No. 9 Oregon State blows out No. 8 Arizona State

In the first ever top-10 matchup for women’s basketball at Gill Coliseum, No. 9 Oregon State rode a strong second half enroute to a convincing 67-44 victory over No. 8 Arizona State.

For OSU (18-3, 9-1 Pac-12), it was the highest-ranked opponent they have beaten at home since No. 3 Stanford in 1992.

The game started as if it would be a very back and forth affair for the entirety of the contest, as the first quarter ended in a 12-12 tie. The Beavers were sloppy from tipoff, and they turned the ball over six times through the game’s first 10 minutes, compared to ASU’s (18-4, 9-1) zero in that span. OSU finished the half with 11 turnovers, and that was in large part due to the Sun Devil’s pressure in the halfcourt that resulted in lazy entry passes to the middle.

It was a tight game through 20 minutes, as there were five lead changes, with both teams leading for over eight minutes each. Senior guard Jamie Weisner, who missed the previous game due to illness, kept OSU in the game despite the Beaver’s bad turnovers, and she led the team going into the locker room. At halftime she was perfect from the field, with 13 points and two three-pointers. OSU had the advantage over the Sun Devils at 31-29 at the intermission.

“I just started being aggressive to the hoop,” Weisner said on her strong first half. “That kind of opened up my three, and I thought my teammates got me the ball where I needed it to be, I mean I practice shooting all the time, so it just felt good.

Senior forward Sam Siegner, who contributed two points on a tough layup for the Beavers, said that limiting turnovers was a big point of emphasis in the halftime chat with head coach Scott Rueck.

“We discussed it as a team because it was very evident that we were just throwing some crazy passes and it was just completely unforced,” she said. “So we knew that we needed to clean it up and if we had fewer turnovers in that first half I think we would have been up by a lot more.”

Rueck said it just they needed a change of mindset to perform better in the second half.

“We took a big shot from ASU I thought in the first half,” he said. “At halftime, we just talked about increasing our intensity defensively and challenging a little bit better than we did.”

ASU appeared like they could have the edge coming out of the half, who outscored opponents by a collective 91 points in third quarters going into this matchup. The hot-shooting Weisner, however, put that statistic to rest right from the start of the period, as she shot a three-pointer from the top of the arc without any hesitation only seven seconds in. That shot fueled a 15-2 run through the first 6:14 of the second half, and that quarter was claimed by the Beavers 18-6, who took Rueck’s words to heart.

“It’s always nice to come out and make a bit of a run to start the second half and really own it and let them know how it’s going to be for the final 20 minutes,” Siegner said on the run.

OSU never let off the gas in the fourth, and led by as much as 25 to stun a team that was previously unbeaten in the Pac-12.

Rueck was impressed with the way the Beavers responded in the second half to win big over ASU.

“This team rose to the challenge tonight in a big way, so I’m a very proud coach tonight.”

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