The women’s basketball team controls their own destiny after win against Arizona State

Women’s Basketball vs Arizona

Jonathan Parrish, Sports Reporter

After big win against Arizona State, Beavers face big test in Seattle

After the Beavers’ win against Arizona State on Monday, the Oregon State women’s basketball team has an identical conference record to the Sun Devils, but owns first-place in the Pac-12 due their head-to-head victory. 

The Beavers control their own destiny for the rest of the season, and should they win-out, they will finish with their second-straight regular season conference championship. 

Freshman guard Taylor Kalmer said in order to do so, OSU needs to focus on what’s ahead.

“We need to finish strong, we’ve got to keep working,” she said. “We can’t think of the wins that we’ve had, the losses we’ve had, but we have to focus and stick to our mission.”

Head coach Scott Rueck believes the position the Beavers are in now culminates in what this team has been able to accomplish.

“This team has created opportunities. All their hard work, preparation and experience in the past have created this opportunity,” Rueck said on being in control. “With the win on Monday, what we do at this point control our destiny. Everybody want’s that of course, and so now what are we going to do with it?”

It will be a challenging task, but Rueck says this team has shown that they are ready for it.

“Are we going to continue to grind and want to get better and do all the things that have gotten us to this point? Well, this team has taught me that they will,” he said.

Beyond the Arc

After shooting 27.3 percent from three-point land and going 9-33 in a two-game span at Utah and Colorado, OSU came home last weekend and shot lights out, going 17-33 from beyond the arc en route to blowout victories against Arizona and No. 8 Arizona State. 

The Beavers have been a solid perimeter-shooting team this season, as they are second in the Pac-12 in three-point percentage at 36.7, in which they make 6.43 per game. Leading the team in makes are guards senior Jamie Weisner and junior Sydney Wiese. Weisner has made 39 threes at a 43.3 percent clip, topping the team in both categories. Wiese, despite missing eight games due to a hand injury, has 29 threes on the season, while maintaining a 39.2 three-point shooting percentage.

Both players shot well in their game against ASU, combining for six threes on 10 attempts.

“I definitely think (three-pointers) open up the court a lot,” Weisner said. “It makes it easier to get it inside, but also, three’s are big momentum swings, you hit a couple three’s and you can be up big just like that.”

Rueck has been impressed with the Beaver’s three-point shooting especially as of late, and said it makes it easier now that Wiese is back and healthy.

“If you look at our last four games, in the mountains and versus the Arizona’s at home, our shot selection has improved,” Rueck said. “Our point production has gone up.”

Defending Plum

The Beavers go on the road to Seattle to face the 16-5 Washington Huskies, who are No. 24 in the country. A large part of what UW does successfully is on the offensive side of the ball, which junior guard Kelsey Plum leads. She scores 27 points per game, good for second in the nation. 

Plum is a matchup that OSU will have to focus on the entire game. 

“She’s going to hit tough shots,” Weisner said. “That’s her mentality and that’s what she does. I think we need to contain her as best as possible, trying to take away things she wants to do and force other people to score.”

Over a quarter of Plum’s points this season have been free throws, as she is the leader in the nation in makes at the charity stripe. She shoots them efficiently as well, at 89.2 percent.

Rueck said it comes down to cutting down Plum’s free-throw opportunities, and limiting her playmaking ability.

“You need to defend without fouling, and that’s true every night,” he said. “But that’s especially true there. We need to make her work for everything.”

On Twitter @JonnyP_96

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