OSU women’s basketball play last regular season home games

Women’s Basketball vs ASU

OSU will play USC and UCLA to finish up a four-game homestand

No. 7 Again

The Associated Press Poll gave the Oregon State women’s basketball team a No.7 ranking Monday, one spot up from being No. 8. The ranking matches the highest in the program’s history.

As the season winds down, the NCAA Selection Committee begins to arrange teams in seeding for the fast-approaching NCAA tournament. The selection committee tagged the Beavers as the No. 7 team in its second top-10 release of the year.

Taking Care of the Rock

OSU is fresh off winning the first half of a four-game homestand that will mark the Beaver’s last regular season games at Gill Coliseum. One factor that played a significant role in OSU’s two wins against Colorado and Utah was the play of junior point guard Sydney Wiese.

In the Beaver’s 73-50 victory against the Buffaloes, Wiese posted eight assists. In the 72-53 win against the Utes, Wiese did two better, going for 10. In that two-game stretch, she only committed three turnovers, giving her a phenomenal 6-to-1 assist-turnover ratio in the weekend sweep.

Head coach Scott Rueck raved about Wiese’s performances against the mountain schools, impressed with her ability to facilitate the offense while making few mistakes.

“She set the tone, I felt, for our weekend,” Rueck said following the Utah win. “It was taking care of the basketball and her teammates were the recipients of a lot of good looks because of it.”

Limiting mistakes will be critical for the Beavers’ upcoming matchups against USC on Friday and UCLA on Sunday. When OSU went on the road against the two teams earlier in the season, the Beavers averaged 20.5 turnovers per game that weekend, committing a season-high 26 in a 71-51 loss to the Bruins.

“I look at that weekend as an aberration in a way,” Rueck said. “Not to take anything away from what UCLA did to us, but at the same time we’re completely different, and having experience back at the one is completely different.

Freshman guard Katie McWilliams, who started in place of the then-injured Wiese, committing seven turnovers in the first matchup with the Bruins, knows how important the UCLA game is.

“We’re going have to play super well,” McWilliams said. “We have to come out right away because I know when we played them last time we didn’t come out strong.”

“We need to play our game and hopefully come out with a win,” she said.

400

Rueck, with Sunday’s win against Utah, reached his win No. 400 for his coaching career. Before coaching for OSU, he coached the George Fox’s women’s basketball team for 14 years, where he compiled a total of 288 wins. In 2009, he won a national championship at the Division III level with a perfect 32-0 record, being named national coach of the year as well.

For the Beavers, the Utah game was Rueck’s 112th overall win, and 57th Pac-12 victory. In total, Rueck has a 71.2 win percentage in his career.

“It’s great to see coach get his 400th win,” senior forward Deven Hunter said. “He’s a great coach and knows how to win, clearly, so it’s a good to see that, and it helps the program.”

Rueck and the rest of the team can go for their 13th and 14th-straight wins this weekend, which if accomplished, would tie the program’s longest winning streak since it was done in the 1982-83 season.

Senior Night

For the seniors: guards Jen’Von’Ta Hill and Jamie Weisner, forwards Deven Hunter and Samantha Seigner, and center Ruth Hamblin, Sunday will be there last regular season game at Gill Coliseum.

While it’s likely that the Beavers will host the first two rounds of the NCAA tournament, being selected as the No. 7 team by the NCAA selection committee, Sunday will be a memorable occasion for a class that has contributed a lot to the program.

Hunter said she won’t forget her career with the Beavers, remembering the fans that have supported a program that has come a long way in the last few years.

“It’s surreal,” Hunter said on Senior Night. “It’s something you wait for four years and hopefully there’s a lot of people there and it’ll be a great game.”

Rueck will look forward to the seniors being recognized for their hard work by all the fans in attendance.

“What a special moment for Beaver nation, to celebrate this weekend, to celebrate their careers and to thank them for what they have brought to all of us,” he said.