The Oregon State women’s basketball team jumped out to a 32-18 lead in the first half, and established their defensive presence early on their way to their 10th straight victory over the Ducks, 60-33, Friday evening at Gill Coliseum.
OSU (11-3, 2-1 Pac-12) bounces back from a 20 point loss at the hands of UCLA earlier this week.
“Anytime you lose it shakes your confidence a bit and I think we got through that,” OSU head coach Scott Rueck said. “That’s who this group is, they’re very resilient and high level competitors. Then you put them at home in our comfort zone against a rival, you get back into a similar rhythm you had before.”
The Beavers held the Ducks (11-3, 0-3) to the lowest point total for an OSU opponent this season. Oregon only shot 21.5% on the night.
“A lot of those shots are the ones that we make,” Oregon head coach Kelly Graves said. “But (OSU) makes you rush them a bit, they get a hand in there, they’re physical, so there’s a reason why they’re first in the conference in field goal percentage defense.”
Seniors center Ruth Hamblin and guard Jamie Weisner led the way for the Beavers through two quarters, both entering the break with eight points and seven rebounds. OSU as a team led Oregon in boards 27-17, helping to establish a defense that held the Ducks to 24% shooting in the opening 20 minutes. The Duck’s leading scorer with 19.7 per game, senior forward Jillian Alleyne was held to 0-5 shooting before she got a string of buckets to close the half.
“I know I was tasked with shutting Jillian down,” Hamblin said. “So I just tried to keep my gap and play angles, but I thought the guards did a great job of chasing shooters off screens and the perimeter defense was very strong.”
Junior guard Gabriella Hanson scored the first Beaver points of the second half on a layup off a transition pass from freshman point guard Katie McWilliams, who has been starting in the place of the injured junior guard Sydney Wiese the past five contests. The two connected on the same play a few minutes later, and the Beavers led 38-22 with 5:44 minutes to go in the third.
A momentary break in the action late in the third quarter saw Alleyne go down with a leg injury, hurting the Duck’s chances of mounting a comeback with OSU already up 42-24. She returned three minutes into the final period, but it was not enough for the Ducks. OSU’s starters were taken out with 1:38 left in the game, and the crowd of 4,462 people gave the Beavers a standing ovation as the final seconds ticked off the game clock.
“Really proud of the effort tonight,” OSU head coach Scott Rueck said. “The defensive effort was phenomenal. I thought we were very accurate, few mistakes, challenged shots, and for the most part did a good job on the boards. I loved the crowd, the Civil War is special, and I love the way the team competed tonight.”
OSU will look to extend the streak to 11 when they travel down to Eugene, Ore., Sunday to play the Ducks at Matthew Knight Arena.
“This is halftime, the game is not really over,” Hamblin said. “Obviously we executed our game plan well tonight, but we got 40 more minutes.”