After two non-conference wins over Montana Western and San Francisco, the 17th ranked Beavers opened up Pac-12 play by welcoming the Colorado Buffaloes to Corvallis. While the Buffs put up a fight early, Oregon State took control in the second half for a 70-53 win, moving the team to 3-0 this season. Sunday’s game also gave us our best look yet at what a very different Beavers team will be this season.
After the departures of guards Mikayla Pivec and Destiny Slocum, speculation went that OSU would shift to a more forward focused game plan, centered around Taylor Jones and Kennedy Brown. That hasn’t been the case so far, with the guards, Aleah Goodman in particular tonight, still dominating games.
Three point shooting from Goodman and Ellie Mack built an early lead for the Beavers, and despite Mya Hollingshead doing her best to keep the Buffaloes in the game, they never grabbed a lead, and were rarely within a single score. At the half, the Beavers led 34-26, but when the third quarter started, the guard unit looked unstoppable. Goodman, Goforth and Mack were simply unstoppable, from behind the arc, in the key or at the foul line, and the game quickly got out of hand, with the Beavers up 17 at the end of the third.
Things slowed a bit in the fourth, as the Beavers moved to a more defensive pace, but the 17 point margin would hold, with 70-53 being your final. The Beavers start conference play 1-0, and are 3-0 overall.
Goodman started dominant and finished dominant, scoring 24 points tonight. She hit a three in the opening lead to give the Beavers their first lead of the game. She had 15 points in the first half to establish the Beavers, and was especially dangerous behind the three point line, where she was 4-8 on the night.
When the Beavers recruited Sasha Goforth, many expected her to be one of the team’s next stars, and so far she hasn’t disappointed. While she didn’t match Goodman tonight, she still put in a solid 11 points. Ellie Mack also added 11 points, and like Goodman was a dangerous three point shooter, going 3-6.
Taylor Jones had a subdued night, with her game time limited after getting into foul trouble early. She finished with only three points, but had a good night on the boards, grabbing 7 rebounds.
There’s no word yet on when Jones’s fellow sophomore forward Kennedy Brown will be able to return to the team, after an ACL injury last spring, but veteran Taya Corosdale has continued to perform well in the final starting spot. Corosdale had 4 points, 5 assists and 7 rebounds tonight. Off the bench, Jasmine Simmons continues to be a strong performer, with 7 points tonight, and Jelena Mitrovic is an excellent defender, with 12 rebounds and 3 blocks.
The Beavers are back in action Tuesday, when Utah comes to Corvallis. Then, the biggest test of the season happens Friday night, when the #10 Oregon ducks come to town.