Women’s hoops finds their ‘grit gene’ in win over University of Portland

Oregon State vs. University of Portland

Kalib LaChapelle, Multimedia Contributor

Beavers graduates return as women’s basketball tops Pilots on Banner Night.

Prior to tip-off, all of the former players, besides Ruth Hamblin who is playing professionally, from the 2015-2016 season returned to Gill Coliseum to see the updated banners.

Banners for the Pac-12 championship, the NCAA tournament, and the Sweet 16 were all updated, and  new banners to commemorate the Elite Eight and Final Four appearances were revealed.

“It was great to celebrate last year one more time with Beaver Nation.” said head coach Scott Rueck.

The Oregon State (3-0) women’s basketball team defeated University of Portland (0-3) 62-45 Friday night at home.

“It was great to be out there one more time on the court with them (graduated teammates).” said junior center Marie Gulich

The Beavers dominated for three quarters against the Pilots defensively as they held them to six percent shooting from the field in the first quarter, and under 30 percent for the second and third quarters. But a fourth quarter surge for the Pilots gave them 17 points and brought them to 36 percent shooting from the field. Oregon State also forced 11 turnovers in the game and had eight blocks and four steals.

Two key portions of the defense for Oregon State were junior forward Breanna Brown and freshman guard Mikayla Pivec. Brown finished with four blocks, and though she played 16 minutes she tallied all of her blocks in her first eight minutes of court time in the game. She earned high praise from Rueck after the game.

“I loved it (Brown’s energy),” said Rueck. “(Brown) brings such a great defensive energy.”

Pivec, though she did not light up the stat line during her birthday game, earned high praise as well. She at one point ran from the key and dove over the chairs that make up the Oregon State bench in a last-ditch effort to keep the ball in bounds and keep the play alive.

“She’s going to fight and dive for every loose ball on the floor.” said Rueck “(Pivec) is tough as heck, maybe she’s invincible.”

On the offensive side of the ball the Beavers struggled to find rhythm as the game progressed. Gulich finished with a team high 14 points and senior guard Gabriella Hanson followed closely with 11. Gulich has been a constant scorer for the Beavers as she has hit double digits in each of their first three games, and another player has always filled the role of scoring when the Beavers have needed it in the young season.

“Those shots are going to fall you just have to keep shooting, you can’t get discouraged,” said Hanson. “I think we know what we’re capable of, we just have to keep shooting.”

After the game Rueck was very pleased with his team’s performance especially with the “grit” his team showed. The Beavers knew they weren’t getting shots to fall, but they were battling defensively in the game.

“Everybody is finding the grit gene,” said Rueck.

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