It was a rematch of Oregon State's opening Pac-12 game, in which the Beavs on the road defeated USC 57 to 49. In that game it featured a strong OSU defensive performance, which in a harbinger of the season saw the Beavers hold USC to 29.3% from the field. It was also a game without Sydney Wiese who had injured her hand two games earlier.
In this match up #7 Oregon State (22-3, 13-1) was coming in with a share of the conference led with Arizona State, and with Sydney Wiese back in the starting line up. USC (18-8, 6-8) was coming in with a bit more of a disappointing conference season, but even so the Trojans' have been a team to match up strongly against Scott Rueck's Oregon State teams and the Trojans were still playing with NCAA Tournament hopes on the line.
Oregon State jumped out for the first five points of the game, but USC was able to cut the lead to 5 to 4 before the Beavs were able to go back up 9 to 5 at the 4:01 mark behind two Sydney Wiese free throws. The Trojans behind some tough rebounding tied up the game at 9 apiece, which was the ending score in a poorly played quarter by both teams (or if framed differently maybe it was a well played defensive quarter).
The second quarter did not start out well for the Beavers as USC was able to take a 13 to 9 lead before Oregon State was finally able to answer behind a Deven Hunter 3-pointer, which was followed by a Sydney Wiese 3-pointer that gave OSU back the lead, 15 to 13. USC again was able to chip away at the lead by getting to the foul line, and at the 4:41 mark in the quarter the Trojans were able to tie up the game again at 19 to 19. Gabriella Hanson's strong play on both defense and offense helped Oregon State end an overall ugly half with a 29 to 23 lead.
The halftime stats had Oregon State shooting just 9 for 29 (31%) from the field, making 4 for 10 of their 3-point attempts, converting 7 of their 8 free throws; and the Beavs had 19 rebounds and turned it over 7 times. USC also struggled from the field hitting only 9 of their 31 field goal attempts (29%), including missing their one 3-point attempt, but did convert 5 of 5 free throws. The Trojans rebounded well with 23 boards, and turned it over 8 times.
The leading scorers for the half were Oregon State's Sydney Wiese with 9 points, and Gabriella Hanson, above, had a strong start to the game, with 8 points (Jamie Weisner had no baskets in the first half and had only two points off free throws), and for USC Alexis Lloyd had 7 points.
Gabby Hanson started out the second half where she left off in the first half and scored the first basket of the third quarter. Then Sydney Wiese nailed a 3-pointer to up the Beavers' lead to 34 to 23. Next to score was Jamie Weisner for her first basket of the game, that also was a three point play, to put the Beavs up 37 to 23 at the 7:57 mark.
Weisner, above, then went off in the quarter with 16 points, and the overall stronger offensive play continued for Oregon State as the Beavers closed out an impressive third quarter with a 56 to 35 lead (outscoring the Trojans 27 to 12 in the quarter).
In the fourth quarter Scott Rueck was able to go his bench, with Taylor Kalmer, Katie McWilliams, Marie Gülich, Samantha Siegner, Kolbie Orum, Jen'Von'Ta Hill, and Breanna Brown all getting playing time. Senior forward Siegner played with energy in her second to last regular season game at Gill Coliseum and scored five points. The bench was able to close the deal as Oregon State went on to win the game 76 to 52.
The final numbers had Oregon State shooting 27 for 57 (47%) from the floor, which included hitting 7 of their 18 three-point shots. The Beavs also converted 15 of their 17 free throws. Additionally OSU grabbed 44 rebounds, as they turned the battle on the boards over by a margin of +19 after the break, and turned it over 15 times. USC ended the game going 17 for 63 (27%) from the field, and only made 2 of 7 from behind the 3-point arc. The Trojans hit 16 of 20 free throws, grabbed 35 rebounds, and had 11 turnovers.
Jamie Weisner led the Oregon State, and all scorers with 18 points, followed by Sydney Wiese with 14 points, and Gabriella Hanson and Taylor Kalmer both had 10 points. It equaled Kalmer's career high.
Wiese, above, just missed a double double, with 9 rebounds.
"In the first half, our shots weren't falling, but our defense wasn't what it has been either," Wiese said. "It wasn't as 'gritty'. In the second half we had to just get after them a little sooner (in the possession). And then our shots started to fall in the second half."
Ruth Hamblin, above, only scored 6 points, but contributed a game high 13 rebounds, and had 5 of the Beavers' 10 total blocked shots. USC was led by Aliyah Mazyck with 17 points and Alexis Lloyd had 10 points.
Oregon State next goes up against the #12 UCLA Bruins (20-6, 12-3) who squeaked out a 77 to 72 victory over Oregon in Eugene. It will be a high energy Sunday 6:00pm evening game as Oregon State will also celebrate senior day, and the Beavs will be looking for payback over the team that handed them their only conference loss, 71-51, back in early January.
(Photos by Andy Wooldridge)