Oregon State faced California in the first round of the Pac-12 Tournament, and the Beavers were expected to cruise by a Golden Bears team that was 1-15. Cal put up quite a fight though, and the game came down to the wire. The Beavers pulled away in the final minute to take a 71-63 win, and potentially save their chance at an NCAA Tournament bid.
You could see Cal was brining their A game early in the first quarter, when Evelien Lutje Schipolt helped the Bears jump out to an early lead. Cal led for most of the first quarter, and it made it clear that the Beavers weren’t going to be able to take a game off. A late 5 point run from Talia Von Oelhoffen gave the Beavers the lead to end the first, 17-13.
The Oregon State run continued in the second, as OSU jumped out to an 11 point lead before the Bears could score. Cal hung around, with Lutje Schipolt in particular coming through with some clutch scoring, but the Beavers controlled the pace for the quarter. Just before halftime, Von Oelhoffen and Leilani McIntosh traded threes to maintain a 12 point margin for Oregon State, 39-27.
With the return from halftime, momentum swung hard toward California. The Bears managed to cut the Beaver lead to 3 points in just a couple minutes. Oregon State bounced back, with Sasha Goforth leading the way in getting the Beaver lead back up to double digits. Leilani McIntosh hit a jumper at the end of the quarter to cut the Beaver lead to 9, 56-47, headed into the fourth.
The fourth was a nail biter from buzzer to buzzer. The Beavers couldn’t seem to hit their shots, and Cal was slowly and steadily chipping away at the lead. With 5 minutes left in the game, the Beavers were up just 4, having only scored two points in the quarter. Taylor Jones broke the Beavers out of there funk, hitting a layup and some free throws.
Jones and Sasha Goforth were the heroes of the fourth, and got the Beaver lead back up to 10. Cal continued to threaten, but eventually just ran out of time, giving the Beavers a 71-63 win and a trip to round 2.
This was a star making game for Talia Von Oelhoffen, who scored 20 and hit some ridiculous shots in the win. In front of a much larger audience, she established herself as one of the conference’s premiere shooters. She also had 4 assists and 3 rebounds.
Three other Beavers hit double digits. Taylor Jones finished with 17points and 13 rebounds for a double double. Aleah Goodman added 12 points, 5 assists and 2 rebounds. Sasha Goforth rounded out the top scorers with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
The Beavers will be back in action tomorrow for their second game in the Pac-12 tournament. They’ll face Oregon for the second time in 5 days. Oregon took the first game against OSU this season back in December, 79-59, but on Sunday the Beavers took down the Ducks in Eugene 88-77. This will be one of the biggest games of the year for both teams. Tip off is set for 11:00 AM PT, and the game will be aired on the Pac-12 Networks.