Oregon State Women’s Basketball take down USC in nail biter

Oregon State sophomore guard Destiny Slocum being guarded by USC’s Minyon Moore. Slocum scored 16 points in the game, helping OSU overcome a large deficit to defeat the Trojans.

Evan Baughman, Sports Contributor

Oregon State Women’s Basketball was able to fend off the USC Trojans on Friday night at Gill Coliseum, with a final score of 68-61.

It was a slow start for the No. 12 Beavers  (22-5,12-3) who fell to an initial 16-0 deficit and were unable to gain a first half lead against The Trojans. USC senior guard Aliyah Mazyck led the charge for the Trojans, recording 25 points and five assists on 8-17 from the field.

Oregon State was able to battle back with the help of junior guard Mikayla Pivec’s 18 points and eight rebounds. Pivec gave the Beaver’s a big shot with two minutes left in the game to take the lead.

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After the game, Oregon State Head Coach Scott Rueck tried to recall if he’d ever been down 16-0 in his career.

“Mikayla just asked me if I’d been down 16-0 before. I said probably. It seems like it’s probably happened before. It’s not fun,” Rueck said. “Then she asked me if I won, and I said of course. That’s what this team did tonight.”

USC, who led for almost 34 minutes in the game, let their lead slip away late in the game, allowing OSU to outscore the Trojans by nine points in the 4th quarter to edge out the victory.

“I thought there was a bit of a hangover from the other night at the beginning of the game, but mostly this was USC coming at us and playing so aggressively defensively and offensively,” Rueck said. “I thought Mikayla’s effort, her toughness, her will to gain extra possessions when we miss a shot, she kept possessions alive for us on the O-boards. Her five offensive rebounds were huge.”

Oregon State sophomore guard Destiny Slocum made a buzzer-beating shot with less than a minute remaining in the game to give The Beavers a five point lead. From there, USC was forced to foul, sending OSU to the free throw line to close out the game.

“That team is so athletic, so aggressive, very similar to this one,” Rueck said. “I think UCLA has a very similar thought process. They’ll come in here feeling really good, because they’ve been playing great basketball. They’ll be confident. It’s going to be another great game on Sunday.”

The Beavers will take on the UCLA Bruins on Sunday, Feb. 24, in Gill Coliseum at 1 p.m.