Oregon State drops road matchup at Southern California

Oregon State Women’s Basketball’s first of two matchups in Los Angeles, Calif. began with a matchup against the struggling Southern California Women’s Basketball team. The Trojans were 13-11 on the season and 5-8 in the PAC-12. 

After an overtime loss on Sunday, Feb. 9 to No. 12 Arizona and a season ending ACL injury to freshman Kennedy Brown on Feb. 7, OSU head coach Scott Rueck’s team needed a boost. What they found though was a roadblock in Southern California freshman Alissa Pili. The PAC-12 Freshman of the Year contender in Pili finished the game with a dominant 26 points and 13 rebounds, leading to the Trojans upset. 

Four Beavers players scored in the double-digits, including senior Mikayla Pivec who led the team with 16 points. Pivec also played a full 39 minutes, showing her crucial spot in the lineup as Rueck will presumably make some adjustments in the coming weeks with Brown’s injury. 

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Oregon State continued solid play on the boards though even without Brown, out-rebounding the Trojans 39-26 despite Pili’s dominant play in the post. However, it was another cold shooting night for OSU senior Kat Tudor and her losing some rhythm as of late by going 2-5. Junior Aleah Goodman is also a favorite to win the PAC-12 Sixth Player of the Year again this season with consistent shooting in the past five games, but only went 2-7 with six points total against the Trojans.

Despite the average shooting night from the Beavers, they led at halftime by a score of 35-32 but lost their momentum when the second half began after quick points by Pili in the paint. Oregon State was down by as much as 11 points in the 3rd quarter, but made a late rally. Similar to the ending at home versus Arizona game the previous week, OSU had trouble finding the bottom of the net and struggled to gain any momentum in the road environment.

As the PAC-12 Women’s Basketball season begins its final stretch, the Beavers have lost back-to-back crucial games and one of their key contributors in Brown. 

The road will not get any easier for Oregon State, who is now 19-6 for the season and 7-6 in PAC-12 play with danger ahead in facing No. 7 UCLA and No. 8 Stanford. The Beavers lost to the Stanford Cardinal in a nail-bitter earlier this season. The final games of the season will lead to where the beavers could be seeded come March in the NCAA tournament.

The Beavers look to bounce back Monday, Feb. 17 as they head up the road to Westwood, Calif. in a huge PAC-12 contest to face No. 7 UCLA. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be aired on ESPN 2.