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No. 3 Oregon State faces No. 18 Arizona in showdown of top guards

Mikayla Pivec, Destiny Slocum and the No. 3 Oregon State Beavers take on Aari McDonald and the No. 18 Arizona Wildcats. Let’s preview the game and also take a look at Oregon State’s emerging post star.

NCAA BASKETBALL: MAR 29 Div I Women’s Championship - Third Round - Oregon State v Louisville
Mikayla Pivec (#0) leads the Oregon State Beavers with 15.4 points this season.
Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The No. 3 Oregon State Beavers begin a road trip in Tuscon against the No. 18 Arizona Wildcats. Oregon State is undefeated, while Arizona is coming off its first loss of the season at the hands of UCLA.

Established stars

For Oregon State, Mikayla Pivec and Destiny Slocum are the keys to the Beavers’ success. Pivec is averaging a double-double with 15.4 points and 10.1 rebounds, including three games with more than 15 rebounds. Slocum is averaging 14.6 points and scoring in double figures in 12 of the Beavers’ 14 games.

Arizona’s Aari McDonald will look to give Oregon State fits all night. McDonald is averaging just over 20 points this season. She scored 19 points in the loss to UCLA but shot 7-of-20 from the field.

Post matchup

A third star is emerging for the Beavers in freshman Taylor Jones. The five-star recruit out Texas was named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week for the third time this week; she also was named the National Freshman of the Week. Jones averaged 15.5 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the Beavers’ two games last week. She is the first player for Oregon State to earn Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honors three times.

Taylor Jones’ potential matchup is sophomore Semaj Jones. Semaj Jones has started Arizona’s last six games as senior Dominique McBryde recovers from a sprained ankle. (McBryde is listed as questionable for tonight’s game.) Semaj Jones was a 40-percent shooter from 3-point range in her freshman season but has attempted just three shots from beyond the arc this year. It may be worthwhile to stretch Semaj Jones outside in an attempt neutralize Taylor Jones, who leads the Pac-12 with 30 blocked shots.

Game information

No. 18 Arizona Wildcats vs. No. 3 Oregon State Beavers

When: Friday, Jan. 10, at 10 p.m. ET

Where: McKale Center, Tuscon, AZ

How to watch/listen: Pac-12 Network, TuneIn