Corvallis, OR -- Gill Coliseum was filled today as the Oregon State Beavers took on UC Riverside at home, defeating the Highlanders 86-65.
The first quarter started off strong as expected for Oregon State, as they went on a quick 9-0 run, with Ruth Hamblin doing a good job staying under the basket both offensively and defensively.
Three minutes into the quarter, however, Riverside gained immediate momentum, picking up back-to-back steals and sunk in three 3's in a row, catching up to the Beavers to tie it 11-11. They were holding Oregon State well defensively, getting three steals in two minutes.
UC Riverside was able to gain their first lead, 15-13 with a jumper by Rejane Verin. Ruth Hamblin responded, drawing a foul for a three-point play, which put the Beavers back on top.
The rest of the quarter went fairly back and forth, with the Highlanders responding to every OSU basket. Towards the end, Sydney Wiese was able to close it all out with a huge three-point jumper. Afterwards, UC Riverside had a missed opportunity to catch up and Oregon State gained possession of the ball, but failed to get it into the basket before the buzzer.
The quarter ended close between the two teams, 31-27.
In the start of second quarter, UC Riverside really began to turn up the heat. Crain kicked it off with a 3-pointer, and with a jumper by Annelise Ito, UCR gained their second lead of the night.
Oregon State began to fall into a slump offensively, passing the ball around and missing good looks. UCR then got away with another steal, and the Beavers were getting close to having enough. Hanson drove to the basket and drew a foul for a 3-point play, picking the Beavers back up to tie with the Highlanders.
The lead change kept going back and forth, as it changed four times in the half, and the Highlanders once again gained a lead. OSU's Katie McWilliams worked to bring them out of their funk, sinking in a three-point jumper to put the Beavs back ahead.
And with five minutes left on the clock, and Jaime Weisner back on the floor, the Beavers began to find their rhythm again, going on a 10-0 run.
With the final seconds remaining, UCR tried to put some final points on the board but Gulich denied, and with five seconds on the clock Rueck took a timeout to set the Beavers up, but they fell short with a final play, ending the half with the Beavers edging the Highlanders 47-42.
Sydney Wiese was on FIRE at the start of the third, with a 3-point play and her fourth 3-point jumper to follow only three minutes into the quarter. A timeout was called, and immediately the crowd got on their feet.
Back in the game with help from Hamblin and Hunter, Oregon State went on their biggest run of 18-2, which led to a UC Riverside timeout. Needless to say, the Beavers found their niche again.
After a strong momentum for Oregon State, it was a relatively quiet last few minutes of the quarter. Both teams went back and forth with empty possessions, and the Beavers closed it out with a jumper by Orum with 26 seconds remaining, maintaining their lead 70-54.
Jamie Weisner and Kolbie Orum began to take charge in the fourth quarter, drawing fouls and adding more points to the board for Oregon State, while Sydney Wiese sunk in ANOTHER 3-pointer to land her fifth in the game. After a timeout with four minutes remaining, Gill Coliseum got fairly quiet once again as the teams were running up and down the court with little action but fouls.
With one minute remaining, McWilliams threw the ball down the court to Brown for an open layup, and the Beavers held onto the ball with the final seconds remaining, continuing their winning streak and defeating the Highlanders 86-65.
Sydney Wiese was the top scorer for the Beavers, doubling that of the past two games with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Ruth Hamblin had 16 points, 6 rebounds and Jamie Weisner closed the night with 14 points, 5 rebounds.
Rejane Verin was the leading scorer for UCR with 25 points and 8 rebounds, and Annelise Ito was the second top scorer for the team with 13 points and 4 rebounds.
Coach Scott Rueck touched on the game, saying- "Great win for us today. I liked the fight that we needed to have today to win. I liked the composure that this team played with when we were challenged. Riverside is a nice team; a veteran team that executes a unique offense, something that you don't see very often."
He continued, "It's not scripted, so you really have to do a great job offensively, I thought we did position-wise all game, but man they shot the ball well. We jump out 11-0 like here we go, and next thing you know we're down two. And give them credit for keeping their composure and hitting shots and making a game of it early, and I thought it was just a really good test today," he said.
"Another great crowd, and the second half felt like us. We came out, held them down to 31% from the field, and we had big-time performances and the defense just hit a different gear and that was great to see, and so I thought this was a perfect game for game three. A good test and a good win for our program."