Try as it did, the Oregon State women’s basketball team just could not put University of the Pacific away Monday night.
That is until Aleah Goodman lined up a corner 3-pointer and calmly hit nothing but net.
That shot put the Beavers up 65-52 with just 1:46 to play and while the Tigers still never rolled over, the deficit proved to be too much as Oregon State posted a 69-57 victory in the quarterfinals of the Preseason WNIT inside Gil Coliseum.
The Beavers (2-0) will take on No. 18 DePaul, an 81-57 winner over Drexel, in Thursday’s 7 p.m. semifinal in Gill Coliseum. The winner will face either Missouri State or Oklahoma for the title on Sunday.
“I’m happy we found a way tonight,” coach Scott Rueck said. “I was proud of our grit and determination to win this game.”
Mikayla Pivec finished with 18 points and 17 rebounds, while adding three assists, two blocks and two steals in a little over 38 minutes. Goodman and Destiny Slocum each had 17. Goodman hit four 3s.
Junior post Brooklyn McDavid had a game-high 32 points and was 14 for 20 from the field to lead the Tigers, who gave the Beavers all they wanted until the final whistle.
Oregon State played the majority of the game without freshman center Taylor Jones, who picked up two early fouls and was limited to just over 12 minutes. She had just six points and two rebounds after scoring 20 in her debut on Saturday.
“For our team to get in foul trouble, where are rotation was already strange without Kat (Tudor) and Taya (Corosdale), that just added to it,” Rueck said. “I thought as the game went on we found opportunities to continue to execute. It probably wasn’t our best effort, I think everyone would admit to that, but Pacific had a lot to do with that.”
You have free articles remaining.
While the Beavers worked through the different rotations, they never led by fewer than seven points.
Still, it wasn’t until Goodman hit that corner three that the Beavers felt as comfortable as possible until the end of the game.
“It was kind of back and forth so I think that shot gave us a little bit of confidence,” Goodman said. “That shot did give us a little bit of comfort but you can never relax against good teams.”
One of the reasons the Beavers struggled to get in a rhythm was the 23 turnovers they committed for the game. They had 15 in the first half alone.
"It felt concerning, my gosh we had 15 at halftime,” Rueck said. “Aleah throws the ball off the bottom of the backboard on an inbounds play and I’m like that sums it up.
“… It was a strange game and if you have a couple people off your game it messes with you. As we’re growing as a team early in the season you learn to play through this stuff and then how do you get back on your game.”
There were times, however, when the Beavers did get in a groove and they were able to push the lead up 16 with a 6-0 run to open the fourth. Kennedy Brown hit the first 3 of her career, Jones scored in the paint and Slocum converted a fastbreak layup for a 59-43 lead.
“We didn’t see the floor very clearly and it was interesting the times that we did it looked easy,” Rueck said. “We got such good looks because we were able to manipulate their defense draw help defenders and they made the easy play.”
The Beavers bolted to an 18-10 lead with 5:12 left in the first on a Goodman 3 and free throw for a four-point play. But OSU scored just three more points and led 21-13.
The lead was 34-24 at the half despite 15 turnovers. McDavid had 18 of Pacific’s 24 points. She was 9 for 11 from the field, but the rest of the ream was just 2 for 21, both threes by Sofie Tryggedsson.