Big-Game Deven Hunter ready to lead Beavers against No. 8 Arizona State

Women’s Basketball vs ASU

Brenden Slaughter, Senior Reporter

After speaking up and scoring against Stanford, Deven Hunter has her

teammates’ confidence in big games

As the buzzer sounded at the end of the third quarter in a game against Stanford earlier this month, senior forward Deven Hunter glared at the scoreboard and saw that OSU was down by 10 points. She gathered her teammates and said that Stanford wasn’t going to win in their house for the fourth straight year.

Her teammates listened, and knew she was growing as a leader before their eyes.

“(Hunter) has leadership qualities, but I don’t think she always sees herself as that,” said senior guard Jamie Weisner. “But every time she speaks up, it’s always good.”

The Beavers then responded with one of the most impressive stretches of basketball in OSU history. Their entire mindset changed: they began to help out on defense, the shots began to fall and the fear of defeat transferred to the Cardinal.

She led the charge with her impressive play, scoring a team-high 19 points and 5-of-7 shooting from behind the 3-point arc.

“I think that game against Stanford can only help her improve her confidence as a shooter,” head coach Scott Rueck said. 

Hunter’s newfound shooting stroke, confidence and leadership will be needed to the fullest degree as the Beavers have their toughest conference challenge of the season against the No. 8 Arizona State Sun Devils.

“I just hope that I continue the confidence, and that I can ride it into every game,” Hunter said. “I think a game like that not only helps my confidence, but our team’s confidence as a whole.”

Hunter has had an up and down scoring stretch since the Stanford game, but got back on track against Arizona last Friday night scoring 12 points, including two 3-pointers, giving her momentum heading into the difficult matchup against the Sun Devils.

“(Hunter) is such a good player and can offer so much for our team offensively and defensively,” junior guard Sydney Wiese said. “I think it really showed against Stanford that she can hit shots, get to the rim, and crash the offensive glass. I know she is going to have a big impact (against ASU) whether it’s getting stops defensively, or knocking down shots.”

“When she has that killer mindset on offense, she can beat a team,” junior guard Gabriella Hanson said.

When Hunter and the Beavers were against the wall vs. the Cardinal, the Beavers needed someone to step up and take control of the game. It was then that she stepped out of her comfort zone.

“I tend to usually lead by example,” Hunter said. “But if the situation requires it, and someone needs to say it, I’ll do it.” 

“Everyone who knows (Hunter) knows that she can shoot, but in games she has deferred her shot at times instead of seeing herself as that player,”Rueck said. “A game like that can only help her know that when she needs to, she can score. And that is going to be an asset to us going forward.”

OSU is in the midst of a seven game winning streak, one that Hunter has left her fingerprints all over by stuffing the stat sheet in each of them. But one thing is certain for the Beavers.

When Hunter leads by both voice and example, OSU’s success is unmatchable.

On Twitter @b_slaught