Dallas, TX -- The history-making continues.
Oregon State's historical season and return to the Sweet 16 endures as they advance to the final game of the Dallas Regional after putting away DePaul 83 to 71.
The Blue Demons of DePaul were not able to use their experience in the Sweet 16 to ward off Oregon State's attack. In the last five seasons, DePaul has reached the Sweet 16 three times; four trips total in school history. Guard play and a well balanced defensive game plan weakened DePaul's ability to score and defend the 3-point line.
"I've been blessed to coach these very special people and DePaul has been blessed to have them in our program. I just can't say enough about what they've done for our program," DePaul Head Coach Doug Bruno said. "They are the first set of seniors to graduate that's helped our team go to two Sweet 16's. So they have done something that nobody else has been able to achieve."
In the first five minutes of the matchup, Oregon State's Sydney Wiese had all eight of Oregon State's points to DePaul's nine. Hitting two 3's to start the semifinal game, Wiese proved why she is currently eighth in Pac-12 history for career 3-pointers.
Feeding off of the energy Wiese created, Oregon State's Jamie Weisner hit back-to-back 3's to extend the Beaver's lead to 21-17 heading into the second quarter. Weisner was named the Pac-12 Player of the Year this season, along with many big accolades. The senior guard proved that in this matchup, scoring 38 points with 20 of those coming from the first half. Her 38-point performance is a career high, breaking her 3-pointers made in a game record.
"She made my job easier, and another thing she did really well was rebounding, she made a double-double tonight," Oregon State player Ruth Hamblin said. "She willed us to win tonight and so to have a competitor and a teammate like that, it makes you want to work harder and to do more for her and for the team."
DePaul stiffened Oregon State's lead down to seven points after sinking two 3-pointers to end the first half, but that would be as close as they got. DePaul's Jessica January, a junior guard, hit the shot from beyond the arc within the last seconds of the second quarter to extend her point total to 11.
Hamblin, dubbed Pac-12 Defensive Player of Year for the second year in a row, proved her worth on the Oregon State roster. The 6'6" center went perfect from the field in the first half, coming within one rebound of a double-double.
She finished with 13 points while contributing 9 rebounds and 4 blocks to end the game. Her last double-double performance was against UCLA when she recorded 16 points and 15 rebounds combined with 6 blocks.
"The team in the locker room, what a battle. This team prepared all week like they have all year and got ready to play this game. We understood that this was a team that was going to make runs at us," Oregon State Head Coach Scott Rueck said. "I'm just really proud of this group for being as resilient as they were and for finding a way to win."
To lead DePaul's fight, January finished the game with 20, making 8 out of 16 field goal attempts. Junior forward Jacqui Grant scored 15 points while Mart'e Grays added 14 points, coming off the bench to join the four players that scored in double figures for DePaul.
Oregon State will face the Baylor Lady Bears in the Elite Eight matchup on Monday, March 28 at 8 pm. Baylor beat out Florida State in a steady attack, winning 78-58.