Eugene, OR -- Wow, did the Ducks sure regroup and bring their A-game.
I think it's safe to say that nobody was expecting this out of the Ducks coming off such a large loss to the Beavers in the first game of the Civil War. The Ducks were able to regroup and rebuild to bring a good fight. There was an enormous change in Oregon's attitude, and it was reflected in their super aggressive defense.
Oregon State started out the quarter unsurprisingly strong, grabbing an early lead of 9-2 within the first four minutes of the game. Hamblin, Weisner, and Hanson were all putting up points on the board for the Beavers, but it was not as easy as the Ducks were right on their tails for each bucket.
However, their offense was not as impressive as their defense, as they had a lot of missed opportunities for points. The Ducks went on a 3-minute scoring drought, only making 1-8 field goals. However once Liz Brenner hydrated the team with a basket, this drought was completely replenished.
With the help from Alleyne and Cazorla, the Ducks were able to close the gap from nine to five points. Mar'Shay Moore brought the deficit to its smallest yet of three points with 19 seconds remaining, but Gabriella Hanson responded with a jumper in the final two seconds to close the quarter 17-12.
The Ducks' offense stayed on high alert to kick off quarter two, and were able to maintain the three-point gap. The Beavers' offense began to look shaken by the Ducks' defensive force, allowing their seventh turnover two minutes into the quarter.
The momentum had completely shifted, and the Ducks were now in complete control. Oregon State was now the team on a 3-minute scoring drought, making 0 of 5 field goals. And with a jump shot by Maite Cazorla, the Ducks got their first lead of the night.
Oregon's defense really started to just kill it, with Jillian denying Ruth to get the crowd going crazy. The scoring kept going back and forth between the two teams, and the Ducks were able to inch ahead and maintain their impressive lead going into the half, 25-24.
Oregon State regrouped and made a statement kicking off the second half, going on a quick 6-0 run with shots by Hamblin, Hunter, and McWilliams. However, their turnovers were really hurting them (allowing a total of 18 in the night), giving the Ducks a lot of opportunities to score.
Jillian Alleyne really knew how to get through Ruth in this game, effortlessly getting layups past the dominant center. However with the Ducks allowing fouls and the Beavers maintaining their scoring rhythm, the gap was back to how it was in the beginning of the first.
Weisner sunk in a long two and with a pair at the line from McWilliams, the score was brought to a nine-point difference. The Ducks were now the turnover team, and after some last few efforts by both teams, the third came to an end with the Beavers back ahead, 38-31.
Ruth Hamblin grabbed the first bucket to kick off the final quarter, and with an Oregon turnover, Samantha Siegner sealed their scoring strength with a layup. The gap had now reached its largest of the night at 11 points, and it was clear that the Beavers were not going to accept a loss.
Jamie Weisner sunk a huge three, which silenced the loud Oregon crowd. Oregon State was reenergizing what was lost in the first half, and their unstoppable force began to rise.
"They are what they are. How they're going to defend you, what they're going to run; they just work really well. They don't make mistakes. And they just keep coming at you, and in that critical time they just kinda put the hammer down," said Oregon coach Kelly Graves.
The Beavers went on a 7-0 run, and things were turning south for the Ducks. Brenner was able to get some good shots, but her efforts just weren't enough to compete with Hunter and Hanson.
With a little over a minute remaining Moore was able to get a three and a pair at the line for the Ducks, but their chance was long gone as the Oregon State Beavers took their second win against the Ducks in the Civil War series, finalizing the game 59-45.
"Really proud of our effort today. We knew they'd bring a big effort. It's funky to play two games so quickly against the same team. It's rare in our sport," said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck. "We knew they bring a lot of pressure. We knew they do their best to capitalize on our inexperience at the point."
He continued, "I thought our team rallied and then played really, really well in the second half. I thought we executed on both ends of the floor, kept them out of transition for the most part, made them work for everything and then I thought we worked and got excellent shots in the second half. I thought we just got better and better as the game went and so (I'm) really proud of our effort not only tonight but this weekend."
Ruth Hamblin once again dominated the Civil War game with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Gabriella Hanson ended with 9 points and Jamie Weisner with 11 points, 6 rebounds.
Liz Brenner was the star for the Ducks tonight as she collected 13 points and 2 rebounds, followed by Maite Cazorla with 12 points, 2 rebounds and Jillian Alleyne was kept below her usual double-double with 6 points, 10 rebounds.