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Preview: Team USA travels to Corvallis where Oregon State hopes to maintain same strengths as last year

Mikayla Pivec and Destiny Slocum are back for the Oregon State Beavers. For success this season, they will look to build on the 3-point shooting and defense that propelled them to a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2018-19.

NCAA Womens Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Lexington Regional-Oregon State vs Louisville
Kat Tudor drives against Asia Durr in a 2018 NCAA Tournament game. Tudor is back from injury and ready to pick up where she left off as a nearly 50 percent 3-point shooter after 86 attempts last year.
Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The Oregon State women’s basketball team is set to take on Team USA in an exhibition game tonight — Monday, Nov. 4, at 10 p.m. ET.

The Beavers will use this game as preparation for their regular season, which begins on Nov. 9 at home againts UC Irvine. Team USA, meanwhile, features 12 WNBA players, including legends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi as well as up-and-coming stars A’ja Wilson and Napheesa Collier.

Oregon State enters the 2019-20 season as the No. 7 team in the nation according to the AP poll. It is back from a Sweet Sixteen campaign led by senior forward Mikayla Pivec (a member of the U.S. Pan-American 5-on-5 team) and redshirt junior guard Destiny Slocum, both of whom are back this season and both of whom are WNBA prospects.

The Beavers are known for their 3-point shooting, defense and exceptional home-court advantage at Gill Stadium. The only impact players from last year that the Beavers lost to graduation are Katie McWilliams (7.4 points per game) and Joanna Grymek (7.1). With Pivec and Slocum averaging just north of 15 points per game, Oregon State returns a lot of its scoring and 3-point shooting ability. With all the hype surrounding the team, the Gill Stadium crowd should be even better than last season. On defense, the Beavers will have to make up for the loss of Grymek (a 6-foot-8 post player who led the team with 41 blocks) with Kennedy Brown (a 6-foot-6 post player and the No. 20 overall recruit).

The Beavers are ranked ahead of fellow conference teams in No. 11 UCLA and No. 20 Arizona State, but will be challenged by those two schools in an incredibly competitive Pac-12 also featuring No. 1 Oregon and No. 3 Stanford. The rivalry between the Ducks and Beavers will be at an all-time high after the two teams split last year and once again are in the national spotlight.

The Beavers’ most prolific 3-point shooter, Aleah Goodman, returns for her junior year after averaging 10.7 points per game off the bench last season. She led Oregon State with 74 made threes while shooting at 39 percent. Another key perimeter weapon, senior Kat Tudor, is back after missing most of last season due to an injury. She led the Beavers in 3-point shooting with 47 percent (40-for-86). Slocum, meanwhile, went 62-for-182 (37 percent) and Pivec and returning junior Taya Corosdale also made significant contributions from beyond the arc.

Pivec, who notched a triple-double in Oregon State’s exhibition game against Concordia (Ore.) on Friday, made the preseason All-Pac-12 Team and both she and Slocum are expected to be among the best players in the country. Pivec also has been named to the Cheryl Miller watch list for the top small forward in the nation and Slocum has been named to the Nancy Lieberman watch list for the top point guard in the nation.

In the Beavers’ other exhibition game, Taylor Jones (the No. 43 freshman according to espnW’s Hoop Gurlz rankings) scored 27 points.

The Beavers will face No. 18 Miami on Nov. 29 and that game will be a good test for them before opening Pac-12 play by hosting Utah on Jan. 3. Tonight, they’ll sharpen their skills against some of the best women to every play the game.

Game information

No. 7 Oregon State Beavers vs. Team USA

When: Monday, Nov. 4, at 10 p.m. ET

Where: Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, OR

How to watch: Pac-12 Oregon, Pac-12 free livestream

USA roster updates: Chelsea Gray returns after missing Saturday’s game. Kelsey Plum will not be available for this game.