What a game! Oregon State held on to beat the Arizona Wildcats 63-61 in Tucson, Arizona Friday night. The victory was even sweeter as #2 ranked Oregon lost to Arizona State just before OSU’s tip-off. With the top two ranked teams losing on consecutive nights (UConn on Thursday). Your Oregon State Beavers are in prime position to take over the top ranking in the nation if they can remain unbeaten before the polls are released Monday morning. Oregon State and UCLA are the last two unbeaten teams in the entire country.
Anyways back to tonight’s thrilling victory; which very much felt like an NCAA tournament-type game. The Beavers started off hot, jumping to a 7-0 lead but it would not last. Arizona battled the entire game and made life very difficult for Oregon State. Perhaps the deciding factor in tonights victory was the Beavs ability to hit shots from downtown. Oregon State hit 9 three-pointers (shooting 45%) while Arizona made just four (shooting 25%). The Beavers were also able to secure rebounds for much of the game ending with a 38-to-27 rebounding advantage.
Arizona’s defense and athletic guard play caused problems for Oregon State though. The Wildcats forced 19 turnovers (nine steals) which lead to a lot of easy transition buckets. At times Oregon State’s offense looked lost and were often forced to take bad shots as the shot-clock expired. Despite the tough defense and unfriendly road environment the Beavers persevered.
Mikayla Pivec was phenomenal recording 17 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists. She also hit the game-winning shot with just 1.4 seconds remaining. Destiny Slocum had somewhat of a quiet night and still put up 13 points and 6 assists. She also had the biggest defensive play of the game when she blocked a potential game-winning three pointer.
Taylor Jones continued her impressive freshman season, her post presence caused problems for Arizona all night. She ended up with another double-double (12 pts/11 rebs). Kat Tudor came off the bench and reached double figures including this HUGE 4-point play when the Beavers offense was struggling.
Earlier this week on the BTD podcast we talked about this team’s weaknesses and what could hold them back from winning it all. Our two biggest concerns were turnovers and depth issues. Both of those problems reared their ugly heads in this game. Oregon State only played seven players and coughed it up far too much, but through it all the Beavers were able to grind out a victory. Up next is another tough road contest against ASU who is feeling good after a big upset win. Go Beavers!