CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State was facing adversity for the first time this season and head coach Scott Rueck received the response he was hoping for.
Coming off their first loss of the season last weekend at Arizona State, the eighth-ranked Beavers (16-1, 4-1 Pac-12) bounced back and beat California 81-44 on Friday night.
Destiny Slocum had 15 points and 11 assists, and Patricia Morris provided a spark off the bench with a career-high 13 points. She was 6 of 6 from the field.
“I was just really pleased with the way we bounced back from our first loss,” Rueck said. “It’s never fun to go through that and it causes you to question some things.”
The game was tied at 17-all after the first quarter. Oregon State took control with a 16-0 run in the second quarter and led 37-22 at the break.
Cal leading scorer Jaelyn Brown picked up her third foul at 5:49 of the second quarter and Oregon State outscored the Golden Bears 14-2 with her on the bench.
The Beavers dominated the second half.
“I think we did a good job of having our mentality be tough,” said Slocum, who was 7 of 13 from the field and played an outstanding floor game with just one turnover. “There was a lot of things we looked at on film (after the 55-47 loss to Arizona State) that we can just be tougher, get better at. I think we did a good job as coach said of bouncing back.”
Taylor Jones had 12 points and eight rebounds, and teammate Mikayla Pivec also was in double figures with 10 points for the Beavers, who shot 54.2%.
After the first quarter California (8-8, 0-5) struggled against Oregon State’s man-to-man defense, converting just 25.8% of its shots in the game. Brown scored a game-high 23 points and was the only player in double figures for the Bears, who have lost five in a row.
“You’ve got to score against Oregon State and we didn’t do a good job of that,” California coach Charmin Smith said. “It was tough to recover against them. I think Oregon State can compete with anyone.”
Oregon State showed its depth with 31 points coming from reserves.
The Beavers figure to face a stern challenge Sunday from No. 3 Stanford, which is coming off Thursday’s 87-55 loss at No. 6 Oregon.
“We’ll see a team that’s ready to go wanting to get back in their winning ways,” Rueck said. “That just means we’re gonna have a tough test against a very good team.”
Oregon State: The Beavers got back on track following their first loss of the season last week at Arizona State. … The next three games — Sunday against No. 3 Stanford, followed by the home-and-home series next week against No. 6 Oregon — could go a long way in determining Oregon State’s seeding in the NCAA Tournament.
California: The Bears fell to 1-5 against ranked opponents this season. … Sunday’s game at No. 6 Oregon will be the Bears’ fourth consecutive game against a top-10 team.
Oregon State: Hosts No. 3 Stanford on Sunday.
California: At No. 6 Oregon on Sunday.
More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/Womenscollegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25