After a tough loss against Stanford on Friday, the Oregon State Women’s team got to play exactly their kind of game on Sunday, and came out with a big 68-48 win over California. The Beavers are now 17-6, and 8-4 in PAC-12 play. The victory keeps them in the thick of what is suddenly a very competitive PAC-12 race, as conference leader Oregon lost in a big game against Stanford this weekend. Cal meanwhile falls to 15-8, and 6-6 in the conference.
Cal knew what they had to do to win this game; early on they tried to lock down Marie Gulich, often double teaming her. Unfortunately for the Golden Bears, this created other openings around the court, which the Beaver backcourt, especially Katie McWilliams, were able to exploit. Behind some strong early three point shooting, the Beavers had a 36-17 half point lead.
As the second half started, Cal adjusted its defense to handle Oregon State’s perimeter, but that allowed Marie Gulich to find some openings. After a slow start, Gulich finished the night with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 blocks. Gulich didn’t just provide a great deal of scoring as the game went on, her ability to grab offensive rebounds helped the team eat the clock and kill any potential California momentum as the game went on.
Mikayla Pivec was the other defensive standout for the Beavers. While she only had 4 points, she grabbed 13 rebounds and helped shutdown the Cal guards, none of whom reached double digits in scoring.
McWilliams was the other major offensive threat for the night, finishing with 19 points and 4 assists. Cal has struggled to defend the three all season, and McWilliams was the biggest beneficiary tonight, going three out of four from behind the arc.
Cal’s leading scorer, and their only player who hit double digits tonight, was forward Kristine Anigwe, who finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Anigwe was matched up with Gulich for most of the night, and was able to keep up at first. As the game went on and Cal was forced to handle other threats, Gulich was able to find her way around Anigwe, while limiting Anigwe’s offensive contributions.
Cal will look to get back on track after their losses to both Oregon schools with a pair of home games against Colorado and Utah.
Oregon State’s next set of games will take them north; they play Washington State February 9th, and Washington February 11th. Both Washington schools have struggled this season, and both have already lost at Gill. A couple of big road wins could give the Beavers some good momentum as the season enters its final stretch.