Women win in Eugene, sweep Ducks
Beavers turn it on in the second half, turn a tie game into a 15-point win
Published: Sunday, February 26, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, July 24, 2012 20:07
EUGENE - Going into a media timeout with just over seven minutes to play, the score was tied for the first time since 0-0.
Most of the 3,604 people who attended the women's Civil War Saturday were silent and worried how the rest would play out, except those sitting in the Southwest corner of Matthew Knight Arena, cheering loudly to make Oregon State feel right at home, away from home.
A few players wearing black and orange couldn't help but look up into the stands as Head Coach Scott Rueck broke down the gameplan that would carry Oregon State (18-9, 9-7 Pac-12) to a 68-53 victory over the University of Oregon (14-14, 6-10 Pac-12).
For the first time in 15 years, the OSU women have won three Civil Wars in a row.
"Finally, we settled down and just started playing. We finally got into that ‘mode' this game," Rueck said.
The big game jitters showed all first half. Oregon State committed 14 turnovers and shot only 28 percent from the field. Despite a 10-2 run by Oregon, the Beavers' defense and control of tempo never let the Ducks' lead seem out of reach.
"I thought we got comfortable with what they were doing. I thought we read things quicker, I thought we were in their space a little sooner," Rueck said. "The corner threes that were there early weren't there. The team adapted well."
Once in rhythm and relaxed, the team would turn things around for the second half.
"There was a point in the second half when Alyssa [Martin] caught the ball on the wing, shot faked, drove and drew a defender, and kicked it. Sage [Indendi] had a wide open shot that she missed, but that was the first time we played — just made a basketball play," Rueck said. "Against the zone you have got to make plays, you can't always assume things are going to be there. We did that this game"
Oregon State only committed six second-half turnovers and shot 44 percent from the field.
The Ducks shot only 18.2 percent from the field in the second half.
Senior guard Earlysia Marchbanks led the charge, scoring all of her 19 points in the last 10 minutes.
"I committed a lot of turnovers first half, trying to pass into double teams. Coach told me to look for my shot second half and drive it, and that's what I did," Marchbanks said.
Marchbanks put the team on her back and shot 13-for-15 from the free throw line down the stretch.
Junior forward Patricia Bright had five blocks on the night, breaking her single-season blocked shots record. She currently has 95 with two games left to play. The former record holder, El Sara Greer, finished with 92 last season. Bright also added 14 points.
Sophomore guard Alyssa Martin was the only other player to finish in double figures, with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Oregon State has proven it is not a matter of if they come to play, but when, as late game spurts of success and defensive patience have spelled out the unexpected success of the season.
"They were [a] resilient team, that continues to find a way to stay in games and compete, and I thought what we did well as we have yet [to do], is close the game," Rueck said. "I was really impressed with the way they broke down the press and knocked down the free throws to win the game."
Oregon State is now tied with UCLA for fourth place in conference standings. With the Pac-12 Tournament seed on the line and a postseason berth in mind, Oregon State will travel to play Utah and Colorado to close the regular season.
"We are happy, I am really proud to experience success in this year when really nobody expected it. I am proud of what they [the players] have made of themselves," Rueck said. "It's been a blast to have been a part of and I am excited for the finish."
Jacob Shannon, sports writer