Seattle,WA -- Nothing beats a game that keeps you on the edge of your chair.
"What a night," said coach Rueck. "Phenomenal first game and then this one had everybody in suspense."
The game started off looking great for Oregon State as Jamie Weisner hit her legendary shot from downtown only 10 seconds in. The team grabbed an early lead of seven points looking prominent on the floor, however falling behind was NOT about to be on Washington’s watch.
Washington picked up their pace to match Oregon State’s as Chantel Osahor sunk a three. Both teams tested each others' abilities, playing cat and mouse running the ball down each end with no breather in between.
"Certainly was two games, is what it felt like. The first one wasn’t quite as comfortable for us. We were trading baskets and we’re not used to that," said Rueck.
The quarter came to a close with both teams tied at 21, however Washington beat Oregon State in efficiency in both field goals and threes, shooting 62 and 83 percent over Oregon State’s 47 and 30 percent.
The Huskies kept their intensity high as they went on a 7-0 run in the second quarter with Katie Collier, Osahor and Talia Walton dominating on the floor. Osahar was simply going ham as she continually denied anybody that got in her driving lane.
This intensity shook up the Beavers, struggling to make a basket as they went scoreless for four straight minutes. Washington refused to allow Weisner to drive to the basket, so in turn, the Player of the Year went back to her three’s. Weisner sunk in two from downtown which tied the game, but with Kelsey Plum collecting a pair from the line, the Huskies inched the Beavers going into the second half ahead by two points.
Wiese sunk an immediate three to put the Beavers back ahead within seconds into the second half. Following the big shot, things got fairly quiet for a few minutes as each team ran up and down the court on empty possessions.
The Huskies did well on defense, getting the necessary rebounds and securing the ball, however they weren’t able to impress on the other end of the court. Oregon State began to wake up and find their rhythm again, and with two minutes remaining, the Beavers went on a 6-1 run to outscore the Huskies 13-7 in the quarter.
Knowing how easy it was for the Huskies to catch up, it was vital for the Beavers to maintain this going into the fourth. And the Beavers were able to stay on top, however they had to work hard for it as the Huskies defense refused to give up.
"Second half turned into a little bit more of what we’re used to. That’s a defensive battle and a defensive struggle," said Rueck. "We tried to go inside and then they were able to defend us and make us miss."
They did well staying on the Beavers, but all their efforts were on this defense, while their offense was inadequate and not even close to aggressive, going 0 for 10 for field goals.
And then out of nowhere, Osahor emerged once again collecting five points in one minute, three coming from downtown with 37 seconds remaining in play. The whole crowd got on their feet, sweating bullets as Washington was in possession to make an attempt to tie the score, but Plum missed the tear drop on the buzzer to give the Beavers a nail-biting win, 57-55.
Weisner was the top performer tonight with 20 points, five rebounds, followed by Sydney Wiese with 16 points, four rebounds and Ruth Hamblin with 10 points, 12 rebounds.
Osahor was the leading scorer for Washington with 18 points, eight rebounds, followed by Walton with 15 points, six rebounds and Kelsey Plum with 14 points, eight rebounds.