Maddie Washington and her Oregon State teammates had had enough of Washington State making big plays on offense that allowed the upset-minded Cougars to take a four-point lead in the final three minutes Friday night.
That’s when the No. 11 Beavers finally put their foot down and focused more on both ends of the floor.
It was just in the nick of time.
Destiny Slocum scored seven of Oregon State’s final 15 points in the Beavers’ 15-4 closing run for a 76-69 Pac-12 women’s basketball win over the Cougars in front of a Gill Coliseum crowd of 4,733.
“When we execute, we do things right and we usually get up a pretty good shot so I think that was our main focus in that last little stretch right there,” said sophomore Taya Corosdale, who hit a huge 3-pointer to give the Beavers the lead for good at 67-65 with 2:04 to play.
Mikayla Pivec led a balanced scoring attack with 14 points with Slocum chipping in with 12, Aleah Goodman 10, Katie McWilliams nine and Corosdale and Joanna Grymek eight each.
Washington finished with seven points and 10 rebounds, including six offensive boards. Corosdale added nine and Pivec seven as the Beavers won the rebounding battle 49-35.
Borislava Hristova, the reigning Pac-12 player of the week, led all scorers with 24 points while Chanelle Molina added 16 and Jovana Subasic chipped in 13 and hit three 3-pointers.
“I thought we grew up a lot as a team and those are great things as we move forward in Pac-12,” coach Scott Rueck said.
Oregon State (11-2, 1-0) will look to stay undefeated at home when the Beavers host Washington at 2 p.m. on Sunday. The Cougars (6-7, 1-1) head to No. 5 Oregon on Sunday.
The Beavers led by as many as 15 in the first half but found themselves down 65-61 with 3:21 left.
Slocum started the impressive closing run with a driving layup and Washington sank a free throw before Corosdale drained a 3 to put the Beavers up 67-65.
Hristova made one of two free throws before the Beavers drew up a play out of a timeout and McWilliams hit the bucket inside to go up 69-66.
After a Molina missed 3, Slocum buried a 16-foot jumper to put the Beavers up 71-66.
The Cougars misfired twice and Slocum hit a free throw for a 72-66 lead with 32 seconds left.
After Washington gave a foul with 26.4 to play, the Beavers forced a five-second call on the inbounds.
Goodman then hit a pair of free throws and the Beavers had the game in hand.
While it was a thrilling comeback for the Beavers, it was a tough loss for the Cougars and first-year coach Kamie Ethridge, who took the blame for calling some plays that the team obviously wasn’t as comfortable with.
“So I know I’ll kick myself over the last two-and-a-half minutes when I go back,” she said. “But I think we went back to taking a couple of hard shots and didn’t get great looks and obviously they made plays.”
Oregon State had a 44-31 lead at the half, but allowed the Cougars to get back in the game. The Beavers seemed to struggle a bit with junior sharpshooter Kat Tudor not on the bench to start the third quarter.
Tudor was injured with 5:44 left in the second quarter when she grabbed a rebound and fell to the floor. She clutched her left knee and had to be helped off the floor and did not return to the game.
She did return to the bench with a sleeve on her left leg.
“We’re not going to know anything until after (Saturday),” Rueck said of Tudor’s status. “She was out on the floor after the game, she was up there with us in the second half so I think that’s a good sign. But there haven’t been any tests done or anything.”
Washington State started the third on a 7-0 run and used a 17-6 edge to get within 50-48 with just over 3 minutes left in the period.
Subasic hit a 3 with a 1:28 left to give the Cougars their first lead at 51-50. After a Pivec layup, Subasic hit another 3 for a 54-52 lead.
Grymek followed up her own miss to tie the game and Corosdale canned a deep 2 at the third-quarter buzzer to give the Beavers a 56-54 edge.
“I feel like we talked a lot in the halftime that we’ve got to come out and start playing the way we can play, and I think we did that against a very good team,” Hristova said of the Cougars’ 23-12 edge in the period.
Pivec scored seven points in the first quarter as the Beavers held a narrow 16-14 edge.
She hit all four of her shot attempts in the first half to make it 13 in a row since missing a shot against Duke with 40 seconds left. She made all nine of her attempts against Cal State Bakersfield. The streak ended early in the third quarter.
Oregon State opened the second quarter with four 3s to take a 28-18 lead. With the Cougars forced to defend the outside shot, the Beavers then went to the basket to get easy looks.
Oregon State was 10 for 20 from the floor in the second quarter and hit fives 3s as the Beavers outscored the Cougars 28-17 to take a 44-31 lead into the half.
The Beavers will also be without Janessa Thropay for an extended period of time after she had surgery on a broken finger on her left hand. She injured it against Cal State Bakersfield last Saturday.