The 9th ranked Oregon State Beavers win in a much closer than expected ugly game against the Washington State Cougars, to go to 11 and 1 in conference play.
The Oregon State Beavers (19-3, 10-1) were coming in to this match up with a share of the Pac-12 conference lead with Arizona State, and were coming off a solid 61 to 53 win over the #24 Washington Huskies. It has been a tougher season for the Washington State Cougars (12-10, 3-8), including the most recent 73 to 48 blowout loss to Oregon. But as this morning match up progressed one would not have guessed at the possible imbalance of talent coming in.
"This game was a mess. We love adversity, apparently." - Sydney Wiese
The game started fast, and well for the Beavers who behind a Ruth Hamblin post play and a Sydney Wiese 3-pointer scored the first five points. Things then started to bode ill for the Beavers as the scoring cooled off for both teams. The defenses for both teams took over the game, and especially Oregon State’s stellar defense which stifled Washington State throughout the opening minutes as WSU finally scored its first basket at the 7:31 mark.
Washington State though did play solid defense of their own, and Oregon State went cold from the field, including only hitting 2 of 8 of their 3-point attempts in the first quarter. Additionally the Beavs turned it over five times in the opening quarter. But with WSU shooting a dismal 4 for 17 from the field in the first it was the Oregon State lack of offensive productivity that allowed the Cougars to keep pace early on. All of which translated into a sloppy first quarter that ended in the Beavs’ favor 12 to 8.
The sloppy play continued in the second quarter as both teams exchanged offensive fouls and turnovers. Oregon State’s offense overall looked as if they left it in Seattle Friday night, which allowed WSU to hang around and build confidence as the game got deeper into the second quarter. As such the Cougars were able to take their first lead, 15 to 14, behind a Pinelop Paulopou 3-point basket at the 6:55 mark.
It was easily Oregon State’s worse half of basketball this season, but on the bright side the Beavers defense allowed them to at least go into the halftime break only down 22 to 24.
"Physical fatigue was not a thing for us, even with 3 games in a week, but mentally it was. You never know what to expect from Washington State. I had too many turnovers, but I had to take a more aggressive approach." - Sydney Wiese
Indeed the first half stats told the story of the struggles for Oregon State as the Beavs only made 8 of their 24 shots from the field (33%), which included only making 3 of 11 three-point baskets. Oregon State did convert 3 of their 4 free throws and had 19 rebounds, but at the same time the Beavers had a whooping 11 first half turnovers. But again the OSU defense was able to hold Washington State to 11 for 31 field goals (35%), including 2 for 6 three-pointers, and the Cougars did not attempt a free throw. WSU had 16 rebounds and 6 turnovers.
Oregon State’s first half leading scorer was Ruth Hamblin with 8 points, followed by Jamie Weisner with 6 points. Washington State was lead by Borislava Hristova with 9 points.
The third quarter was not much better, even with what looked to be a promising start with Oregon State establishing Ruth Hamblin for a quick score to tie the game at 24 apiece. A couple of Gabriella Hanson layups then allowed OSU to take a 28 to 25 lead at the 8:28 mark of the third quarter. But then the Beavs went ice-cold again from the field, and an over eight minute scoring drought allowed Washington State to go into the fourth quarter with a 34 to 28 lead over the ninth ranked team in the country.
Early in the fourth the depth and experience of Oregon State did start to finally establish itself by forcing WSU turnovers and collecting key offensive rebounds, and behind a Sydney Wiese 3-pointer the Beavs were able climb to within one point at the 7:55 mark. Finally a layup by Hamblin gave Oregon State a lead at the 5:57 mark, but Washington State, with their hang around confidence, was able to answer regaining a slim one point lead.
It then became all about Wiese who took control of things for the Beavs scoring the next five Beaver points, which helped OSU slowly build on their lead going into the final minutes of the game. And behind a clutch Wiese 3-pointer the Beavs put themselves finally in a comfortable 48 to 42 advantage, which was huge, as WSU did not go away quietly. In the end of an ugly game the Beavers were able to come out with a 54 to 45 win to go to 11 and 1 in conference play.
Again the stats told the story as the Beavs only shot 18 for 51 (35%), including 6 for 19 three-pointers (four of which came from Sydney Wiese), and OSU was able to get some important points from the foul line converting 12 for 18 free throws. Oregon State outrebounded WSU 43 to 31, but again turnovers were huge as the Beavs almost threw this game away with 17 turnovers to the Cougars’ 11. The Oregon State defense though was the difference in holding Washington State to 18 for 57 (32%) field goals, which included 4 for 9 three-pointers, and WSU hit 5 of their 6 free throws.
The leading scorers for the game were Ruth Hamblin with 17 points and Sydney Wiese with 16 points on the Oregon State side. Washington State’s Borislava Hristova led all scorers with 22 points.
The game was brutal overall, and Oregon State was a bit lucky to tap into its experience at the end to win the game. But when all is said and done it was another win, their 10th in a row, and an important conference win for the team; who will come home for a four game home stand starting with a match up against the Colorado Buffaloes this Friday evening at 7:30pm PT.