Women's basketball looking for redemption
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 01:02
The Oregon State women’s basketball returns home to face Washington State tonight for its annual Pink Out game.
This game is the second time the Beavers (9-15, 3-9 Pac-12) face an opponent they have already seen this season. It provides the team with an extra edge in preparation, since they can know what to expect.
“It helps going into our games, because we know what they do and who they are,” said freshman center Ruth Hamblin. “You just feel more familiar and know what you need to do to beat them.”
Since the teams have played each other once, there is a tactical game played the second time around. Each team will make adjustments to cater to how each played last time, making it difficult to anticipate what the opponent will change.
“It becomes a chess match a little bit, you both make adjustments going into the next game,” said head coach Scott Rueck.
Neither Oregon State nor Washington State (9-14, 5-7) is the same team as last time they met each other.
Since its overtime losses to the WSU (Jan. 25) and Washington (Jan. 27), Oregon State has faced three top-25 teams and lost some of its confidence amidst a six-game losing streak.
“It’s been a rough road for the last three weeks, and we are looking to get back on the winning track,” Rueck said.
Washington State went through the opposite trend. The Cougars went on a four-game winning streak and are coming into the game with confidence.
In their first meeting this season, the Beavers were unable to close out the game and lost in overtime. Both the overtime losses have served to fuel the team in preparation for their rematches.
“We want to bounce back and split the series with both of them,” said senior guard Mollee Schwegler. “Because we know we should have had both those ‘W’s.”
If the Beavers are to come away with a win, they must start strong. In their last two games, they have struggled to find a rhythm and get on the scoreboard early.
Against Colorado it took them more than five minutes to score, and they also struggled out of the gate in a loss to Utah.
“We started all four halves like that last weekend,” Rueck said. “Where we got down in the hole before we started competing, and that’s a mystery to me, to be honest.”
The team looked lackluster and lost on the floor. The Beavers will need to figure out how to overcome this mental block if they are to stand a chance against Washington State tonight.
“We have to have the right mindset and the right perspective going in from the tip, knowing that we need to kill this team, run them out of the gym,” Schwegler said.
Once the Beavers were able to find a rhythm, they were able to put together good looks but were just unable to knock down shots.
When the Beavers were able to get a defensive stop, many times they were unable to convert those stops into points. Offensive execution will be crucial this weekend with Washington (first in the Pac-12 in scoring) and Washington State (fifth).
Besides playing for redemption for their overtime losses, the Beavers are playing for a bigger cause tonight in their Pink Out game. The Pink Out game is to raise awareness and money for breast cancer research.
“I’m really excited for the Pink Out game because it is a great cause,” Hamblin said. “It’s cool that we get to be a part of it and it makes you want to play harder, because it makes you realize there is something bigger in life that we are playing for too.”
Sarah Kerrigan, sports reporter