The final score of Monday's exhibition game between the Oregon State women's basketball team and Team USA wasn’t a big surprise.
After all, a win isn’t to be expected when playing Team USA.
But the Beavers made it interesting for a while, staying with Team USA for the most part of three quarters before the best team in the world put together a run that could not be answered.
A 23-point loss to that team is no indication of problems to come for Oregon State. In fact, the Beavers looked like a team that will be very tough to beat this season.
OSU showed a glimpse of what could become greatness as time progresses.
Several things stood out from an OSU standpoint when watching the game.
One is the play of Destiny Slocum. Not only did she not back down against Team USA, but she took those players head on and held her own. Slocum led the Beavers with 15 points and had five assists and four rebounds.
Slocum has the makings of an all-American this season. She is comfortable and confident on the court and has the quickness and speed to cause any team some problems.
Aleah Goodman also played with a high level of confidence, draining three 3-pointers and staying in constant motion against the Team USA defense.
Goodman, who had 14 points, will be part of what looks like a strong Beavers backcourt along with Slocum and Mikayla Pivec.
Then there are the freshmen forwards Kennedy Brown and Taylor Jones. They give the Beavers the ability up front that was missing from last year’s team. Their presence will be a big boost to the Beavers’ chances of making a deep push come tournament time.
No doubt there will be some growing pains at times, but the pair gave the impression they had played together for several seasons when they both were on the court. They took on Team USA without hesitation, a good sign considering they will be introduced to Pac-12 play soon.
Jones had six points and nine rebounds and Brown added seven points, three rebounds and three steals.
Even the negatives could be looked at with an eye for the positive. The Beavers did start to stagnate on offense once Team USA figured out how to go about defending them.
OSU also struggled to defend down low at times, but the bottom line is very few, if any, NCAA teams will be able to duplicate that level of play on both ends of the floor.
It wasn’t the best showing for Pivec, who struggled to get her game going for much of the evening.
Pivec did have 10 points and five assists, but turned the ball over six times.
Team USA was too talented to allow Pivec most of her strong pushes to the hoop. That just highlights the level of talent on the team. Pivec is able to impose her will on opposing teams on a regular basis and will no doubt do so for the rest of the season.
The Beavers were also missing Taya Corosdale and Kat Tudor. Both players can hit the 3 (particularly Tudor) and Corosdale adds an experienced rebounder and defender to the front line.
Not to mention the possibility of getting 6-foot-9 freshman Jelena Mitrovic into the lineup at some point.
Once they get back into the swing of things, the Beavers should be every bit as strong as their preseason ranking and in the thick of the Pac-12 race.
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