Oregon State advance further in the WNIT, winning against the Pilots

Oregon+State+freshman+guard+AJ+Marotte+getting+past+a+Long+Beach+State+defender+inside+Gill+Coliseum+on+March+17%2C+2022.+Marotte+finished+the+game+with+2+points%2C+2+rebounds%2C+and+1+assist%2C+and+the+Beavers+defeated+the+Beach+by+a+score+of+70-59.+

Jason May, OMN Photographer

Oregon State freshman guard AJ Marotte getting past a Long Beach State defender inside Gill Coliseum on March 17, 2022. Marotte finished the game with 2 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 assist, and the Beavers defeated the Beach by a score of 70-59.

Sam Nicklous , Print Contributor

  Oregon State’s Women’s Basketball team hosted their second-round game of the Women’s National Invitational Tournament (WNIT) today, the 20th of March.

  Coming off of a resounding 70-59 first-round victory over Long Beach State, the Beavers entered today with hopes of advancing to the round of 16. The Beavers hosted the Portland Pilots, who came off of a 72-63 win in their first-round game against Colorado State. 

  The Beavers started the game on the front foot, jumping out to an early 13-7 lead despite a full-court press, and a 1-3-1 zone from Portland. The remainder of the first period featured plenty of scoring from both sides, trading buckets throughout. After one period, the Beavers led 20-17. 

  In the early stages of the second quarter, the Beavs caught fire. A basket from Portland’s Redshirt Sophomore Liana Kaitu’u cut the lead to 4, but the Beavers responded with a 10-0 run, led by Sophomore forward Kennedy Brown. In the latter part of the quarter, the Pilots were able to respond but ultimately trailed by 8 at the break.

  After scoring 42 in the first half, the Beavers appeared to be in control of the game. The Pilots decided they were not out of it yet and came out of the break with renewed determination. They amped up the pressure and forced a few turnovers with their full-court press. An early two from Oregon State Redshirt Junior Taya Corosdale pushed the lead to 10, then the Pilots went on a 10-2 run, and cut the lead to just two points. In response, the Beavers broke the press with some quick passing, and found a wide open AJ Marotte in the corner for a three-pointer, putting an end to Portland’s run. After Marotte’s three, the Beavers settled, and methodically pulled away. After a couple of defensive stops and a few free throws later, the Beavers ended the third quarter up 13.

  The fourth quarter seemed like an extension of the third. Outside of a few turnovers, the Beavers simply managed the last ten minutes, worked their offense thoroughly, and found high-quality shots. The Pilots struggled to close the gap, scoring only 12 points in the final 16 minutes of game time. As the clock hit triple zeros, the Beavers collected the victory; 74-56

  Once again, Brown led the way for the Beavs, finishing with 16 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. Redshirt Freshman center Jelena Mitrovic added 11 points and 12 rebounds. Also, Freshman guard AJ Marotte had a noteworthy performance, scoring 9 points, but all in crucial moments to help the Beavers pull away. 

  Senior guard Maddie Mulheim led the way for Portland, scoring 14 of her own, with 4 made threes. Sophomore forward Alex Fowler also added 10 points and 7 rebounds for the Pilots. 

  Following the victory, the Beavers will host yet another game in Gill Coliseum, playing New Mexico Lobos in the third round of the WNIT. Round 3 begins play on Thursday, March 23, and the Beavers game will be played on May 24 at 7 p.m.