The Oregon State Women’s Basketball Team won their season opener over the Cal Poly Mustangs, 79-54. We finally got to see the debut of Destiny Slocum as a Beaver, and also got some insight on how their style of play is going to be. Let’s take a look at some observations from the game.
Destiny Slocum is legit
In her first action as a Beaver, Destiny Slocum did not disappoint. She led the team with 15 points and 8 assists in 25 minutes of work. Her ball handling skills were on display with crossovers all over the court, and she showed that she’s a pretty good shooter after hitting 4-of-7 shots from downtown.
Having Slocum in the lineup allowed Mikayla Pivec to transition back to her natural off-guard role and gave her more freedom to move without the ball and attack the basket. Aleah Goodman came in off the bench as the back up point guard and had visibly improved her ball handling ability.
This team is going to play fast
Oregon State came out with essentially a four guard lineup to start the game and pace of play certainly reflected it. Joanna Grymek started at center but the rotation at the big position was rotated heavily between her, Janessa Thropay and Taya Corosdale. The general rotation of the team on the court seemed consistent and kept players fresh. In all, nine players recorded at least 10 minutes of playing time, and only one recorded over 30 (Pivec).
Speaking of Corosdale, I was surprised to see her play 24 minutes in the first game of the year after having off-season shoulder surgery. She looked like she picked up right where she left off last year, scoring 10 and grabbing seven boards.
They’re going to struggle against talented bigs
While Cal Poly’s Devin Stanback is certainly a talented player, she is not going to be anywhere near the most dangerous player the Beavers face this year. The senior forward stretched the Oregon State front-court with her ability to nail some long range jumpers, including 4-of-5 three pointers. I couldn’t help but think about how much Marie Gülich’s defense is going to be missed.
Another sign of potential defensive woes was the Beavers inability to pull away in the rebounding margin against a team like Cal Poly. They eventually finished ahead, 40-35, but it was close until the end. It’s still early in the season, so there’s time for Scott Rueck’s team to establish his feared defense.