CORVALLIS, Ore. — If Washington’s women’s basketball team felt targeted by Oregon State on Friday, it was right.
“We treat the Pacific Northwest team as rivalries,” said OSU sophomore Jamie Weisner, a former star at Clarkston High in Eastern Washington. “Our coach (Scott Rueck) always says it’s a big game and we want to be 6-0 against the Pacific Northwest teams.”
Oregon State’s 75-68 victory against UW at Gill Coliseum snapped the Beavers’ three-game losing streak to the Huskies and put OSU (11-8, 3-4) closer to its goal. Both programs are known for their three-point shooting, but Washington got overwhelmed by Oregon State’s outside shot in the second half Friday.
Washington (10-8, 3-4) closed to 58-53 after a three-pointer by freshman Chantel Osahor with 11:18 remaining in the second half. OSU responded with a 13-4 run to build a 71-57 lead with 2:52 left after a pair of free throws by Weisner.
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The Beavers made a trio of three-pointers during the run. They were 6 of 11 from three-point range in the second half. Junior guard Ali Gibson made all three of her three-point attempts to score 11 of her team-high 16 points in the second half.
“It got to a point where we couldn’t be in help-defense too much because they were all hitting those buckets,” said UW junior Jazmine Davis of OSU’s 51.7 percent shooting in the second half. “It started with a lack of communication from us and that snowball was huge. When you play against a good team like that, you can’t really dig yourself that deep.”
Washington opened the game down 15-9 after a three-pointer by OSU sophomore Khadidja Toure (Kamiakin High). Ruth Hamblin, Oregon State’s 6-foot-6 center, had four blocks in the first six minutes of the game.
Davis woke up UW’s offense with a three-pointer. UW freshman Kelsey Plum followed with three three-pointers of her own. The one off an assist from senior Mercedes Wetmore with 3:16 left in the first half gave the Huskies a 32-24 lead.
Plum had 19 points in the opening half as she continued her hot shooting after her career-best 35 points against Colorado last Sunday. She finished with a game-high 27 points, making all six of her three-pointers. Davis added 21 points but no other Husky scored more than six points.
“Although we vividly pointed out Ruth could block shots, it took everybody getting one block each before we stopped taking it in there,” UW coach Mike Neighbors said. “We got open threes because of it and wasted a good shooting night. You go 13 of 22 from the three-point line, you need to be winning that game. It was some communication things (that broke down) and I was disappointed we didn’t have as much fight as we’ve shown in some games.”
Washington plays at Oregon on Sunday.
“Maybe we let an opportunity go by, but this is still an 18-game (conference) schedule,” Neighbors said. “We can’t let this loss hurt us in Eugene and there’s the danger of that happening. We have to be focused on the process.”
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.