LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Freshman Sydney Wiese scored 14 of her game-high 17 points in the second half and the Oregon State women's basketball team shot over 50 percent for the fourth time this season to beat the host UNLV Lady Rebels, 68-60, at the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas on Friday night.
“I'm really proud of the team for bouncing back,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. “Losing is a hard thing to take. I thought the team did a good job rallying today. There was good energy in shoot around and then tonight we gutted out a win on a really scrappy team's home floor.”
Oregon State (7-3) grabbed the lead in the first half and then pulled away in the second thanks to a pair of 10-0 runs. With UNLV (3-8) down just one, 38-37, and 15:27 left in the game, the Beavers distanced themselves from the Rebels with a spurt started on a Sydney Wiese 3-pointer.
An Ali Gibson steal led to a Deven Hunter layup and then Wiese picked Briana Charles' pocket and streaked down the court for another Beaver bucket. The freshman hit her fourth 3-pointer on the night less than a minute later to cap the run and give OSU an 11-point edge, 48-37.
That lead would grow as large as 13 (61-48) with 2:38 to go when Ruth Hamblin flipped one in off an assist from Hunter. UNLV cut it to seven (62-55) with a minute left, but the Beavers, who were 0-of-4 at the line in the game's first 39 minutes, made 7-of-10 in the final seconds to nab the victory.
“UNLV did a pretty good job of taking the basket away and we shot quite a few three's,” Rueck added. “That's what they were giving us. It wasn't easy to get to the basket. They were cutting us off early in penetration and so we kicked and got some perimeter looks.”
The Beavers shot 51 percent from the floor (21-of-51) and hit nine of their 25 attempt from 3-point range (36 percent). It was the fourth time OSU has made more than half its attempts, something it did in three of the team's first four games to start the season.
Wiese led all scorers with 17 points. In the second half she was 4-of-5 from the field, 3-of-4 from deep, and is now shooting the long ball at a 48.3 percent clip this season (28-of-58). Ali Gibson added 12 for the Beavers, while Jamie Weisner, who fouled out with four minutes left in the game, added 10 points and six rebounds.
Gabriella Hanson played a career-high 27 minutes and tallied personal bests of nine points and five assists. Deven Hunter contributed six points and nine rebounds while Ruth Hamblin put up totals of four points, nine rebounds and three blocks.
In the first half, Oregon State was led by Gibson, who paced the team in the opening 20 minutes with 10 points and four rebounds. The Beavers shot 48.3 percent (14-of-29) from the field in that frame and used a 10-0 run when they were down 11-5 (13:16) to grab their first lead of the game.
Both teams got off to a cold start, combining to hit just 1 of the game's first 14 field goals. Oregon State started 1-of-8 before making 10 of its next 13 shots and stretched its lead to nine, 29-20, with 6:26 until the break. The Beavers would only make one field goal, a Kolbie Orum layup, the remainder of the half, but were able to maintain a 33-28 lead heading into the locker room.
“We had an opportunity to take control and we missed that,” Rueck said. “We could have really stretched our lead. We went on a drought, but I thought the stretch leading up to that point was about as good as we've played this year. We executed our motion offense, had great rhythm, were getting great looks and getting stops at the other end.”
The Beavers forced UNLV into a couple of extended droughts of its own as well. In the first half, there was a five-minute stretch where the Lady Rebels didn't make a field goal. In the second, during OSU's run, the Beavers forced UNLV into five turnovers during the 10-0 spurt which lasted four minutes.
Oregon State concludes the Duel in the Desert tomorrow evening when it matches up with Clemson at 5 p.m. OSU will be back in Gill Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 29 when it hosts No. 4 Notre Dame in its first of 12 regular-season games televised on the Pac-12 Networks.