Some days you’re the nail, some days you’re Marie Gulich. The senior forward hammered her way to a season high 36 points, including 30 in the second half, to lead Oregon State past Arizona State, 64-60. The win in the regular season finale locks up the number three seed for the Beavers in the upcoming Pac-12 Tournament.
Oregon State got off the a rough start with five turnovers in the first five minutes which gave Arizona State a quick 8-2 lead by the first TV timeout. Things didn’t start any better in the second quarter as Arizona State built a 13 point lead with 6:53 left. A 7-2 run punctuated by a Katie McWilliams three point brought the deficit to eight, but an officials’ review of a Gulich elbow (she was found innocent) zapped the momentum from the play.
Facing a 32-22 deficit going into halftime, the Beavers needed to clean up the miscues. They had 10 turnovers leading to 10 Sun Devil Points, and gave up seven offensive rebounds that led to 9 second chance points.
The third quarter made the difference for the Beavers. An 8-2 run brought the score to 34-30 and forced an ASU timeout just 3 minutes into the second half. Out of the timeout McWilliams hit another three to pull it within one. Pivec eventually got the team the lead with a minute left in the quarter with a tough close range shot. The quarter finished 23-11 in favor of the visiting team.
Gulich went hammer in the fourth, hitting four straight buckets to start the quarter. She was clutch at the foul line, going 4-of-4, as she wasn’t impressed with Arizona State’s “Curtain of Distraction” which even featured a duck and beaver making out. Down the stretch, McWilliams hit two crucial free-throws with 13 seconds left while Arizona State’s Kiara Russell could not connect from the charity strip or on a lay-in.
“Das Hammer” finished 16-of-18 overall with six rebounds, one block, and one assist. She was aided by McWilliams who continued her Swiss-Army knife ways with 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, one block, and one steal. Pivec also chipped in nine points, seven boards, three assists, one block, and one steal. Oregon State cleaned up the turnovers in the second half, finishing with 15 total. They hit 61% of their shots for the game while holding the Sun Devils to 37%. Arizona State was led by Robbie Ryan and Sophia Elenga who each had 13 points.
The Beavers will look forward to a first round bye in the upcoming Pac-12 Women’s Basketball Tournament. The action will start Thursday, so Oregon State’s next game won’t be until Friday against the winner of the 6 versus 11 game. Go Beavers!