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OSU women's basketball: Beavers head on the road for next four games

OSU women's basketball: Beavers head on the road for next four games

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Oregon State’s women’s basketball loss to Arizona in overtime on Sunday was a tough pill to swallow for Beavers.

“It was disappointing, we were upset, a little bit mad, ticked off at ourselves, honestly, just because of how we felt we played,” junior guard Aleah Goodman said Tuesday afternoon. “But I mean there was also that anger and that added chip to our shoulder that’s like, hey, obviously that game didn't help us. It set us back a little bit, but it didn't make our journey impossible.”

Coach Scott Rueck’s message in the locker room after the game did not deviate from others this season.

“We're going to learn from this, we're going to take this and we're going to continue to keep working,” Goodman said of what was said. “He just said he was proud of us and how hard we worked and how we just stayed together. But yeah, just to continue to get better, keep working, learn from it, learn as much as we can and move on.”

The No. 11 Beavers (19-5, 7-5) will try to regroup as they embark on back-to-back road trips to the Los Angeles schools and then the Bay Area schools.

The trip begins with a 7 p.m. game at USC (12-11, 4-8) on Friday. OSU then has an extra day to prepare for a showdown with No. 7 UCLA, which will be the fourth game against a top-7 team this season.

It will be the first meeting of the year against both teams this weekend as the Beavers play the L.A. schools just once; they also play the Washington schools just once, to close out the season.

“Obviously we don't have that prior experience playing them ourselves, but we'll have all the film we need, we’ll really get into them this week,” Goodman said. “Just focus on them and get prepared. But it will be definitely be nice kind of playing some we have yet to play against.”

After the UCLA game on Monday, which is being televised nationally on ESPN2, the Beavers return home for two days before heading back to California to take on Stanford.

It could be yet another daunting task in the conference this season but the Beavers are only focused on USC on Friday.

“We’ve played on the road before ... we haven't played four straight but you just take one game at a time, don't get ahead of yourself,” Goodman said. “Yeah, just focus on who's in front of you.”

It’s rare to have back-to-back road trips and the last time the Beavers were faced with this situation was in the 2015-16 season when they went to the same two locations only in the opposite order.

“The interesting part of it is the short week in the middle so you have an extra day in the middle of the L.A. games but then a short week before Stanford that following week,” Rueck said. “So definitely a challenge for sure.”

Rueck said it’s important to try to manage the mental and physical aspects of the trips for the players as well as the coaching staff so they ca be at their best each game.

“So it's a lot by feel how hard we go in practice, how much we do film wise,” Rueck said. “And so that's going to be at the forefront of my mind is just managing the challenges because it's tough, certainly not only four road games but against such good competition.”

The Beavers will also be trying to compensate for the loss of freshman Kennedy Brown, who tore the ACL in her left knee in last Friday’s thrilling win over Arizona State.

Senior Maddie Washington stepped into a starting position against Arizona on Sunday and will likely fill that spot the rest of the season. Rueck also said fellow senior Janessa Thropay could see more time as both her and Washington play the four position. Sophomore Patricia Morris is also in the mix.

The Beavers could go small and move Mikayla Pivec into that spot and have four guards on the floor, which could include extra minutes for Jasmine Simmons.

Rueck said the smaller lineup has been a good option at times.

“It's a dynamic offensive team to be able to put four guards out there, three of which have played the point in their career, around any of our post players," he said. "That's a hard thing to defend, especially since they all can play off the bounce as well. All of them are attacking guards.

“This weekend I thought we really showed growth defensively with that group, because they had to rise. I thought we rebounded better than we had previously with that lineup. And so we'll certainly look for that to continue that progress but I like that look from us at least in spurts.”

Pivec up for another award

Pivec was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Cheryl Miller Award which goes to the top small forward in Division I women's basketball.

She is averaging 14.4 points and 9.7 rebounds for the Beavers.

The list of 10 will be cut in half in March before the winner will be announced on April 10.

There is a fan voting component at hoophallawards.com. 

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Sports Editor

Sports editor of the Albany Democrat-Herald and Corvallis Gazette-Times

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