Women's Basketball Holds On To Defeat Cal Poly In Season Opener

Nov. 13, 2009

Box Score

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Talisa Rhea scored 20 points and Kirsten Tilleman added a career-best 19 as the Oregon State women's basketball team opened its 2009-10 regular season with a 71-61 victory over visiting Cal Poly Friday night at legendary Gill Coliseum.

The Beavers improved to 28-6 all-time in season-opener games and 5-0 in home openers under head coach LaVonda Wagner.

'I would like to congratulate my team for winning their opening game tonight,' Wagner said. 'I saw some things that I was happy with, but also I saw a lot of things that I was very unhappy with. As a team, we need to be very smart about how we are executing the game. During the rest of this journey we need to continue to get other people who are stepping up and contributing on the basketball floor.'

Rhea was 6-for-17 from the field and 2-for-7 from beyond the three-point line to finish with her 20 points, which gives the Juneau, Alaska native 38 career double-figure scoring games, including eight with 20 or more points.

Tilleman, meanwhile, was two rebounds shy of a double-double after finishing with 19 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Her previous career high in scoring came against Western Oregon when she finished with 12 points.

Tilleman knocked down eight shots from the field, five more than her previous high of three that was accomplished twice in 2008-09.

Haiden Palmer also had eight points in her first collegiate regular season game. Julie Futch had seven rebounds and Kate Lanz led OSU with five assists.

Overall, the Beavers (1-0) shot better than 52 percent from the field and out-rebounded Cal Poly, 40-28. The Mustangs, who shot 42.4 percent from the field, were led by Kristina Santiago, who finished with 17 points.

Oregon State had 15 assists on 27 made baskets while Cal Poly had 14 on 25. Both teams finished with eight steals and nearly identical turnover numbers - the Mustangs finished the game with 19 while OSU had 20.

Cal Poly pulled to within three, 62-59, with 5:30 left in the game but the Mustangs were able to score just two points the rest of the way while OSU closed out the game on a 9-2 run. Tilleman had six of the Beavers' points through that stretch, including four coming from two baskets.

Oregon State scored 35 points in the first half and took a six-point lead entering the break. The Beavers shot 51.9 percent from the field compared to 38.5 for Cal Poly (0-1). The Mustangs, however, were able to knock down all six of their free throws and 3-of-10 three-point attempts to stay close.

The Beavers, meanwhile, were paced by Tilleman, who had 11 points after hitting on five shots from the field. She was second on the team with four rebounds - Futch led OSU with five - as the Beavers out-rebounded Cal Poly, 20-14.

Oregon State returns to play Thursday night at Houston in a 5 p.m. PT tip at Hofheinz Pavilion, the home of the Cougars. Catch the game live on KLOO 1340-AM in the Corvallis area and on Internet on Beaver Nation Online (osubeavers.com).

Jay Reese will be behind the mic for the broadcast.

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