OSU's impressive defense needs big game at Washington
Rueck says OSU women's basketball needs to play 'best game of the year' tonight in Seattle
Published: Friday, January 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, January 25, 2013 01:01
Following back-to-back Civil War victories, the Oregon State women’s basketball team is headed to Washington for a pair of road games.
The Beavers (9-9, 3-3 Pac-12) are playing phenomenal defense so far this season, leading the Pac-12 in blocks and seventh in the nation. They are also holding opposing teams to just 33 percent shooting, which is second best in the league, and 13th in the nation.
The high level of defense will need to be maintained in today’s game against Washington (12-5, 4-2) in Seattle.
“Every game we’ve played [against the Huskies] over the last couple years has been a war,” said head coach Scott Rueck. “They’ve all come right down to the end, and I don’t see it being any different. They’re playing very well this year. [This is] a game where we need to play our best game of the year, up there on the road, and I feel like this team is ready to do that.”
Despite the vote of confidence from their head coach, the Beavers have their work cut out for them. The Huskies feature a talented starting five that is spearheaded by sophomore point guard Jazmine Davis. Davis is averaging 20.4 points per game, a clip that is second best in the Pac-12. As a team, the Huskies average 66.3 points a game, which is six more than the Beavers average.
“We need to contain [Davis] as best we can,” Rueck said. “She’s just a big time scorer, a big time playmaker, and we’ve got to do our best to slow her down. It’s going to be [in] the defensive end of the floor where we have to take care of business.”
In addition to Davis, the Huskies are currently shooting three pointers more efficiently than any other team in the Pac-12. They also have a talented post player in Talia Walton.
“I think they are really hard to guard,” Rueck said. “They’ve got four guards on the outside that all can attack you. They’ve got a player underneath that just is extremely active and mobile, a great rebounder and always finds ways to get open. They’re a team that has five aggressive starters, and that is the toughest team to guard.”
It will take a strong defensive effort and efficient shooting on the offensive side of the ball for the Beavers if they are to take command of this game.
Luckily, they have won two games in a row — and during an injury-plagued season — and just may be playing their best ball of the season. Friday’s game will determine whether that trend continues.
Mitch Mahoney, sports reporter