Oregon State entered the day with a goal to “send a message”, in the words of coach Scott Rueck. After a first round win over Long Beach State that was a little too close for comfort, the Beavers came out looking for a more decisive victory over seven seed Creighton in Gill Coliseum. They did just that and won by a score of 62-54 behind a double double (12 points, 12 rebounds) from Gulich and 13 points each from Wiese and Hanson.
Creighton, a typically strong shooting team, fell victim to a great defensive performance by the Beavers. While the Blue Jays typically average 8 three pointers per game, they made just 2 on Sunday night and shot 36.7% from the floor. Where the Beavers also shined was on the boards, out-rebounding Creighton 45-32.
Here’s how it all went down in front of a home crowd in Corvallis:
OSU jumped out to a 17-10 lead in the first quarter. Gulich got hot right away and it became clear that the height advantage of OSU was going to be a problem for Creighton.
Sydney Wiese, as she’s prone to be, was a spark plug in the second with 6 points, a block, an assist, and four rebounds. At the half, the Beavs held a 39-27 lead.
Sydney Lamberty took charge for Creighton and tried to get the Blue Jays going. The rest of the team couldn’t follow suit against some solid OSU defense, particularly on the perimeter. Lambert finished the game as the leading scorer with 19. But, Oregon State finished the quarter with a solid ten point lead, 52-42.
Creighton did not go quietly, cutting OSU’s lead to six with 6:32 left to play. Rueck promptly called a timeout and reminded his team what they were there to do: send a message. The Beaver front court dominated down low, as they did for most of the game, and helped to rebuild the lead to 12 by the end of the game.
Looking ahead, Oregon State now heads to Stockton, California, to face three seed Florida State on Saturday, March 25th. The start time is TBD. The Stockton region also includes one seed South Carolina and the winner of Monday’s Miami vs Quinnipiac game. FSU, who finished the regular season as the #10 team in the AP poll and made short work of Western Illinois and Missouri in the first two rounds. They should prove to be a tough match-up for the Beavers as they go for another Elite Eight trip.