There has been a few notable firsts for the Oregon State women’s basketball program as of late.
They won their first Pac-12 tournament championship. Then they won two NCAA tournament games for the first time in the same season. They got their first 30-win season with a victory over St. Bonaventure. Then they appeared in their first Elite Eight.
And now, the Beavers have punched a ticket to their first Final Four.
In a thrilling matchup, No. 2 seed OSU defeated No. 1 Baylor by a score of 60-57 in a Elite Eight matchup that decided the winner of the Dallas Regional.
The Beavers (32-4) pulled off the victory against Baylor (36-2) in upsetting fashion, especially considering they did it with a crowd heavily skewed to the Bear’s side, in an arena located about 90 miles from Baylor’s campus in Waco, Texas.
OSU held a 34-25 advantage through 20 minutes after leading for nearly all of that first half. Senior guard Jamie Weisner hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to send the Beavers into the locker room. She and junior guard Sydney Wiese had 11 first-half points.
Baylor was able to pull within one through three quarters, trimming OSU’s lead to just 48-47.
The fourth quarter was a tense, back-and-forth affair that saw two lead changes, as well as four ties.
During the last tie at 57 that lasted nearly two minutes, senior center Ruth Hamblin got a steal with 46 seconds remaining in the contest, giving the Beavers the ball. Wiese was then fouled on a drive down the right lane at 33 seconds. She split a pair at the free-throw line, snapping the tie to give the Beavers a one-point advantage at 58-57.
Baylor missed their shot attempt in the subsequent possession, and Hamblin ripped down the rebound, passed it off to Wiese, who was then fouled with seven second left.
Wiese iced the game with two at the line, and that was all the Beavers needed to pull of the upset.
It was the eighth consecutive win for OSU, who in turn snapped Baylor’s 23-game winning streak.
In their first Final Four Appearance, the Beavers face the tall task of facing the defending champions in UConn, who are currently on a 73-game winning streak and the top national seed.
The game will be played Sunday, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.