Beavers nearly upset No. 19 Buffs, will be 11th seed

Beavers nearly upset No. 19 Buffs, will be 11th seed

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jamie Weisner had her fourth double-double of the season and hit a step-back three-point basket with nine seconds remaining to force overtime, but the Oregon State women’s basketball team came up just short in its upset bid against #19 Colorado, falling to the visiting Buffaloes 66-63 on Senior Day in Gill Coliseum.

“Today was a great performance,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. “I thought Colorado did a great job battling back after we got off to our start and then they made plays down the stretch. I’m really proud of our group and of our seniors. We got huge performances from them. We can hold our head up high for the way we competed, but at this level it’s about winning.”

Weisner’s 3-pointer, which came on the heels of an Ali Gibson triple, erased a five-point Colorado lead late in regulation. In the extra session, that duo again trimmed a Buffalo lead of six to a single point. Weisner made a fade-away 3-pointer from the far corner and Gibson heaved one through the net from 35 feet with seven seconds left, but Arielle Roberson made both free throws for CU and OSU’s desperation attempt at the buzzer was off the mark.

The loss, Oregon State’s eighth by five points or less in conference play, secured the Beavers a first-round date with USC in the Pac-12 Tournament on Thursday at KeyArena in Seattle. In the teams’ conference opener on Jan. 4, USC’s Alexya Vaioletama made a baseline bucket as time expired to push the Trojans to a 56-55 win.

Weisner had 14 points and 13 rebounds to notch her fourth double-double of the year and second in the last three games, which both came against ranked opponents. Her 13 rebounds also set a new team-high for OSU in 2012-13, eclipsing Deven Hunter’s 12 from the season-opener against Western Washington.

As they did against #6 California last week, Oregon State jumped on this nationally-ranked opponent early. The Beavers started the game on a 7-0 run, grew a double-digit lead less than six minutes in and eventually pushed that edge to its largest point, 31-13, with 6:30 on the clock in the first half.

The Beavers made 11 of their first 20 field goals and started 5-of-6 from long range to claim that 18-point advantage. Seven different Oregon State players scored during the spurt. There were a couple of 3-pointers from Mollee Schwegler, a five-point burst from Quortni Fambro, another 3-ball from Samantha Siegner, layups from Jamie Weisner and Patricia Bright and a jumper from Alyssa Martin amongst the onslaught, which also saw OSU dish out nine assists on those 11 field goals.

Colorado, which has only lost five games all season and all to ranked teams, persevered and closed the first half on a 15-2 run to pull to within five, 33-28, at the break.

Coming out of intermission, the Buffs pushed that streak to 19-2 and got themselves to within a single point, 33-32, with 17:44 to go. Oregon State was able to respond and grow its lead back to double figures, 46-36, with 11:48 left thanks to a Weisner jumper, but CU again went on an extended run to take its first lead of the afternoon, 49-48, with seven minutes remaining.

Oregon State dished out 16 assists on its 22 field goals, but Colorado was able to work its way back into the game because of its work on the offensive glass, pulling down 20 such rebounds.

“Offensive rebounding was the key to this game,” Rueck said. “They gave themselves more opportunities than we could afford to give them.”

Beaver seniors had a good showing in their final game in Gill Coliseum. Patricia Bright tied a season-high with six blocks, ShaKiana Edwards-Teasley had her best offensive output this year with seven points, including her first 3-pointer in 2012-13, Mollee Schwegler had a career-high seven helpers and Quortni Fambro’s five points were her most since the beginning of December.

In its last three games, Oregon State has gone toe-to-toe with #6 California, eventually dropping a 58-56 heartbreaker, had an eight-point win over Utah on Friday and pushed #19 Colorado to overtime today. An official announcement of the pairings and times for the Pac-12 Tournament will be announced later this evening.

“I think we’re playing the best we have this season,” sophomore guard Ali Gibson said. “We’re ready for the tournament. We want to compete and battle every night and see how far we can get.”