This one will be remembered for quite some time.
Kate McWilliams converted a four-point play with 11.4 seconds left and the No. 18 Oregon State women’s basketball team made it 14 straight in the Civil War with a thrilling and heart-stopping 85-79 Pac-12 win over No. 7 Oregon on Friday night in front of a loud and energetic crowd of 6,704 inside Gill Coliseum.
“It felt like a heavyweight fight between two very talented teams playing incredible basketball,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “They just kept coming and you knew they would, all the way to the end.”
It was the first overtime game since 2007, a 69-59 Oregon Sate win at Oregon.
The Beavers led 81-79 when McWilliams made space to get off a 3 as the shot clock was winding down.
She nailed it and was fouled by Maite Cazorla. The free throw was good and the Beavers finally were able to put the Ducks away.
“That was a hell of a play,” Oregon coach Kelly Graves said.
“That was the best basketball moment I’ve ever been in, to be honest,” said Oregon State sharpshooter Kat Tudor, who had a career-high 34 points and made a career-best-tying seven 3-pointers. “I don’t think I’ve been more excited in my life. I was shaking.”
Marie Gulich added a career-high 28 points for the Beavers, who also got eight points, seven assists and five rebounds from Mikayla Pivec and nine points, eight assists and four rebounds from McWilliams.
Sabrina Ionescu had a game-high and career-high 35 points while Ruthy Hebard added 24 for the Ducks.
Oregon State (14-4, 5-2) heads to Eugene to take on the Ducks (17-3, 6-1) at 5 p.m. Sunday.
“Dang, one of these days I’d like to beat the Beavers, for crying out loud,” said Graves, who is 0-7. “They are a good team, no doubt about. … The good thing is we get them in two days — that’s also a bad thing.”
The Beavers thought they were close to winning in regulation on Friday night.
Up three late, it appeared the Beavers had made a huge stop but a charge call on Hebard was reviewed and changed to a block on Gulich.
Hebard hit one of two free throws to get within 74-72.
Tudor then hit one of two free throws for the Beavers for a 75-72 edge with 11.6 to play.
The Ducks took the ball out at midcourt and were fouled with 8.6 left, the Beavers' fourth team foul.
Ionescu then drained a 3 with about 4 seconds left. Pivec’s potential game-winner hit the front rim to force overtime.
“You give her an inch and she takes it,” Rueck said of Ionescu.
But Tudor, who missed a free throw that probably would have sealed it, hit a free throw to open the overtime and then swished a floater in the lane for a 78-75 lead with 2:25 left.
The Ducks would get no closer than a point.
Rueck loved what he saw out of his team after having a chance to win in regulation.
“We’re sitting there before overtime started feeling down. It’s a bummer,” he said. “We decided to look at each other and say, ‘hey it’s a new game. It’s a five-minute game, it’s 0-0.’
“I really loved the composure and the courage this team went into overtime with when they had a chance and opportunity to feel sorry for themselves.”
Gulich, a senior, has been in plenty of thrilling games over her career. She ranked Friday’s in the top three, along with winning at home against Stanford last year to clinch at least a share of a third straight Pac-12 title, and the win over Baylor in 2016 that sent the Beavers to the Final Four. Last year's double-overtime win at Stanford is also in the running.
“It was just amazing,” she said. “Beaver Nation, it was so loud at one point I couldn’t even hear my own voice anymore. It was just crazy to play in front of a crowd like this.
“Then our team, we looked at each other and we were just together, it was glue, and we were going to win this no matter what. Nobody let down. I’m super proud of everyone. It was super fun.”
The Beavers had the lead for the majority of the first three quarters before the Ducks were able to chip away.
Hebard’s layup off a pass from Ionescu gave the Ducks a 59-58 lead with 5:26 left, their first since 7:44 left in the first quarter.
The teams traded buckets until the Ducks took a 65-62 lead.
But Tudor’s seventh 3 tied it at 65. Pivec hit a corner three to give the Beavers a 72-71 lead with 46 seconds left.
The Beavers scored seven of the first nine points in the third quarter to take a 49-38 lead, the last three coming on Tudor’s seventh 3.
But the Ducks clamped down defensively and three straight baskets by Mallory McGwire got the Ducks within 49-46 with 3:30 to play in the period.
Gulich ended an 0-for-7 stretch for the Beavers and Oregon State managed to take a 53-50 lead into the final quarter.
McGwire had eight points in the period, scoring all of them in a 10-2 run.
The three-point deficit was the closest the Ducks had been since the 6-minute mark of the first quarter.
The Ducks opened the second quarter on a 7-0 run as Hebard scored twice and Ionescu canned a 3 after picking up a steal to get Oregon within 28-24.
Tudor answered the run with a 3, the eighth of the game for the Beavers without a miss.
The Beavers pushed the lead to 12 on a reverse layup by Gulich with 4:10 left in the half.
But the Ducks answered with eight straight, capped by a Satou Sabally 3 from the top of the key.
But Oregon State scored four of the final six points of the half to lead 42-36.
Oregon State finished the half 14 for 27 from the floor and 9 for 11 from 3. Tudor had 18 and Gulich 12 to lead the Beavers.
Oregon was 13 for 30 from the floor with Ionescu leading the way with 18.
The first quarter couldn’t have been much better for the Beavers. Oregon State took a 7-6 lead on a baseline jumper by Gulich, then got back-to-back 3s from Taya Corosdale and Tudor to make it 13-6.
Tudor’s four-point play with 4:52 left put the Beavers up 17-8 before leading 28-17 at the end of the first.
“It was an epic game and I’m proud of not just these two (Tudor and Gulich), who had incredible performances tonight, but everybody on our team for the way they prepared all week for round one of a two-game weekend,” Rueck said.