What an encore for the Lady Beavers! On the heels of earning back-to-back Pac-12 championships, they won their first conference tournament Sunday night with a dominant 69-57 win against UCLA.
Senior Ruth Hamblin, the Pac-12’s defensive player of the year, turned in arguably the best performance of her career, scoring 23 points and tying her career-high with 20 rebounds. It was the first 20/20 game of her stellar career. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, she blocked five shots — en route to becoming the Pac-12’s all-time blocked shots leader. Game ball to Hamblin, please!
Sydney Wiese added 21 points, Jamie Weisner 19, and Deven Hunter hauled down 12 boards to add to a total team effort by the Beavers, who dominated the first half on both ends of the floor. When the Beavers are balanced and get many players involved, they are very difficult to beat.
But, hats off to UCLA for continuing to fight despite being down 31 points at one point. The Bruins got within nine in the final quarter with great full-press defense that forced quite a few turnovers, The Beavers will need to get better at breaking the press in a hurry in the NCAA tournament against more athletic teams.
But in the end, Hamblin and Co. were too much for the Bruins. Weisner, by the way, earned tournament MVP honors, adding to her Pac-12 player of the year honors. Congrats again to Scott Rueck, his staff, and the players.
OSU has served noticed that they are among the top teams in the country this season, and here’s to them continuing their stellar play in the NCAA Tournament, where they are expected to be at least a No. 2 seed.
Go Beavs! (RW)