WBB: Civil War Pt. 1 In Eugene On Saturday
THE GAME: Oregon State (8-6, 0-2) plays its third straight Pac-12 road contest to open the conference season this Saturday, Jan. 11 when it visits rival Oregon (9-4, 0-2) for the 84th Civil War, presented by PacificSource Health Plans, The Oregon 529 College Savings Network, McDonalds, Wells Fargo Bank and Your Local Ford Stores. Tipoff is slated for 5 p.m.
TRACKING THE BEAVS: The game will air live on the Pac-12 Networks with Ann Schatz and Julie Rousseau on the call and be broadcast on KTHH 990AM 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 has won the last five Civil War meetings and has held the Ducks to 28.4 percent shooting during that period ... The Beavers, on a school-record pace from deep, are 10th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (9.0) and 20th in 3-point field goal percentage (.382) ... OSU, which has nine underclassmen on its roster and start four, employs one of the five youngest starting lineups in the nation ... Freshmen and sophomores are responsible for 80 percent of the team’s points and minutes and 90 percent of its rebounds ... Ruth Hamblin is seventh in the country, averaging 3.4 blocks per game, more than 212 teams in the country ... Oregon State is scoring 14.6 more points per game this season than at the same point last year ... Sydney Wiese’s 3.9 assists per game are 11th in the nation among freshmen ... 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 18.0 points and 6.1 rebounds over the last 11 games and has scored in double figures in each, the longest streak for an OSU player in four years ... The Beavers are currently 43rd in the official NCAA RPI and have played the nation’s 10th-toughest schedule (WarrenNolan.com).
VS. OREGON: Oregon State, 26-57 all-time against Oregon, has won the last five Civil War games, the longest streak in school history. Over that stretch, the Beavers have beaten UO by an average score of 65-55 and three of the wins have featured an OSU 20-point scorer (El Sara Greer - 21; Ali Gibson - 23; Jamie Weisner - 22). Defensively, Oregon State has held the Ducks to 28.4 percent shooting in that quintet of games (93-for-328). The streak started with a 20-point come-from-behind victory in Gill on Feb. 19, 2011 (61-59). OSU, which trailed 36-16 at halftime, outscored Oregon 45-23 in the second half to tie for the seventh largest comeback in NCAA history. The Beavers have also won the last two times at Matt Knight Arena and will be looking to secure a three-game road winning streak against a conference opponent for just the fourth time in school history. Oregon State has had two three-game winning streaks against ASU in Tempe and beat WSU five straight times in Pullman in the early 2000s. Another five-game streak on the Cougars’ home floor and a four-game road winning streak over Washington in Seattle occurred before the formation of the Pac-10 in 1986-87.
CIVIL WAR NUGGETS: The two teams have played every year since OSU’s program started and this will be the 38th consecutive season with a game ... The Beavers earned the 250th win in program history against Oregon on March 5, 1993 (66-56) ... Brina Chaney had a then-school record eight blocks against Oregon on Jan. 18, 2003 ... Chaney also went 15-for-15 from the line in a game against the Ducks on Feb. 7, 2004, which tied the Pac-12 record for single-game free throw percentage ... The Beavers have had nine 30+ point individual performances against Oregon, which ties their most against any school (Cal, UCLA, Washington) ... Carol Menken-Schaudt had Oregon State’s best outing against Oregon when she scored 38 on March 15, 1981 ... OSU scored its most points against Oregon in a 96-86 win on Feb. 9, 1995 ... A 29-point victory over the Ducks on Feb. 28, 2009 (70-41) was the Beavers’ largest margin of victory against UO.
REMEMBER WHEN?: Assistant coach Mandy Close, in her first year on Scott Rueck’s staff, was a four-year letterwinner for the Beavers from 2003-06. During her senior season she had one of the more memorable Civil War moments when, with OSU down one, she went coast-to-coast for a layup to beat the Ducks with two seconds on the clock on Jan. 25, 2006. She was fouled and made the free throw to make the final score 63-61.
SOS & RPI REVIEW: The Beavers just concluded a stretch of three straight against nationally ranked opponents for the third time in program history (2007-08; 2012-13). OSU currently sits 43rd in the first official NCAA RPI ratings thanks in large part to playing the nation’s 10th-toughest schedule according to WarrenNolan.com.
ROAD WARRIORS: As part of that tough schedule, Oregon State must play five of its first six conference games on the road, something it has never done. OSU and UO are the only Pac-12 schools that have such an unforgiving stretch to start league play. After Saturday, the Beavers will play nine of their final 15 games in Gill Coliseum.
BOMBS AWAY: The Beavers have proven adept at hitting from long range this season. They are currently 10th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (9.0) and 20th in 3-point field goal percentage (.382). 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: OSU is led from 3-point land by Sydney Wiese and Jamie Weisner. Wiese is 21st in the nation, converting 45.2 percent of her attempts (42-of-93), and Weisner is 35th at 43.5 percent (37-of-85). Oregon State is one of only three schools in the country boasting two players shooting better than 43 percent from three (Brown & Boston College). With 31 guaranteed games, Wiese is on pace to finish with 93 made 3-pointers and Weisner with 82, which would place them 1-2 in OSU’s record book. If she finished the season with 93 3-pointers, Wiese would place third all-time in Pac-12 history, behind only Taylor Lilley’s 124 (Oregon - 2010) and Jeanette Pohlen’s 96 (Stanford - 2011).
SEEING DOUBLE: 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 11, and is averaging 18.0 points and 6.1 rebounds over that span. Weisner’s 11 straight games scoring 10 or more is the longest such stretch for an OSU player since Talisa Rhea did it in 16 straight from Dec. 18, 2009 against Seattle to Feb. 18, 2010 at Cal.
OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS: The Beavers have scored 1,041 points so far this season, their seventh-best offensive start in school history and best since 1995-96, when OSU put up 1,050 in its first 14 games en route to the school’s last NCAA Tournament berth. In 1980-81, Aki Hill-led Oregon State scored 1,172 points in its first 14 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 tied a school record by swatting nine against No. 2 Notre Dame on Dec. 29 and has at least two in all but one game this season. Hamblin leads the conference and is seventh in the country, averaging 3.4 rejections per contest. She’s on pace to finish the year with 105 blocks, which would rank fourth in Pac-12 history and second at OSU behind Patricia Bright’s 115 in 2011-12. She single-handedly averages more blocks than 212 teams in the nation. Hamblin started the season with 2 or more 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 seventh in the nation in blocks per game (6.0). The Beavers have ad two games this season with at least 10 blocks (Bakersfield & Notre Dame). A season ago, they had four games with 10+ blocks after doing it a school-record five times in 2011-12. Opponents have taken 892 shots and OSU has rejected 84, meaning one in every 10 field goal attempts gets blocked by a Beaver.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE: OSU has increased its offensive output from a year ago. When compared to the Beavers’ statistics from the first 14 games of 2012-13, they’re averaging 14.6 more points per game (74.4 to 59.8), has 56 more assists (213 to 157), is shooting 4.8 percent better from the floor (42.7% to 37.9%) and 11.3 percent better on 3-pointers (38.2% to 26.9%).
TAKING ADVANTAGE: Oregon State, which started the year slowly from the free throw line, has taken advantage of its freebies of late. In the season’s first 11 games, the Beavers converted just 62.3 percent (146-of-231) of their attempts from the stripe. In their last three against the likes of No. 2 Notre Dame, No. 23 Cal and No. 4 Stanford, the Beavers have hit on 84.6 percent (33-of-39). Each of those games has featured an effort of at least 75 percent, a three-game stretch not seen at Oregon State since March 5-13, 2009 (USC; UCLA; UCLA). The improvement was started with a perfect 10-for-10 effort against the Irish on Dec. 29. 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 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 .358 field goal percentage defense is third 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: Sydney Wiese has proven herself to be an able distributor at the point. She is sixth in the Pac-12 and tops all conference freshmen, averaging 3.9 assists per game. That number also ties her for 11th among NCAA first-year players across the country.
SHARING THE ROCK: As a team, Oregon State averages 15.2 assists per game and has assists on 213 of its 368 made field goals (57.9 percent). No Beaver squad has averaged more than 15 assists in a season since 1997-98 (15.4).
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. Freshmen and sophomore are responsible for 80 percent of Oregon State’s scoring (838 of 1,041 points) and minutes played (2,239 of 2,800 minutes) and 90 percent of its rebounds (574 of 642). 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.
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 7.7 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 45.9 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. Oregon State’s 20 offensive rebounds against Cal were its 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 against the Golden Bears. OSU hadn’t had three players do that since Dec. 12, 1999 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Reda Petraitis - 17; Sissel Pierce - 15; Felicia Ragland - 15).
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 115 career makes from deep, fifth in OSU history and fifth among active conference players. 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.