OSU basketball

Beavers head to NCAAs on a roll

OSU wins the Pac-12 Tournament to continue hot streak
March 6, 2016 / Staff report

SEATTLE - Oregon State finally conquered the Pac-12 where it counts, the conference tournament.

Senior center Ruth Hamblin had 23 points, a career-high 20 rebounds and five blocked shots on Sunday night to lead the seventh-ranked Beavers to a 69-57 victory over UCLA in the championship game of the Pacific-12 Conference women's basketball tournament.

It was the first title in school history for the Beavers (28-4), who fell to USC in 2014 in their only other championship-game appearance. It was also their 18th win in the last 19 games.

“This is an unreal feeling,” Hamblin said. “The Pac-12 is so competitive … we worked so hard and we played like our lives were on the line.”

Pac-12 Player of the Year Jamie Weisner earned more hardware by being named the tournament’s Outstanding Player. She had 19 points and five rebounds on Sunday and 59 points, 20 rebounds and nine assists in three tournament wins.

“I don’t think I’ve ever cried after a win but that happened tonight,” Weisner said. “I’m just blessed to be part of this program. We came a long way in four years and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Junior guard Sydney Wiese had 21 points and joined Weisner and Hamblin on the all-tournament team. Senior forward Deven Hunter added five points and 12 rebounds to help OSU double the Bruins on the boards, 50-24.

“If you know the whole story of where we started to where we are now is remarkable,” sixth-year OSU coach Scott Rueck said. “The performance we put together tonight is what dreams are made of.

“Ruth was unbelievable. It’s hard to score against us 5-on-5 and a lot of that is because of Ruth. She has continued to improve and it’s been fabulous to watch.”

OSU used a 17-2 run over the final 6:38 of the first half to take a 44-17 intermission lead, and it led by 31 points late in the third quarter. UCLA got within 63-54 with 2:12 remaining, but Weisner answered with a basket with 1:43 to play to restore the double-digit lead and a layup by Hamblin with one minute left buried the Bruins once and for all.

“We were dialed, our shots were falling,” Wiese said of the first half. “To win this year means a lot,” after falling in the title game in 2014 and being upset in the opening round in 2015. “It was a team win. I couldn’t be prouder of everyone.”

The Beavers led by as many as 31 points in downing the Bruins for second time in three games this season. UCLA won in early January when Wiese was sidelined with a hand injury.

Hamblin had a double-double in each tournament game and totaled 50 points, 44 rebounds and 11 blocks. Her 20 rebounds eclipsed her previous high on 19, set against California on Feb. 28, and tied the school record.

She set the career tournament record for blocked shots (29) and also set a Pac-12 blocks record with 405. The old mark was 402, set by Stefanie Kaspersky of Oregon from 1987-90.

OSU advanced to the championship game by defeating USC 63-53 in the quarterfinals on Friday night and Washington 57-55 in the semifinals on Saturday night.

The Beavers started quickly, hitting 4 of 6 3-pointers in the first quarter while building a 20-12 advantage. Weisner had two 3-pointers and eight points; Wiese had five points, and Hamblin had four points and six rebounds.

The poured it on in the second quarter, outscoring the Bruins 24-5 to take a 44-17 halftime advantage. Wiese was 4 of 5 from deep and had 18 first-half points; Weisner had 12 points, Hamblin nine points and 11 rebounds and Hunter five points, nine rebounds and four assists.

“It was amazing,” Wiese said of the first half. “It started with our defense, we were getting open, making shots and things were real clicking.”

UCLA was 8-for-34 from the field in the first half and missed both 3-point attempts. In the four quarters that essentially determined the championship – the second half of the semifinals and the first half of the finals – OSU held its opponent to 35 points, 14 of 66 shooting overall (.212) and 1-for-11 (.091) shooting from beyond the arc.

The Beavers will learn the destination and opponent for the upcoming NCAA tournament during the NCAA Selection Show, scheduled for 4 p.m. March 14 on ESPN.

The first two rounds of the 64-team tournament will be held March 18-21 at 16 campus sites around the country. The Women’s Final Four is April 3-5 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Beavers lead in-state NCAA sweep

OSU, Oregon, PSU and Portland all score conference wins Thursday
Jan. 22, 2015 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

Oregon State’s incredible home-court run continued unabated on Thursday night as the Beavers knocked off UCLA 66-55 to remain undefeated at Gill Coliseum on a night all four of Oregon’s NCAA Div. I schools won.

The Beavers (13-5, 4-2 Pac-12) improved to 11-0 at home, equaling their best start since the 1981-82 team won all 11 of its home games. They have now defeated UCLA three times in a row at Gill Coliseum for the first time since 1989-91.

Junior guard Gary Payton II had 18 points, seven rebounds, six assists and five steals in leading the Beavers to their fourth win in their last five games. He had 15 points five rebounds and four steals in the first half alone.

In Eugene, Oregon beat Southern Cal 75-67, Portland beat visiting Pacific 72-69, and Portland State beat Weber State on the road, 69-63.

A week ago, all four schools lost on Thursday night.

OSU sophomore guard Malcolm Duvivier went 8-of-8 from the line in the closing 54 seconds and finished with 19 points, six rebounds and five assists as the Beavers scored another emotional win before an energized crowd of 6,024 - the memory of the team’s upset of No. 7 Arizona two weeks ago still fresh.

The Beavers shot 51 percent (22-43) from the field, hit 16 of 18 free throws and limited the Bruins (11-8, 3-3) to 31 percent shooting overall (19-62) and 24 percent (6-25) from 3-point range.

The Ducks ended a two-game losing streak with a late surge against the Trojans, who rallied back from a 16-2 deficit to tie the game at 61-all. Oregon then hit a 9-0 run to take over the game before a crowd of 5,652 at Matthew Knight Arena.

Joseph Young led Oregon with 19 points.

Sophomore guard Alec Wintering hit a 3-point shot at the buzzer to provide the winning margin for the Pilots at the Chiles Center.
Kevin Bailey led the team with 21 points, and Thomas Vander Mars added 17 points and eight rebounds for teh Pilots, who take on St. Mary’s Saturday. The Gaels lost at Gonzaga

Thursday in a battle for the WCC lead.


Thursday’s win boosted the Vikings into fifth place in the Big Sky Conference, and bumped the Wildcats to seventh - the standings would have been switched had the outcome been reversed. PSU plays at last-place Idaho State Saturday.


OSU women in national title hunt

The No. 11 Beavers are 10-0 with a huge game at Tennessee Sunday
Dec. 23, 2014 / By Cliff Pfenning, Oregonsports Journal

When the George Fox women's basketball team won the NCAA Div. III women's basketball title six years ago, it came from absolutely nowhere - no one nationally basically knew the school had a hoop program.

It the Oregon State Beavers manage to pull that feat off at the Div. I level this season, it won't be a surprise at all. And, the team is playing like it wants that to happen.

The connection to the two teams is coach Scott Rueck, a coach with a history of building a national champion.

A month into the season, the Beavers are unbeaten at 10-0 and have a victory over No. 6 North Carolina on their resume. Even better, their schedule includes a game at national power Tennessee on Sunday - an even better win for the resume.

"They all are so focused," Rueck told The Oregonian about his players after the North Caroline win. "This team does not take a play off — defensively or offensively — and that is just really hard to compete against. We talk about building a championship culture, and the team has committed to doing that."

The Beavers haven't been an underdog frequently in recent times having gone 24-11 last year with a win in the NCAA Tournament. This season, they were picked for third in the Pac-12 in the coaches' poll, and have one of the top players in the nation in guard Sydney Weise. She recently was named to the Naismith Award watch list.

Even better, it has a pair of Oregonians playing key roles - Deven Hunter, a junior forward from Salem's McNary High, and Samantha Siegner, a junior forward from West Albany High.

Rueck has his team playing so well, all of its wins have been by double digits - 70-55 at UNC.

The team has already put together the best start in the program's history, and reached its highest ranking ever. Now, all it needs is a national title to show what it really can do. And, there's only one senior on the squad. Who knows what Rueck's program can really can do?



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