Oregon State’s starting five nearly pitched a shutout.
With the Beavers’ starting group of Mikayla Pivec, Kat Tudor, Maddison Washington, Katie McWilliams and Marie Gulich on the floor at the same time, Utah Valley managed just three points on Wednesday night.
And those didn’t come until Britta Spencer banked a 3-pointer with 8 minutes, 35 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Yes, the fourth quarter.
“Wow,” coach Scott Rueck said when told about that stat. “I knew that they had done well, that was evident. I didn’t know that. That’s a first, I guess.”
With the starters controlling the beginning of each quarter, the No. 18 Beavers cruised to a 98-41 victory over the Wolverines before a Gill Coliseum crowd of 2,925.
Now comes a showdown with No. 6 Notre Dame at 11 a.m. Sunday inside Gill Coliseum.
Oregon State opened the first quarter on an 11-0 run; the second on a 12-0 run; and the third on another 12-0 spurt.
The Beavers began the fourth on a 4-0 run before Spencer’s 3-pointer finally broke the drought against the OSU starting five.
Gulich, who led the Beavers with 19 points, scored the first points of each quarter against the undersized Wolverines, who lost in overtime at Portland on Tuesday.
Pivec added 18 points and Tudor 17 as the Beavers dominated from the start of the second quarter.
The Beavers were deadly on offense as they hit 37 of 54 shots overall and drained a school record-tying 17 3-pointers (on 28 attempts).
Oregon State also set a school record with 35 assists, and had an assist on every made basket in the second half.
“That is because the ball really moved,” Rueck said. “This is a team that has a lot of ability and I thought it was on display tonight.”
Gulich was 9 for 9 to score her 19 points in only 19 minutes. Pivec and Washington both had a team-high eight assists, while McWilliams chipped in six.
“Everyone scored, which was fun,” Gulich said. “It was just fun on the bench too. Everyone was pumped up, a lot of energy coming on and off the floor and we just played with a lot of heart and as a team.”
Every player had at least one rebound as the Beavers had a 43-19 edge; Washington led the way with eight.
“I love the way we won the boards and that’s an area that we’ve been working hard on and will continue to," Rueck said.
Washington only scored four points but added eight assists with her eight rebounds in just her second career start. She also made numerous hustle plays.
“We get to watch Maddie every day and see her improve,” Rueck said. “She was in a position tonight, because of the way they play, where her role was to distribute the ball a lot and we put her in that point-forward role a little bit and she came through for us and did a great job reading the defense.”
Oregon State looked to run away with the game from the outset with the 11-0 run.
But after taking a 17-4 lead, the Beavers allowed Utah Valley to get back in it with a 14-4 run and led just 21-18 after 10 minutes.
Taylor Christensen scored nine of her team-high 15 points in the period.
Oregon State opened the second with a 20-2 run, capped off by an Aleah Goodman 3 for a 41-20 lead. Goodman, a freshman who missed the first game, finished with 12 points and was 4 for 4 from 3.
The Beavers led 48-24 at the half and 67-32 after three before blistering the nets in the fourth for 31 points. OSU was 12 for 17 from the floor, including 7 for 9 from 3.
After an 8-for-14 shooting performance in the first quarter, Utah Valley was just 8 for 41 the rest of the way.
“I loved our progress defensively,” Rueck said. “The things that Utah Valley runs are difficult to defend, (they are) small and quick and (play) four guards and they exchange a lot and they attack and it hurt us in just one little stretch in the first quarter. I think we fixed that and that group really grew as the game wore on.”