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Michelle Smith: Taya Corosdale a confident player for Oregon State women's basketball

Feb 4, 2022
Oregon State Athletics

Sitting out most of the 2019-20 season was tough on Oregon State’s Taya Corosdale.

Playing in the COVID-altered 2020-21 season was even tougher in many ways.

“The schedule was so inconsistent and I did not have a lot of confidence in myself,” Corosdale said. “This year is a lot better.”

Postponements and pauses are still in play for the Beavers as they are for every other team in the conference, but Corosdale and her Oregon State teammates have built up their resistance to a roller-coaster season and are finding their level. It’s a high level to boot.

The redshirt junior forward from Bothell, Washington is coming off one of her best games of the season, scoring 18 points in a critical win over UCLA on Sunday. She is averaging 8.0 points and 7.3 rebounds. Two weeks ago against Arizona, Corosdale scored 19 points to go with eight rebounds. And she is a perfect 17-of-17 from the free-throw line in Pac-12 play.

“She’s put a lot of time in and it’s evident,” said Oregon State coach Scott Rueck. “You can see her confidence, that progression has happened. She’s evolved as a competitor and as a player and she has stepped into whatever this team has needed.”

Not coincidentally, Oregon State sits at 4-2 in conference play after a series of nail-biting wins, sitting in third place in the standings and heading into the challenging final month of the season with momentum as they push for a spot in the NCAA Tournament.

The Beavers are currently among the "last four in" according to ESPN's latest bracketology, not a spot they are used to occupying. Finishing the season strong — even with games against Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon (twice) and Stanford still on the schedule — is going to be critical.

“We are finally clicking as a team,” Corosdale said. “We have so many new people and some people didn’t have the experience of last season, but we’ve stayed close and we’ve focused on controlling the things we can control.”

For Corosdale’s part, that control has come with rebuilding herself mentally and physically after the hamstring injury that cut short her sophomore season and limited her effectiveness last season, despite the fact that she started every game for the Beavers. She averaged 5.8 points and 4.4 rebounds a game last season.

Rueck said he could tell that Corosdale was “playing cautious.”

“I have wanted to contribute more offensively,” Corosdale said. “I know I can contribute a lot on defense, but I want to do it on both ends of the floor.”

Rueck said Corosdale had not been a go-to scorer to this point in her career.

“She’s always had a huge defensive role for us every year. She can rebound and knock down a three when we need it, and she’s a good passer. She has fit our system well,” Rueck said. “This year, we’ve been able to go to her more.”

She focused her offseason not only on her offensive skills, but weightlifting and conditions to “get my body right.”

“I wanted to make sure I had strength and speed and to make sure I’m getting my shot off quicker,” Corosdale said. “I’m a lot more confident this year.”

Corosdale said the last few seasons have taught her to be present.

“You just never know if its going to be your last game and I’ve tried to instill that in my brain and teammates,” she said. “Any game could be our last game. We need to just keep working hard.

“We are so excited about what’s coming up. There is nothing like the Pac-12 and in this next leg, we really need to step it up. We are so eager to play.”