2014 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament

March 6-9 | KeyArena | Seattle, WA
Watch on Pac-12 Networks & ESPN

2014 Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament quarterfinals: Oregon State races past Utah to semifinals

SEATTLE – The Oregon State Beavers are through to the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament semifinal thanks to a smothering 50-35 victory over the Utah Utes on Friday night at KeyArena in Seattle.

The Beavers next play Washington State 8:30 p.m. PT Saturday night on Pac-12 Networks. It's Oregon State's second appearance in the tournament's third round since its inception in 2002.

"I'm really proud of our effort tonight," Pac-12 Coach of the Year Scott Rueck said of his Beavers. "I thought the team was just really gritty. [Utah] makes you grind it out and that's what we did tonight."

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Friday's win was Oregon State's 10th straight, the Beavers' longest streak since 1982-83. Oregon State dominated the Utes despite shooting just 33 percent from the field.

"Utah is such a good team," Rueck said. "They play a style that's not easy to play against, and certainly not comfortable."

Just ask the Washington Huskies, who made just twelve shots from the field in 40 minutes of game time against the Utes in Thursday's round 1.

The Beavers are the No. 3 seed here, with accolades to back up the seed. Sydney Wiese was named to the All-Pac-12 team and the Pac-12 All-Freshman team. Ruth Hamblin was All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention and was selected to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team. Jamie Weisner was also a Pac-12 Honorable Mention and Gabriella Hanson earned Pac-12 All-Freshman Honorable mention.

Hamblin became the Beavers and Pac-12 single-season blocks record holder during the game.

"I love it for them. These are life lessons. You work hard to get rewarded," Rueck said of his stars' success. "You do things right and you come in every day and progress. It's just so fun to watch them learn to love this game at a level they never thought they could."

[Related: Scott Rueck on the Beavers' keys to victory]

Twenty four hours after pulling an upset over No. 6 Washington, the iron was unkind to Utah on Friday. They shot a meager 5-for-35 in the first half and 21 percent for the game. The looks were there, the ball was moving, the shots just weren't falling.

The loss brings to a close the glittering career of Utah’s Michelle Plouffe. Her name litters the Utah record books; she's one of three Utes ever to score more than 2,000 points and grab more than 1,000 rebounds. She's second all-time in career blocks, in the top 10 in three’s attempted, and on and on. She will be missed.

Plouffe led the charge in Thursday's Washington upset, pouring in 30 points, but struggled against OSU. She finished with 11 points on 4-17 shooting from the field. "Field goal percentage defense is one of my favorite stats," Rueck said of his team's defensive effort on Plouffe. "I loved our edge and intensity in the first half."

[Related: Scott Rueck on the Beavers' keys to victory]

Almost from the opening tip the Beavers controlled the pace and imposed their style on the Utes. This isn’t a team that has a once-in-a-generation player or gets by on a gimmick. Within the first 10 minutes of the opening half all five OSU starters had hit at least one shot. Oregon State hit three triples, scored 14 points in the paint, hit seven of eight free throws, grabbed 27 rebounds, and blocked four shots -- all in the first half. The Beavers are a team operating a system.

"I feel like it's progressively getting better," Rueck said. "I think for those of you that have been watching us all year, you can watch improvement from one day to the next with this group."

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