In the end, the ball just didn’t bounce Oregon State’s way.

Down three late against No. 6 Notre Dame, the No. 18 Beavers got the defensive stop they needed.

But a mad fight for the rebound eventually came out in the hands of Notre Dame’s Arike Ogunbowale and the Irish were able to salt away a 72-67 nonconference women’s basketball win before a loud and energized Gill Coliseum crowd of 7,570 on Sunday afternoon.

It was the third close game the teams have played in the past five season, with the Irish pulling out each one.

It was a back-and forth final period that saw three lead changes and neither team leading by more than three before the closing seconds.

“Notre Dame did a great job today,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “They made the plays in the second half to win the game.”

Oregon State (2-1), which hits the road for the first time later this week with games at North Carolina Central and No. 11 Duke, built an 11-point lead early in the third quarter before the Irish (3-0) began to mount a comeback.

After Mikayla Pivec’s 3 with 7:58 left in the period gave the Beavers their largest lead at 44-33, the Irish countered with an 18-4 run, capped by a 3 by Ogunbowale that gave Notre Dame its first lead of the game at 51-48 with 2:19 left.

Jackie Young had seven of her game-high 21 points early in the run to spark the Irish attack.

“We ran a little different set for her to get the ball and make that decision whether she was going to drive it or pass and screen,” Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw said. “She did a great job. She just realized they couldn’t guard her and took it to the basket every single time.”

Back-to-back hoops by Marie Gulich pushed the Beavers to a 52-51 lead going to the fourth.

Notre Dame was 9 for 16 from the floor in the period and OSU 6 for 16.

“We were just off our game,” Rueck said of the third-quarter run. “In the first half we controlled tempo and at that moment they were controlling tempo. They came out knowing they had to change something and Jackie Young really was the one that made the difference in this game. She put her head down and just went to the rim in the second half no matter who was there, she was going to the rim.”

Notre Dame won the rebounding battle 47-36 overall, including a 23-12 edge in the second half. The Irish had 21 offensive rebounds for the game to 13 for the Beavers.

“That was the deciding factor in this game was their offensive rebounding,” Rueck said. “If we win the boards, we win the game. They beat us by 11 and they won the game. Twenty-one offensive rebounds is too many and it’s hard to overcome that.”

Pivec finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and six assists for the Beavers while Kat Tudor and Taylor Kalmer both chipped in 12 and Gulich 10.

Young had 21 and Ogunbowale added 15 and Marina Mabrey 10 for the Irish.

“I’m really, really proud of the team,” Gulich said. “I think we played really well in stretches and then we had some stretches which were not as good. … I think we just learn from the mistakes and move on.”

The Beavers opened with an 11-2 run, capped by a Tudor 3 with 6:12 left in the period. Pivec’s old-fashioned three-point play made it 14-4.

But Notre Dame chipped away and closed the quarter on a 7-2 run to get within 20-15 on Lili Thompson’s 3.

Back-to-back 3s by Katie McWilliams and Kalmer pushed the lead to 26-17 early in the second.

Notre Dame again cut to three at 30-27 before Janessa Thropay made the most of her limited minutes in the half.

Her rebound led to a short jumper by Pivec and she kept another possession alive and Tudor canned a 3 for a 37-27 lead.

The Beavers took a 37-29 edge into the intermission after shooting 44.1 percent from the floor while limiting Notre Dame to 31.6 percent.

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Sports editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald

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