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OSU Meets WSU For Sunday Afternoon Affair

Jan 25, 2014

THE GAME: Oregon State (11-8, 3-4) will attempt to sweep a weekend against the Washington schools for the second time in three years when it hosts WSU (11-8, 5-2) for a conference tilt in Gill Coliseum on Sunday, Jan. 26. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m.

TRACKING THE BEAVS: The game will be streamed live for free via Oregon State’s Pac-12 portal and air on the radio on KEJO 1240AM with Ron Callan on the call. 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: After playing five of its first six Pac-12 games on the road, OSU is in the midst of a season-ending stretch with eight of its last 12 at home, where the Beavers are 7-1 and average 12.9 more points per game ... Ruth Hamblin is tied for second in the NCAA with 71 blocks, averages 3.7 per game and is on pace for 115 ... She averages more than 236 teams in the country and is already in the school’s all-time top 10 with 103 in her career ...  Hamblin also leads the conference in field goal percentage in league games (.667) ... The Beavers are 11th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (9.0) ... Sydney Wiese (41.7 percent) and Jamie Weisner (40.5 percent) make the Beavers one of just five teams in the country with two players shooting better than 40 percent from distance ... Wiese is on pace to make 98 3-pointers this season, which would rank second in Pac-12 history ... Her 4.4 assists per game are ninth in the nation among freshmen ... OSU, which has nine underclassmen on its roster and starts four, employs one of the five youngest starting lineups in the nation ... Freshmen and sophomores are responsible for 82.6 percent of the team’s points and 90.6 percent of its rebounds ... Oregon State, which hasn’t averaged more than 70.0 ppg since 1995-96, scores 74.3 this season ... The Beavers are currently 43rd in the official NCAA RPI and have played the nation’s 12th-toughest schedule.

VS. WASHINGTON STATE: Oregon State owns a 46-28 all-time record against Washington State and has gone 25-9 when playing the Cougars in Corvallis. WSU has won six of the last seven meetings. In Pullman last Jan. 27, the Beavers raced out to a 14-point halftime lead, but Washington State used a 17-2 run coming out of the break to help force overtime and the Cougars scored the game’s final nine points in the extra period to beat the Beavers, 76-73. At home on Feb. 15, OSU staged a furious second-half rally, erasing a 16-point deficit to tie the game with 32 seconds remaining, but a WSU jumper with just three ticks on the clock went through and the Beavers’ comeback bid fell just short against the Cougars, 51-49.

SOS & RPI REVIEW: As of the most recent release of the official NCAA RPI ratings (Jan. 20), the Beavers sit in 43rd, thanks in large part to playing the nation’s 12th-toughest schedule according to WarrenNolan.com. Of Oregon State’s eight losses, four are to teams in the top 20 of the Associated Press Top-25 (No. 2 Notre Dame; No. 4 Stanford; No. 15 Cal; No. 16 Penn State). 

HOME COOKING: After playing five of its first six conference games on the road, Oregon State will end the season with eight of its final 12 in Gill Coliseum, where it owns a 7-1 record. The Beavers last started a season with such a mark at home in 2008-09. On Monday, OSU will be looking to go 8-1 in its first nine games in Corvallis for the first time since 1995-96. That season, the Beavers were 11-1 at home, 19-9 overall, and made the school’s last NCAA Tournament appearance.

FRIENDLY CONFINES: In true road games, Sydney Wiese (16.7 ppg) and Jamie Weisner (14.1 ppg) have been responsible for 44.3 percent of OSU’s scoring offense while the production has been much more equitable for the Beavers at home. In eight games in Gill, Wiese (12.9 ppg), Weisner (12.8 ppg) and Ruth Hamblin (11.4 ppg) are all averaging double figures while Deven Hunter (9.8 ppg) and Ali Gibson (8.9 ppg) are not far behind. OSU puts up 82.6 points at home compared to 69.7 in away contests. 

THE CANADIAN HAMMER: Ruth Hamblin, who was affectionately dubbed “The Canadian Hammer” by former Oregon State men’s basketball standout Joe Burton during her freshman season, posted Oregon State’s first triple-double in 30 years against rival Oregon on Jan. 13. The 6-foot-6 sophomore totaled 23 points, 12 rebounds and a school-record 10 blocks in the Beavers’ 84-70 win, their seventh straight in the series. Lisa Channel was the last Beaver to accomplish the feat when she scored 16 points, had 10 rebounds and handed out 10 assists in an 84-62 Beaver win over Cal in Gill Coliseum on Feb. 11, 1984. Judy Spoelstra, also Oregon State’s coach from 1996-2005, was the first to do it when she had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against Illinois State on Jan. 7, 1983, an 89-57 OSU win; a game that was also played in Gill as part of the Big ‘O’ Classic. Hamblin’s performance was only the 14th triple-double in the NCAA this season and the first by a Pac-12 player. It’s the 17th triple-double in Pac-12 history and the first to be accomplished with blocks.

JUST STOP: Ruth Hamblin is quickly becoming the next in a line of great Oregon State shot blockers. Her school-record 10 rejections against Oregon on Jan. 13 came just two weeks after she tied the previous mark with nine against No. 2 Notre Dame on Dec. 29. She has 71 already this season and is tied for second in the NCAA.  The Canadian averages 3.7 per game and is on pace to finish the year with an astounding 115, which would tie for the Oregon State record and second in the Pac-12. She has 103 career blocks to her name in just 47 games, already 10th all-time at Oregon State. Her 71 blocks are currently fourth in OSU single-season history. The previous single-season record for a Beaver sophomore was Tiffany Ducker’s 49 in 2005-06. Hamblin averages more blocks than 236 teams in the country.

TEAM BLOCKS: The top blocking team in the Pac-12 two of the last three years, OSU is again leading the conference and is seventh in the nation in blocks per game (6.2). Oregon State has had three games this season with at least 10 rejections (Bakersfield, Notre Dame and Oregon). Opponents have taken 1,243 shots and OSU has rejected 118, meaning one in every 11 field goal attempts gets blocked by a Beaver.

EFFICIENT FROM THE FLOOR: Hamblin has also been the most efficient Pac-12 player from the floor in conference games. She’s made 42-of-63 from the field in league contests, a 66.7 clip, and has actually been successful on 38 of her past 52 (73.1 percent). The OSU record for field goal percentage in Pac-12 games is held by Tina Lelas, who made 64.5 percent of her shots (87-of-135) during the 1994-95 league schedule. [Minimum 3.0 field goals made per game] 

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 (9.0) and 28th in 3-point field goal percentage (.365). 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 four times this season. It hit a school-record 17 against LMU, 14 against Florida, 13 against Clemson and 12 at Oregon. 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, who are sixth and eighth in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage. Wiese has converted 41.7 percent (60-of-144) of her attempts from behind the arc while Weisner has been successful on 40.5 percent (47-of-116). The Beavers are one of only five schools in the country with two players shooting better than 40 percent from distance (Boston College, Missouri, Navy and Eastern Washington).

#SWISHSISTERS II: Wiese leads the Pac-12, making 3.2 shots from deep per game and Weisner is third, draining 2.5 per contest. With 31 guaranteed games, Wiese is on pace to finish with 98 made 3-pointers and Weisner with 77, which would place them 1-2 in OSU’s record book. If she finished the season with 98 3-pointers, Wiese would place second all-time in Pac-12 history, behind only Taylor Lilley’s 124 (Oregon - 2010). Weisner has made 95 in her career to move into ninth on Oregon State’s all-time list. Alyssa Martin is currently third in that category at OSU (141) and Ali Gibson is fourth (122). 

SEEING DOUBLE: Jamie Weisner’s nine-point outing against UCLA last Monday ended a career-best 14-game streak of scoring in double figures, which had been 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 PACE: Oregon State has scored 80 or more points six times already this season, something it hasn’t done that often since 1995-96 when it broke that mark nine times. The Beavers have scored 1,411 total points and average 74.3 per game. That 1995-96 season was the last time OSU scored more than 70 points per outing (72.8).

WHAT A DIFFERENCE: OSU has increased its offensive output from a year ago. When compared to the Beavers’ statistics from the first 19 games of 2012-13, they’re averaging 13.4 more points per game (74.3 to 60.9), have 75 more assists (302 to 227), are shooting 4.1 percent better from the floor (43.0% to 38.9%) and 9.5 percent better on 3-pointers (36.5% to 27.0%).

BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE: Sydney Wiese has proven herself to be an able distributor at the point. She is fifth in the Pac-12 and tops all conference freshmen, averaging 4.4 assists per game. Through games played as of Jan. 23, she is also ninth among first-year players across the country in assists. Her 84 assists through the season’s first 19 games are the most for an OSU player since Mercedes Fox-Griffin had 85 after the first 19 contests of the 2008-09 campaign. Wiese is on pace to finish the season with 137 assists, which would place second among freshmen at Oregon State. Leilani Estavan handed out 139 during her first year in Corvallis (2000-01).

SHARING THE ROCK: As a team, Oregon State averages 15.9 assists per game and has assists on 302 of its 506 made field goals (59.7 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 experience. Of its 11 players, nine are underclassmen, and the team collectively has 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 sophomores are responsible for 82.6 percent of Oregon State’s scoring (1,165 of 1,411 points), 80.9 percent of its minutes played (3,073 of 3,800 minutes) and 90.6 percent of its rebounds (787 of 869). 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 OSU has one of the five youngest starting lineups in the nation, featuring four underclassmen (three sophomores, one freshman) and one junior. UMBC, 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. OSU is third in the conference, pulling down 7.3 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 45.7 rebounds per game this year after eclipsing the 40.0 rpg mark last season for the first time since 1996-97. The school record for rebounding average is 44.5, set during 1990-91. 

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.

FILLING GILL: Oregon State is 7-1 at home this season and its play on Ralph Miller Court is due in large part to the support it has received from Beaver Nation. The crowd of 4,032 against the Irish was Oregon State’s second this season of over 4,000. Before this year, OSU had only had a home crowd that large during the non-conference portion of its schedule once, in the aforementioned game against Montana in 1995. The Beavers are averaging 2,011 fans per game, the fifth best mark in the Pac-12.

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.