SALT LAKE CITY — With Oregon State clinging to a two-point lead with just over two minutes left, coach Scott Rueck called a timeout.
The Beavers responded as Marie Gulich scored on a pick-and-roll, then got past Emily Potter and drove in for another basket that gave OSU some breathing room.
Gulich sparked a 10-1 closing run for the No. 17 Beavers, who picked up their first Pac-12 women’s basketball road win of the season with a 69-58 decision on Friday night.
“We came out of the time out, we got Marie that layup, Katie (McWilliams’) pass to her was beautiful,” Rueck said in his postgame radio interview. “I thought that was probably the play of the game. It got momentum back on our side after the timeout.”
With a 63-57 lead, the Beavers salted it away by hitting six free throws.
“Today we closed it,” Rueck said. “I was so proud of our execution.”
Gulich finished with 18 points, on 8-for-12 shooting, and six blocks and Mikayla Pivec had 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Beavers. Taya Corosdale chipped in 11.
Megan Huff had 26 points and Potter 14 to lead the Utes, but both were slowed in the second half.
The Beavers (15-5, 6-3) head to Colorado on Sunday at 1 p.m. while the Utes (14-6, 5-4) host No. 7 Oregon at 11 a.m.
The difference in the second half was the defense. The Beavers allowed the Utes to get comfortable throughout the first 20 minutes.
“They just ran around, shot open shots the whole first half,” Rueck said. “I said, what are we going to be defensively and what’s out identity? I think we saw that in the fourth quarter and the second half.”
Still, the Beavers trailed 44-39 with 6:19 left in the third after a Huff basket.
But those were the final points Oregon State allowed in the third quarter and an 11-0 run gave the Beavers a 50-44 lead going to the fourth.
Five different players scored during the run.
The Beavers limited the Utes to a 4-for-14 shooting performance in the period after they were 15 for 32 in the first half, including 9 for 15 in the second quarter.
Utah was just 5 for 15 in the fourth quarter.
“They closed out with great defense,” Rueck said. “We adjusted a little bit the second half to slow their posts down and we made them go to things they didn’t want to do. That’s Oregon State basketball.”
The Beavers led 59-52 after two Pivec layups but Daneesha Provo scored five of her nine points in back-to-back possessions to make it 59-57 and forcing Rueck to call the timeout.
Oregon State jumped out to a 6-0 lead and led 17-14 after the first period as Taylor Kalmer led the way with six point off the bench.
Utah jumped ahead on a quick 5-0 spurt to open the second quarter and led by as many as four before taking a 36-34 lead into the half.
Huff had 16 and Potter 12 as they combined to go 12 for 21 from the floor. Huff drained two 3s in the second period.
The Beavers were also 15 for 32 from the floor but were just 7 for 20 in the second quarter to fall behind.
Gulich led the way with eight points despite playing just 13 minutes due to foul trouble. Joanna Grymek picked up the scoring slack with six points, hitting all three of her shots in the period.
“She’s hard on herself but the way she came out, she scored, she kept us in the game,” Gulich said. “I’m really proud. She makes so much progress.”