After struggling in the first half, the 17th ranked Beavers took control in the third quarter to defeat the Washington Huskies 75-63 in their first conference game of the season. The win, Oregon State’s seventh in a row, brings the team to 10-2, while the Huskies fall to 6-6.
Oregon State was heavily favored, but for a time, the result was in doubt. Washington brought a full court press early and often in an attempt to keep the Beavers off their rhythm and to force turnovers, and for a time, it worked. Oregon State committed 11 turnovers in the first half, and their sloppy play led to a 36-30 deficit as they entered the locker room.
The second half was the game everyone was expecting to get. Oregon State finally found a way to play their game in the face of the Washington press, and cut down on turnovers and mental missteps. Oregon State quickly erased the Huskies’ lead, and started piling on. By the time the third quarter ended, the Beavers had built a 15 point lead that Washington would never come close to matching.
Gülich was the engine that drove the comeback. After halftime, the Beavers locked down their ball movement; moving the ball around the arc and waiting until Washington left them with either an open shooter or a passing lane to Gülich. And when the ball got in her hands, Gülich was almost unstoppable. She scored 24 points, only missing one field goal the entire game. To that, she added 12 rebounds and 7 blocks, dominating defensively as well as offensively.
Kat Tudor was the other primary offensive weapon for the Beavers today, and her clutch three point shooting in the first half kept the Beavers in the game at a time Washington was in danger of running away with it. Tudor finished with 17 points, 1 assist, and 3 rebounds.
Mikayla Pivec, normally one of the Beavers’ top scorers, had a rough first half, but rebounded in the second. Pivec scored no points until the third quarter, but then her shots began to drop, and she finished strong with 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists.
The Washington offense was led by Amber Melgoza. She was the main threat during Washington’s early game run, scoring 15 points in the first half. The Beavers managed to shut her down in the second however, she would only add 4 more points, all free throws, during the rest of the game. She finished with 19 points, 2 assists, and 2 rebounds. The Huskies only other double digit scorer was Mai-Loni Henson, who contributed 13 points, 7 rebounds, and 3 assists.
Oregon State takes on the Huskies in state rival, the Washington State Cougars, in there next game at Gill Coliseum on Sunday, December 29th. Tip off is at 11:00 AM.
Washington will look to get their first conference win at 10th ranked Oregon next Tuesday, December 31st.