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Oregon State Women’s Basketball: Utah State Preview

The Beavers continue to climb up the rankings, but could the Aggies pull off an upset?

Washington v Utah State Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Utah State Aggies (3-6)

  • Head Coach: Ben Finkbeiner (Interim, 1st Season)
  • Top Performer: Steph Gorman (14.0 PPG, 4.6 RPG)
  • Points For: 60.0 PPG
  • Points Against: 71.2 PPG
  • Last Game/Streak: 76-74 Loss vs Fresno State/2 Losses in a Row
  • Conference Affiliation: Mountain West

The Skinny

Oregon State continues to climb up the rankings, reaching fourth in both the AP and Coaches Polls this week. They’re also ranked first in the nation in RPI, and are the only team who’s has beaten the current number 2 in the rankings, Missouri State.

It’ll be hard to climb much further in the rankings unless Stanford, UConn or Oregon slip up. They don’t have another marquee game against a ranked opponent until Pac-12 play begins. For now, they’ve just got to sit tight and win all of the games they’re supposed to win. First up: Utah State.

The Aggies have had a surprisingly eventful season so far. On the eve of starting his ninth season as the team’s Head Coach, Jerry Finkbeiner announced he would be stepping down due to health concerns. His son, Associate Head Coach Ben Finkbeiner, has been named interim Head Coach.

Utah State’s grabbed a couple wins so far, but has looked overwhelmed in many of their games. Five of their six losses came by double digits, and they lost to Oregon by over 50 points. Now no one expects Utah State to beat Oregon, but the Beavers are on a similar level of skill, which portends bad things for the Aggies.

Utah State’s leading scorer is Sophomore Guard Steph Gorman. Gorman has 14.0 points per game, and leads the team threes, hitting them at a .329 percentage. Her fellow Guard, Senior Lindsey Jensen-Baker, is the team’s next best scorer, with 13.1 points per game, though she doesn’t have as good a perimeter shot as Gorman, only hitting .297 of her three attempts.

It’s going to be hard for this unit to match up with Oregon State’s guards. Mikayla Pivec, Destiny Slocum and Aleah Goodman are some of the best shooters in the country, and the Aggies have been giving up a good amount of threes, 8.2 a game. Utah State has also not generated a ton of turnovers, which has been the key to playing the Beavers competitively in the past.

In the front court, Senior Forward Hailey Bassett is one of the team’s better defensive players. She leads the team in rebounding, with 6.2 per game, and also has 15 blocks. She’s the player most likely to be tasked with trying to control Taylor Jones, which is going to be difficult.

Player to Watch

Steph Gorman - Sophomore Guard

If the Aggies are going to compete with the Beavers, they’re going to need to able to match the Beavers shooting. Gorman is their best shot at that, and if she can also generate some turnovers that could put a bit of a brake on the Beavers’’ offense. If the Aggies can’t find a way to slow down Oregon State, things are going to get out of hand quickly.

Game Info

  • Date: Saturday, December 14th
  • Time: 7:30 PM PT
  • Location: Gill Coliseum (Corvallis, OR)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Networks

The team is hosting a holiday toy drive for this. If you bring a toy to donate, you can get a ticket for $6. So why not grab a transformer or some legos or whatever kids like these days and get in to the game a little cheaper.