It didn’t look good for the Oregon State women’s basketball team on Friday night after the Beavers lost to the Stanford Cardinal by 22 points on the road. They were now a game behind Arizona State in the Pac-12 standings with one game left to play in the regular season, and the team’s chances of securing back-to-back championships seemed minimal at best.
However, the Beavers stuck together and beat California today in Berkeley, 54-44, and meanwhile, those pesky UCLA Bruins—that handed Oregon State an ugly loss back in January—beat the Sun Devils at Pauley Pavilion to put the OSU women back into a first-place tie. This means the Beavers are co-champions of the Pac-12, even though they held the head-to-head edge based on a 67-44 victory over Arizona State earlier this season.
A 15-0 run by Oregon State broke a 39-39 tie early in the fourth quarter, and then the Beavers waited to see the outcome of the ASU-UCLA contest. They were rewarded richly for their patience and their fortitude. Ruth Hamblin led the way today with 11 points, 19 rebounds and six blocks. She is just eight blocks short now of the all-time conference record. Jamie Weisner tossed in 11 points, five rebounds and five assists for OSU as the team recovered very well from the painful loss to the Cardinal.
Friday night’s loss at Stanford was ugly, ugly, ugly. The Beavers shot just 34.4 percent for the game, while the Cardinal—playing without their top scorer, away on personal leave—57.7 percent. If you knew nothing else about the game, you’d know it was a blowout. Losing by a 76-54 score stinks, especially when your two best scorers combine for a 3-for-16 night. It was one of those games you just to forget happened, really.
“They shot the ball at an incredible rate,” OSU Head Coach Scott Rueck told the press postgame on Friday. “They took control of the game, and we couldn’t get it back. We’re playing great basketball, and we have continued to improve. All we can do is focus on us.”
A lot of credit goes to Rueck and his staff for making sure that happened today against the Golden Bears. As a result, the Beavers are once again Pac-12 champions, and now, the team will set it sights on the elusive Pac-12 Tournament championship later this week in Seattle. Oregon State will be the No. 1 seed in the bracket.