Oregon State's upset bid over UCLA dashed in second half
Published: Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, January 8, 2013 01:01
The Oregon State women’s basketball team fell short of pulling off an upset over No. 16 UCLA at Gill Coliseum on Sunday.
The Beavers (6-8, 0-2) were in control for most of the game, until they gave up 14 straight points to UCLA (11-2, 2-0) in the second half. The Bruins would go on to win the game 68-64. It is the Beavers’ fifth loss in a row.
Sophomore guard Ali Gibson scored a team-high 15 points along with six rebounds. Freshman guard Jamie Weisner had a productive day, finishing with 13 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Junior guard Alyssa Martin was the only other Beaver to reach double-figures in scoring, and she had 11.
“I thought today was a strong performance overall,” said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck. “UCLA is obviously an extremely talented, well-coached team, and I thought we gave it a big-time effort. We competed like crazy today.”
Oregon State has not beaten a ranked opponent since 2004, but the first half of the game looked promising for the underdog Beavers.
Two early 3-pointers from Martin gave OSU an early lead, but UCLA’s Alyssia Brewer responded with three consecutive layups to give the Bruins a 13-10 advantage.
Oregon State then began piling on points, and went on a 24-9 run over the next eight minutes. The run led to the Beavers’ largest lead of the game, with the score at 34-22.
The Bruins did not go away, though, as they narrowed the score to 34-29 by halftime.
“We executed beautifully in the first half,” Rueck said. “And it was some of the best basketball we have played to this point. [But] credit UCLA for cranking up the pressure. [They had a] 14-point run at a key moment and that was really the ball game.”
At the start of the second half, the Beavers struggled to get shots off against an aggressive Bruins defense, and they were battling the shot clock on several occasions. One such instance occurred with the score at 41-40.
While the fans in attendance were counting down the final three seconds of the shot clock, Gibson dribbled right, drove into the lane and hoisted an off-balance jumper just before the time expired. The basket counted, and it sent the crowd of 1,161 into a frenzy.
The following inbound pass by the Bruins was stolen, and Weisner was fouled on the play. She made her two free throws and OSU was up by five. Their lead would eventually reach six before UCLA went on their 14-0 run.
It took a jump shot from Samantha Siegner to end the Beaver’s scoring drought, which lasted nearly five minutes, but it was not enough.
The game remained close until the end, but OSU could not cut the lead to any fewer than three points, before losing by four.
“Winning is a skill,” said Rueck. “And we’re continuing to develop that skill. It’s never a lack of heart with this team. It’s never a lack of effort. It’s a lack of experience sometimes.”
The Beavers turned the ball over 24 times, and eight of those came during their scoring drought.
They will look to cut down on errors before their next game, which is Jan. 11 at Arizona.
Mitch Mahoney, sports reporter