The first half started off rolling for Stanford, where they took advantage of the speed of their guards. The kept attacking through the pick and roll and it opened up the mid-range game for the Stanford guards. They just could not miss and they got the score up to 13-7 by the first media timeout of the game.
That continued though, the Cardinal were pushing the pace and it was not the game of the Beavers. Oregon State did not handle it well, while they did accept the pace they started to press and that caused several turnovers, which Stanford were often able to convert in transition. It was a clear part of the Cardinal game plan, to knock the Beavers off of what they like to do and try to prevent them from getting into a rhythm. They succeeded in that effort.
The only way Oregon State stayed in the first half was the play of Jamie Weisner, above, who dropped 15 points by halftime, coming off of screens and driving to the basket and also knocking down jump shots. She was the offensive engine for the Beavers who were really struggling. Ruth Hamblin was slowed by a variety of different looks getting thrown at her and she struggled to even keep the ball in the post. Wiese was slowed as well by a constant pressure starting in the backcourt and continuing with tight perimeter defense. The Cardinal were forcing the Beavers out of what they liked to do and it worked far too well.
Oregon State only ended up down 1 at the half partially thanks to the aforementioned Weisner, but Deven Hunter was also a big part, hitting several difficult layups starting from the high post. They also got hot from the outside to keep it close, hitting several shots to keep themselves in it. At the half was merely a 1 point deficit and the Beavs must have been thankful that was it considering that they were outplayed.
When the second half started it tilted back to Stanford though. They continued to create turnovers and Oregon State was beaten by their athleticism down the court. They gradually built their lead up to an 11 point advantage and the Beavers were really struggling on offense, only scoring 10 points by the 10 minute mark, leaving the score 54-43 at that point.
The Beavers turned up the energy at that point, but just could not get a shot to fall, even open ones. They kept pounding away which got them into the bonus with 8 minutes left. They could not sink the free throws however which put even more pressure on the defense. The Beaver offense continued to work, even getting good looks but they just could not get the ball to go through the net. Meanwhile Stanford just kept on adding a steady flow of points with much of it coming from sophomore Erica Mccall. The Cardinal led 56-43 with 7 minutes left and the Beavers were in hot water.
Sydney Wiese started pushing back though, driving into the lane and hitting from short range. Hamblin followed that with a quick 2 but that was all erased with a 3 point shot from the Cardinal. Scott Rueck moved to a full court press which seemed to cause a turnover, but was called a foul. They then got the ball and were called for traveling. Both calls seemed a bit questionable but the calls weren't real uneven for the entire game. On the next possession the Cardinal broke the press for an easy two, and the hope of switching the momentum back to OSU faded.
Weisner came back with a three and had a chance for another but could not put it down. The Beavers kept on getting good looks but just could not buy a bucket. The Beavers were forced into fouling to try and slow down the game, were still unable to score. Stanford earned the win and Oregon State has to wait until Saturday to try and take the outright Pac-12 crown.
This was a tough game, as Stanford really came out guns blazing and the Beavers felt tight. They were pressing on offense, especially Hamblin who was forced way out of her element. She ended with only 6 points on 3/9 shooting, and never got to the free throw line, offsetting her 12 rebounds, and 4 blocks, and she committed 4 turnovers. All of Oregon State was flummoxed though, with a collective 15 turnovers to only 14 assists, with an awful 35.8% field goal percentage. The Beavers did not execute and it let Stanford's athletic advantage shine through.
Hunter, above, had the best game of the night, with 18 points and 14 rebounds, both game highs, but Weisner, after her big 15 point first half, struggled in the second half and finished with 18.
Meanwhile the much better balanced Cardinal had 5 players in double figures, all between 11 and 13 points, led by Lili Thompson, below. Amber Orrange was held down to one first half basket, but bounced back to finish with 12.
The one good part of this is that Oregon State can still win the conference and will possibly get a second shot at Furd in the Pac-12 tournament. First they need to close out the season against California on Saturday and try and take the title for themselves and finish the regular season with a bang.