Oregon State Women’s Basketball mid-season recap

Thomas Salgado de Almeida Leme, Sports Contributor

Oregon State Beavers Women’s Basketball resumed their season on Jan. 17, after missing nearly a full month of play with the team being on pause due to COVID-19 concerns within the program.

A 67-51 loss to the 11th-ranked Arizona Wildcats marked the program’s first game since Dec. 20, 2020, a 28-day break in the action that allowed the opportunity for players, coaches, and fans alike to reflect on how the team’s season has gone thus far. 

The team now sits at 3-4, having been ranked as high as #15 in the nation but since falling out of the rankings. The team began the season with three straight home wins. 

First, a 88-54 win against the Montana Western Bulldogs, led by 24 points and nine rebounds on 10/13 shooting from sophomore forward Taylor Jones. Sasha Goforth, the highly touted five-star freshman guard made her debut as a starter in the game as well, and put up 11 points and seven assists on 4/12 shooting. The team as a whole shot over 50 percent from the field while holding the Bulldogs to 27 percent shooting. 

After a canceled game against the Carroll College Fighting Saints due to COVID-19 concerns in their program, the Beavers then staged a second-half comeback to beat the San Francisco Dons by a score of 89-80 led by 24 points on 7/11 shooting from Goforth. Jones put up yet another impressive performance with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Thus, the Beavers were able to hold back the Dons who were led by freshman guard Ioanna Krimli who came out scorching hot and made seven of 10 threes for 27 points. 

Oregon State would move on to win their first conference game of 2021 against the Colorado Buffaloes, with a 70-53 win behind 24 points on 8/13 shooting from junior guard Aleah Goodman. Oregon State held the Buffaloes to less than 30 percent shooting from the field and 15 percent shooting from three in a strong defensive performance. 

However, after their three-game winning streak, Oregon State followed up their hot stretch with three straight games, the first two of which came at home. The first was an 85-79 loss to the Utah Utes where 20 and 17 points from Goodman and Goforth respectively weren’t enough to keep up with sophomore guard Brynna Maxwell from Utah who put up 34 points on 10/14 shooting. Jones struggled in this game, making only one of 10 field goal attempts. 

Next came a 79-59 blowout to Oregon State’s biggest rivals, the Oregon Ducks, ranked eighth in the nation at the time. The Beavers shot 15.8 percent from three as opposed to 50 percent for the Ducks, and no Oregon State player put up 15 or more points, whereas two Ducks finished with more than 20. 

Finally, came a 61-55 loss to the Washington State Cougars in Pullman, where once again, no Oregon State player was able to put up more than 15 points. The team as a whole scored just 14 points outside of the efforts from Jones, Goodman, and Goforth. 

The Beavers then went on a pause that continued for over three weeks, leaving the team 9th in the PAC-12 with a 3-3 record overall and 1-3 in the conference. The team has put up 73.3 points per game, good for 85th in the nation out of 335, and allowed 68.7 points, which is 209th in the nation. 

The 3-4 start to the season marks a big step back for a team that went 23-9 last year, and started 15-0 with four ranked wins, peaking at number three in the AP rankings. 

Jones, Goodman, and Goforth have been the unrivaled scoring leaders of the team so far. Goodman has averaged over 15 points, 4 assists, and two steals per game, Goforth has averaged over 14 points and 3 assists per game, while Jones has put up just over 13 points, eight boards, and two blocks per game. 

No one else on the team has matched any of those averages yet on the season, with those three players being the only on the roster averaging more than seven points per game. 

Similar to the men’s team, which lost program record-holders Tres Tinkle and Kylor Kelley from last year, the women’s team was faced with the tall task of replacing starting guards Mikayla Pivec and Destiny Slocum, who both left the program, the former graduating and being drafted to the WNBA and the latter transferring to the Arkansas Razorbacks. 

Additionally, starting sophomore forward from last year Kennedy Brown is still recovering from a torn ACL and former top 10 recruit Andrea Aquino has still yet to debut due to injury. 

Before the break, Oregon State Women’s Basketball played a perfectly balanced season, three straight wins followed by three straight losses. But with their first game back from the pause ending in a loss, the program now has a losing record for the first time since the 2013 season. But with a young team and 11 regular-season games still left on the schedule, the group still has plenty of time to salvage the season.

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