Oregon State triumphs over Eastern Washington: The top 7 takeaways

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Duane Knapp: OMN Photographer

Sophomore guard Talia Von Oelhoffen drives past the Eastern Washington defense to score a layup in Thursday’s matchup taking place inside of Gill Coliseum. Oelhoffen finished the night with 34 points.

Brad Whitman, Sports Contributor

The Beavers squared off against the Eagles at home on Thursday night and took a narrow 73-66 victory. Here are the seven most notable occurrences from this matchup:

No. 1: Only one team remains undefeated

Both Oregon State and Eastern Washington walked into Gill Coliseum on Thursday, yet to drop a game in the 2022-23 season. The Eagles had a tough start last year, finishing 1-3 in their first four games, and had the opportunity to completely flip the script for this season with a 4-0 record. The Beavers, on the other hand, are used to starting the season strong with this game cementing their fifth-straight 3-0 start to a season.

No. 2: Defensive difference

One of the most stand-out variations in these two teams was the style of defense that was used. OSU opted for a zone defense where four players loomed just inside the three-point line while the center stayed low in the paint. This provided a very solid base for the defense that tested the shooting accuracy of the Eagles. On the other hand, Eastern Washington took a man-to-man/swarm approach. Meaning that each player for EWU had one player to cover, but when the Beavers got the ball into a more advantageous position, an Eagle player would leave their mark and double-team the opponent. This put a lot of pressure on the Oregon State offense and forced them to stay composed if they wanted to score.

No. 3: Guard versus guard

As soon as this match began, a scoring contest immediately began between Oregon State guard, Talia von Oelhoffen and Eastern Washington guard, Jamie Loera. The two players scored eight points in just the first quarter and continually added more to the tally as the game went on. Loera found a majority of her points with quick field goals, created by getting past the first layer of the OSU zone defense and then pulling up for a jump shot. The grad student from Moses Lake, WA also put up five assists and 12 rebounds, leading the offense for EWU. Despite this, Von Oelhoffen played very efficient offense, shooting 10 for 19 on field goals and going 11 for 12 on the free throw line. She also picked up 10 rebounds and three assists, breaking through the Eagle’s defense and guiding the victory into the hands of the Beavers.

No. 4: Field goal efficiency

In terms of field goal shooting, there was quite a contrast between the two teams. Oregon State fired off a total of 62 field goal attempts and sank 26, giving their 2-point shooting a 42% accuracy stat. Eastern Washington however, had 81 field goal attempts. That is almost 20 more shots, with a potential stake of 38 points. The Eagles were only able to make 27 of these 81 attempts, which means they only made 33% of their 2-pointers. If EWU had been able to sink 5% more of their field goals, they would have won this game.

No. 5: Fouls and free throws

Field goals weren’t the only difference-maker in scoring though. The fouling was a tough problem for the Eagles as they had 21 total fouls, which averages out to be about five fouls per quarter. We saw many of these come from starters Jaydia Martin and Aaliyah Alexander, both of whom finished the game with 5 fouls. The majority of these fouls were shooting fouls or bonus fouls in the fourth quarter and the Beavers ended up going to the free-throw line 13 times. A total of 19 points were scored off these fouls and the Eagles are most likely going to be looking to minimize those opportunities in the future.

No. 6: Fourth quarter battle

As the final quarter began, Oregon State was holding a five-point lead with Eastern Washington hunting to close the gap. The defense from both sides became steadfast as the quarter progressed, with only 2 points being scored by each team during the first 10 minutes of play. As the timer fell to five minutes, each offense sprung into action, piling on points. The Eagles were able to utilize quick drives and give-and-go passing plays to put up 16 more points, but the fouls set in and gave the Beavers lots of bonus free throws. These opportunities, combined with some clutch field goal shooting, allowed OSU to score 18 in the final quarter, solidifying the victory.

No. 7: Talia von Oelhoffen hits new career high

Despite the victory and the fifth-straight 3-0 start to a season for the Beavers, the most impressive feat of the night was Talia von Oelhoffen hitting her new career scoring record. The sophomore from Pasco, WA put up a total of 32 points, scoring 10 field goals, 11 free throws, and one three-pointer. Her previous career high was 31 points against the University of Southern California. As she is only a second year at OSU, many will be looking to her to lead the Beavers in years to come.

The Oregon State women’s basketball team will continue their season on November 19 at Gill Coliseum once again to face off against Prairie View A&M University to try and keep their undefeated season alive.