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Oregon State WBB: OSU Comeback Falls Short In 75-73 Loss To Utah

A huge fourth quarter comeback gave the Beavers a chance in overtime, but they couldn’t secure the win.

NCAA Womens Basketball: Oregon St. at Stanford Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State once again found themselves down big early Friday night, and despite an amazing comeback in the fourth quarter that pushed the game into overtime, the Beavers were unable to pull off the upset against 7th ranked Utah. The Utes prevailed 75-73, improving their record to 19-2 overall and 9-2 in the conference. The Beavers fall to 11-11 and 3-8 in the Pac-12.

Oregon State struggled to hit their shots early, giving the Utes an opportunity to build a solid early lead. Rebounding was an early strength for Utah, who managed to turn several offensive rebounds into scoring opportunities. The Beavers only scored 9 in the first quarter, while Utah put up 22, giving them a solid early lead that they would hang on to for most of the game.

The Utes expanded their lead early in the second quarter, going up by as much as 18 with less than five minutes left in the half. That was the point when Oregon State finally found a shooting rhythm, with Talia von Oelhoffen leading the way for the Beavers. Oregon State found themselves down by 11, 38-27, at the half. Still a large margin, but there was life in the Beavers.

Utah seemed to reassert themselves in the third, holding onto their double digit lead for most of the quarter. With just over 2 minutes left in the period, Talia von Oelhoffen sparked a Beaver run with a pair of back to back threes. She closed off the quarter with a driving layup that cut the Utah lead to just 8, 54-46.

Utah managed to get that lead back up to 15 in the early minutes of the fourth quarter, but the Beavers wouldn’t quit. Bendu Yeaney was phenomenal down the stretch, coming up with clutch steals and some amazing shooting to keep Oregon State in the game.

With four and half minutes left in the game, a Jelena Mitrovic layup got the Utah lead back under 10, and she added one more with a free throw. Utah’s Alissa Pili hit a three, but was matched by Adlee Blacklock, and then a Bendu Yeaney three got the OSU deficit down to four. Pili hit a layup, but that was countered by a Yeaney layup after a steal. Talia von Oelhoffen then hit a jumper, and the comeback was capped by a Timea Gardiner layup to tie the game with 10 seconds left.

Oregon State found themselves with the ball with 2.8 seconds left, but couldn’t find a good shot and the game went to OT. Bendu Yeaney opened the extra time with a layup to give Oregon State their first lead of the night, but other than Yeaney the Beavers struggled to score in overtime. Four points from Gianna Kneepkens gave Utah the lead, and after some Beaver shots bounced off the rim, OSU was forced to foul down the stretch to have a chance.

Down three in the closing seconds, OSU frantically tried to hit a three, and Timea Gardiner was fouled on her attempt. Unforunately, Gardiner missed her first foul shot, essentially sealing the win for Utah.

Talia von Oelhoffen led the Beavers in scoring, with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Bendu Yeaney was right behind her, with her late game heroics leading her to 13 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals. Raegan Beers game time was limited somewhat by early foul trouble, but she still finished with 11 points and 9 rebounds.

While still an impressive showing against the number 7 team in the country, it’s another frustrating close loss for the Beavers. They’ll have a chance to bounce back and break their three game losing streak when they take on Colorado Sunday afternoon, with tip off set for 12:00 PM PT.