Game at a glance: Beavers fall in Sweet 16 to Florida State

Keenan Puncocher, Multimedia Contributor

The Oregon State Beavers fell short just of reaching their second elite-8 appearance in back-to-back seasons, losing to Florida State 66-53 Saturday in Stockton Arena.

Oregon State (31-5) stepped on the gas from the beginning, outscoring Florida State 23-12 in the 1st quarter. At one point jumping out to a 17 point lead. As a team, the Beavers shot 56 percent from the field on 9-16 shooting and distributed the basketball efficiently, assisting on all but three field goals. Every Beaver that played minutes during the 1st qtr scored.

The momentum began to shift when Mikayla Pivec and Marie Gulich each picked up two backbreaking fouls, sidelining them for almost the entire 2nd qtr.

Florida State (28-6) immediately dialed up their intensity and looked to capitalize on the foul trouble.  

Turnovers quickly became a problem for Oregon State when the Seminoles pressured the Beavers during the 2nd qtr. After turning the ball over just twice during the 1st, Oregon State made carelessness passes, turning the ball over eight times and allowing 10 points of turnovers to a Florida State team that trailed just five at halftime.

Florida State continued hounding the Beavers when guard Ivey Slaughter intercepted the first Oregon State inbound pass following the halftime break, traveling the distance of the court for an easy layup; dictating the tone for the rest of the half. The Seminoles were suddenly down just three.

After holding Florida State to just 6-19 shooting in the 1st qtr, the Seminoles gave the Beavers a dose of their own medicine, harassing every shot, holding the Beavers to only 3-11 shooting in the 3rd qtr. The Beavers would turn the ball over a season-high 16 times and muster just seven points.

The Florida State momentum was too much for the Beavers to handle as the Seminoles continued to find a way to prevent Oregon State from scoring. The Beavers would finish the 4th qtr on 4-14 shooting and produce only 11 points.

For seniors Kolbie Orum, Gabby Hanson and Sydney Wiese, Saturday was their last game in a Beavers uniform.

Orum had a breakout day, leading the Beavers with 12 points on 6-8 shooting. Hanson also finished on a strong note with nine points and aggressive defense throughout. Weise continued to struggle to find her rhythm, shooting just 3-14, 0-10 from behind the 3-point line.

With the loss, Oregon State’s season officially comes to an end on the year. The Beavers will look to bounce back next season with a new and talented group of recruits who will be looking to make an immediate impact.  

Despite the loss, head coach Scott Rueck expressed his positive outlook for next season and made certain to say that the loss on Saturday wouldn’t define the success of what this year’s senior class had achieved.

Quotables

“I don’t think anyone expected us to do what we’ve done, and for that, I’m extremely grateful and proud,” Hanson said. “I’ll never be ashamed to say that I was a player at Oregon State. I’m so grateful to have played with Sydney Wiese. What she’s been able to do is uncanny. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever seen, and I’m just extremely proud to call her my friend, my sister.”

“The senior class is so special,” Wiese said. “I think once we set foot on campus, we were sisters right from the jump and we have maintained that throughout the four years and it’s going to continue on. More than just basketball, I think the season might be over, but these friendships and these relationships are going to go on forever.”

“I don’t know at this point if there’s anything real profound to say, other than the obvious. I love this team,” Rueck said.”I just absolutely love them. I don’t think that their careers are going to be defined by today. That would be a mistake in my opinion. We wanted to win today. But what they have accomplished and all the firsts; nobody would argue if you hung all four of them up in Gill Coliseum. I mean, that’s what they have done.”

On Twitter: @keenanpuncocher