NorCal Swing Continues At No. 4 Stanford
THE GAME: Oregon State (8-5, 0-1) continues Pac-12 play on the road when it travels to The Farm for a matchup with No. 4 Stanford (12-1, 1-0) on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 2 p.m.
TRACKING THE BEAVS: The game will air live on the Pac-12 Networks with Ann Schatz and Ros Gold-Onwude on the call and be broadcast on KEJO 1240AM with Ron Callan at the mic. Live audio and live stats are also available on osubeavers.com and fans can follow @OregonStateWBB on Twitter for all game day information, including score updates, photos and observations.
THE RUNDOWN: Oregon State is in the midst of a stretch of three straight against ranked opponents for only the third time in school history ... The Beavers, on a school-record pace from deep, are 11th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (8.9) and 21st in 3-point field goal percentage (.384) ... The Beavers, who have nine underclassmen on their roster and start four, employ one of the five youngest starting lineups in the nation ... Oregon State has scored 974 points so far this season, its best offensive start since 1995-96 ... Ruth Hamblin is ninth in the country, averaging 3.5 blocks per game, tied a school record with nine against Notre Dame and has more than 200 teams in the country ... Oregon State averaged 16.1 more points per game during its non-conference schedule this season than last year ... The Beavers are averaging 15.9 assists per game and have assists on 207 of their 345 made field goals (60 percent) ... OSU is 19-2 when forcing its opponents to shoot less than 30 percent and 23-3 when holding them to under 50 points with Scott Rueck at the helm ... Jamie Weisner is averaging 18.5 points and 6.1 rebounds over the last 10 games and has scored in double figures in each, the longest streak for an OSU player in three years ... The sophomore is averaging 24.5 points in her two career Pac-12 openers ... The Beavers are currently 60th in the RPI and have played the nation’s 21st-toughest schedule (WarrenNolan.com) ... Oregon State is looking for its first top-25 road win since 1995.
VS. STANFORD: Oregon State is 6-51 all-time against Stanford, with each of those wins coming in Corvallis. The Beavers’ last victory was on Jan. 11, 2001 in a 81-65 triumph over the No. 24 Cardinal. Felicia Ragland led OSU with 20 points in that game and the Beavers used a 22-for-29 effort from the line to earn the win.
LAST TIME OUT: Jamie Weisner led the Beavers with 22 points and 11 rebounds and OSU dominated on the glass, but No. 23 Cal turned it on in the last five minutes and was able to pull away from the Oregon State women’s basketball team on Friday night, 72-63. The Beavers (8-5, 0-1) battled back from an eight-point second-half deficit to take a 47-45 lead on a Sydney Wiese 3-pointer with 7:27 to go, but after a Deven Hunter free throw extended that edge by a point two minutes later, the Golden Bears (9-3, 1-0) closed the game on a 27-15 run to fend off OSU’s upset bid.
ON THE GLASS: Oregon State pulled down 48 to Cal’s 34 on Friday night. That +14 margin was the Beavers’ largest against a Pac-12 opponent since totaling 15 more than Washington State on Feb. 9, 2012. Their 20 offensive rebounds against the Golden Bears were their most against a Pac-12 opponent since tallying 23 in that category against USC on Feb. 27, 2010. Jamie Weisner (11), Ruth Hamblin (10) and Deven Hunter (10) each reached double figures in rebounds. OSU hadn’t had three players do that since Dec. 12, 1999 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Reda Petraitis - 17; Sissel Pierce - 15; Felicia Ragland - 15).
WEISNER LIKES THE OPENERS: Jamie Weisner’s 22-point, 11-rebound effort against Cal was the seventh double-double of her career and ninth game with 20 or more points. It was also the second sterling Pac-12 opener for the sophomore. As a freshman, she scored a career-high 27 in the Beavers’ 2013 conference opener against USC.
AGAINST THE AP TOP 25: The Beavers are 15-81 against ranked foes since 1990-91 and have not beaten a team in the polls since they defeated No. 19 Utah, 71-62, on Dec. 16, 2003. Since that game, OSU is winless in its last 48 against nationally ranked opponents. OSU’s last road win against a top-25 team came on Jan. 5, 1995 when it beat No. 21 USC in Los Angeles, 69-56.
TOUGH SLEDDING: Sunday’s game concludes a stretch of three straight against nationally ranked opponents. It is just the third time in program history the Beavers have matched up with three ranked foes in a row (2007-08; 2012-13).
BOMBS AWAY: The Beavers have proven adept at hitting from long range this season. They are currently 11th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (8.9) and 21st in 3-point field goal percentage (.384). Prior to this year, Oregon State had only connected on 12 3-pointers in a game three times in program history, a feat it has already accomplished three times this season. It hit a school-record 17 against LMU, 14 against Florida in and 13 against Clemson. OSU has five seasons in its history where it finished converting more than five 3-pointers per contest, including a school-record 6.5 in 2010-11. The Beavers led the conference in 3-point field goal percentage in 1993-94, shooting at a .383 clip that still stands as an OSU record.
#SWISHSISTERS: The Beavers are led from 3-point land by Sydney Wiese and Jamie Weisner. Wiese entered the weekend 18th in the nation, converting 46.1 percent of her attempts, and Weisner was 25th at 45.1 percent. Before conference play began, Oregon State was one of only two schools in the country boasting two players shooting better than 45 percent from three (St. Mary’s). [Updated NCAA stats will be released on Monday.] With 31 guaranteed games, Wiese is on pace to finish with 90 made 3-pointers and Weisner with 81, which would place them 1-2 in OSU’s record book. After Cal, Wiese is currently at 44.7 percent and Weisner comes in at a 43.6 percent clip.
OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS: The Beavers have scored 974 points so far this season, their sixth-best offensive start in school history and best since 1995-96, when OSU put up 996 in its first 13 games en route to the school’s last NCAA Tournament berth. In 1980-81, Aki Hill-led Oregon State scored a 1,108 points in its first 13 games. OSU would average a school-record 81.6 points per game that year en route to a 22-6 record and the Beavers’ first appearance in the Associated Press Top 25 national rankings.
JUST STOP: Ruth Hamblin is quickly becoming the next one in a line of great Oregon State shot blockers. She swatted five against Cal, her third game this season with at least that many and tied a school record by sending away nine Notre Dame shots last Sunday. Hamblin leads the conference and is ninth in the country, averaging 3.5 rejections per contest. She’s on pace to finish the year with 108 blocks, which would rank fourth in Pac-12 history and second at OSU behind Bright’s 115 in 2011-12. She single-handedly has more blocks than 200 teams in the nation. Hamblin started the season with 2+ rejections in each of the Beavers’ first 10 games, the longest streak with double-digit blocks for an OSU player since El Sara Greer in 2010-11 (13). The top blocking team in the Pac-12 two of the last three seasons, OSU is again leading the conference and is fourth in the nation in blocks per game (6.2). The Beavers had 10 rejections against Notre Dame last Sunday; it’s second game this year with at least that many. A season ago, they had four games with 10+ blocks after doing it a school-record five times in 2011-12. Opponents have taken 824 shots and OSU has rejected 80, meaning one in every 10 field goal attempts gets blocked by a Beaver.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE: OSU has significantly increased its offensive output from a year ago. When compared to the Beavers’ non-conference statistics from 2012-13, OSU averaged 16.1 more points per game (75.9 to 59.8), had 68 more assists (200 to 132), shot 6.1 percent better from the floor (43.8% to 37.7%) and 13.8 percent better from 3-point range (39.4% to 25.6%). Oregon State did all of that against the 34th toughest non-conference schedule in the country.
PERFECT FROM THE LINE: Oregon State is converting 65.4 percent of its free throw attempts this season, but was a perfect 10-for-10 last Sunday against Notre Dame. That performance marked just the fourth time in program history the Beavers had made every one of their free throws when attempting at least 10. OSU went 10-of-10 from the charity stripe against Cal on Jan. 7, 2006; tied a Pac-12 record by going 17-for-17 against Washington State on Feb. 14, 2004; and was 13-of-13 at Washington on Jan. 17, 2004.
DRASTIC DEFENSE: Known as a great defensive team, OSU has already held three opponents this season to less than 30 percent shooting and under 50 points. In the 3+ years Scott Rueck has been the head coach, the Beavers are 19-2 when forcing their opponents to shoot less than 30 percent and 23-3 when holding them to under 50 points. OSU’s .347 field goal percentage defense is second in the Pac-12. Its .346 field goal percentage defense was a school record in 2012-13 and the 16th best in the country. Since 2006-07, all but one of Rueck’s squads has finished in the top 25 in the nation in that category.
BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE: Freshman Sydney Wiese has proven herself to be an able distributor at the point. She is seventh in the Pac-12 and tops all conference freshmen, averaging 3.9 assists per game, and 13th in the league with a 1.5 assist to turnover ratio. Her 51 assists through the season’s first 13 games are the most for an OSU player since Earlysia Marchbanks had 54 after the first 13 contests of the 2011-12 campaign. Her mature game at such a young age has led her to average a team-high 30.9 minutes a game.
SHARING THE ROCK: As a team, Oregon State averages 15.9 assists per game and has assists on 207 of its 345 made field goals (60.0 percent). No Beaver squad has averaged more than 15 assists in a season since 1997-98 (15.4) and 2002-03 was the last season OSU has assisted on at least 60 percent of its baskets just eight times in program history and only once in the last decade (2010-11).
WE SEE YOU JAMIE: Jamie Weisner had somewhat of a slow start to the season, scoring 19 points combined over the first three games. She has scored in double figures in each contest since, a career-best streak of 10, and is averaging 18.5 points and 6.1 rebounds over that span. Weisner’s 10 straight games scoring 10 or more is the longest such stretch for an OSU player since Alyssa Martin did it in 10 straight her freshman season, from Nov. 26, 2010 at UNLV to Jan. 6, 2011 at home against Washington.
BIGGER ROLE FOR HANSON: Gabriella Hanson has significantly upped her playing time and production of late and set career highs in nearly every statistical category at the Duel in the Desert from Dec. 19-21. She averaged 2.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 9.9 minutes in the first eight games of the season before coming off the bench to the tune of 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 22.0 minutes in the three games in Las Vegas. In the five games since that start of that tournament, Hanson is one of six Beavers averaging more than 20 minutes per game.
YOUNG & RESTLESS: OSU features an extremely young roster in terms of NCAA Division I experience. OSU has 11 players, nine of which are underclassmen, who collectively have 10 varsity letters (0.9 average). Ali Gibson (junior) and Alyssa Martin (senior) are the only players with more than one year under their belts. Scott Rueck went undefeated and won the NCAA Division III title at George Fox in 2009 despite returning no starters and bringing in 10 freshmen.
STARTING YOUNG: After a quick national survey, it is believed that Oregon State has one of the five youngest starting lineups in the nation, featuring four underclassmen (three sophomores, one freshman) and one junior. Maryland Baltimore County, New Mexico State and Boise State all start five underclassmen and Abilene Christian pencils three freshmen, one sophomore and one senior into its starting lineup. (Thanks to Boise State and the Mountain West Conference for the note.)
OWNING THE BOARDS: Improvement in rebounding was a main focus during the Beavers’ offseason workouts and a concerted effort on the glass has paid dividends in 2013-14. OSU is third in the conference, pulling down 8.9 more rebounds per game than its opponents. The top four Pac-12 schools in that department in 2012-13 made the NCAA Tournament (California, Colorado, Stanford, UCLA). The Beavers are averaging 46.7 rebounds per game this year after eclipsing the 40+ rpg mark last season for the first time since 1996-97. The school record for rebounding average is 44.5, set during the 1990-91 campaign.
RPI REVIEW: OSU is currently 60th in the RPI at WarrenNolan.com and has faced the nation’s 21st toughest schedule. The Beavers are 61st in the RealTime RPI and 50th in the the Sagarin RPI. The NCAA has yet to publish its RPI ratings.
A LOOK AT THE LONG BALL: Alyssa Martin is second in the Pac-12 among active players in 3-point field goals with 139, which is also third all-time at Oregon State. Ali Gibson isn’t far behind, with 114 career makes from deep, fifth in OSU history. Oregon State and Colorado are the only Pac-12 schools with two active players that have 100 or more makes from behind the arc.
RECORD-SETTING WIN: The Beavers’ 102 points against Sac State are the sixth-most in program history and the first time in triple digits since putting up exactly 100 against the same Hornets on Nov. 16, 2008. Oregon State last eclipsed 102 when it scored a school-record 117 against Portland St. on Jan. 8, 1982. The win also came in front of a non-conference record home crowd of 4,139 for the program’s “Beavers Beyond the Classroom” promotion, in which it welcomes elementary and middle school students from around the area to Gill Coliseum. That number bested the 4,118 fans that watched Oregon State defeat Montana, 62-51, on Dec. 22, 1995.
SO INTERNATIONAL: OSU had four student-athletes suit up for national squads at various age levels this summer. Playing for Canada, Jamie Weisner dominated competition at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Lithuania, averaging 17.0 points on 54.5 percent shooting and 6.4 rebounds en route to making the All-Tournament Team. Ruth Hamblin was promoted to Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team for exhibition tournaments in Europe (2.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and China (1.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg). Gabriella Hanson led Sweden to an eighth-place finish at the FIBA U18 European Championships for Women in Croatia, pacing her squad in rebounds (7.2), assists (2.4) and steals (2.4) per game. Ali Gibson made her international debut with the Puerto Rican National Team at an exhibition tournament in São Paulo, Brazil in mid-August.