Bruins by 10, and Wiese just missed a double double of a different kind, with 13 points on 4 of 8 3 point shooting, and 9 assists.
UCLA leading scorers were Jordin Canada with 19 points, and Nirra Fields and Kari Korver both had 11 points each.
It was not the most "flashy" of games for the Beavers, but it was a solid overall performance that saw Oregon State control the paint and create a rebounding advantage. Indeed UCLA did not play a terrible game overall, it again was a testament to Coach Rueck's team depth as the Beavers were able to grind down another opponent.
It was particularly good to see Wiese, above, who was all over the floor, snap out of what has been something of a slump of late.
Oregon State improved their undefeated Pac-12 record to 10 wins and the Beavers are also 20 and 1 overall. With the win, Oregon St. completed their first ever regular season 4 game sweep of the LA schools. 2,636 fans turned out for the Monday night contest for the Beavs, who lead the conference in attendance for women's basketball, though they are averaging well over 3K for the season.
The Beavers next will hit the road for a tough trip against the Washington schools, starting with a match up against the Washington Huskies Friday evening at 7:00pm. UCLA drops to 4 and 6 in the Pac and 8 and 13 overall, and hosts Colorado Friday evening.