Sydney Wiese scores 19 points and Lynnwood native Mikayla Pivec adds 15 to help the Beavers advance to the championship game of the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament at KeyArena.
In a rematch of last year’s Pac-12 women’s basketball championship game, top-seeded Oregon State rode a strong fourth quarter in its Pac-12 semifinal game on Saturday night to hold off fourth-seeded UCLA and advance to the title game Sunday night at KeyArena.
After allowing the Bruins (23-8) to hang around for most of the night, Oregon State (29-3) got a pair of three-pointers and free throws from senior point guard Sydney Wiese and a hard-fought layup from Lynnwood native Mikayla Pivec to outscore UCLA 12-5 in the final two minutes and earn the right to defend its conference tournament championship.
The Beavers will face Stanford, which defeated Oregon 71-56 in the late semifinal.
Wiese had 19 points, while Pivec was Oregon State’s second-leading scorer, with 15.
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“Oregon State is a real good team, they were the No. 1 seed for reason,” UCLA coach Cori Close said of the Beavers, who are in the conference tournament title game for the third time in four years. “Second half, they out-executed us. They got layups, we got misses, I thought that was the telling part and the turning point.”
The Bruins looked most threatening in the second quarter, when All-Pac-12 point guard Jordin Canada put on a show, scoring 14 points to go into the locker room with a team-high 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting.
But Canada’s shooting touch dried up after the break as she missed nine of her first 10 shots in the second half.
“I actually thought I was getting good looks, I just wasn’t knocking them down,” said Canada, who finished with a game-high 27 points. “I don’t think they tried to stop me. I just wasn’t making good shots.”
As Canada slumped, the Bruins slumped too, making only 23.1 percent of their shots from the field in the second half as the Beavers began to seize control.
“ We were on our heels in the second quarter,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “Give them a lot of credit, they really knocked us on our heels. Gabby (Hanson) gave us control, it started there and ends there, with Gabby.”
Led by center Marie Gulich’s 16 rebounds, the Beavers outrebounded UCLA 50-31, despite having to play a smaller lineup without key reserve Katie McWilliams, a 6-foot-2 forward who has missed both of Oregon State’s Pac-12 tournament games with an injury.
STanford Thwarts Oregon’s UPSET Bid
Second-seeded Stanford rode a big fourth-quarter surge to survive a strong push from No. 6 seed Oregon, which was hoping to pull an upset for the second night in a row.
The Cardinal (27-5) beat Oregon 71-56 in its Pac-12 women’s basketball semifinal Saturday night at Key Arena and advanced to play Oregon State in Sunday’s championship game.
Stanford couldn’t shake the pesky Ducks (20-13) until the final quarter, when Erica McCall out-jumped Oregon’s Jacinta Vandenberg for an offensive rebound and scored on a putback while drawing the foul to complete a three-point play. Then she followed up with a fast-break score that put Stanford up 58-49 with 5:30 left.
That lead finally proved insurmountable for the Ducks, who went into Saturday’s game riding a wave of confidence from their quarterfinal win over third-seeded Washington on Friday night.
McCall led Stanford with 17 points and 15 rebounds, while Normandy Park native Brittany McPhee was Stanford’s second-leading scorer, with 15 points.