PULLMAN, Wash. – It was anything but pretty, possibly even ugly.
But all that matters for the Oregon State women’s basketball team is the outcome.
And on Thursday night, the Beavers did all they needed to pick up a road win.
Behind a stifling defense and 10 points from junior Sage Indendi in the second half, the Beavers shook off a dismal shooting performance to run their Pac-12 Conference win streak to five with a 51-39 win over Washington State in front of a crowd of 509 in the Beasley Coliseum.
Coupled with the rest of the Pac-12 results on Thursday, the Beavers (16-7, 7-5) are now tied with UCLA for third place behind Cal (9-3) and Stanford (12-0) as they head to Washington on Saturday. The Huskies beat Oregon on Thursday.
“This was just an absolute war,” coach Scott Rueck said. “It was ugly and we had to be super gritty tonight and battle through some deficiencies shooting the ball. Credit Washington State and their defense for keeping us off-balance. It took us, it seemed, all night to get comfortable, (but) we finally did.”
The Beavers trailed 26-22 at the half, but outscored the Cougars (10-14, 4-8) 29-13 in the second half. Indendi, who was scoreless in the first half made a big difference in the second with all 10 of her points.
So did Mollee Schwegler off the bench. She may have only finished with two points but had three assists in key moments.
“I thought Mollee Schwegler was a key player in this game and her ability to break down the defense,” Rueck said. “She got us some easy baskets when the game was in the balance and allowed us to separate.”
What really did it for the Beavers was their defense. Brandi Thomas hit a 3 with 13 minutes, 30 seconds left in the game, but the Cougars didn’t score again until a free throw by April Cook with 1:52 left, nearly 12 minutes later.
“Our defense kept us in it down the stretch,” Rueck said.
The game was physical throughout and got a little chippy early in the second half when OSU’s Earlysia Marchbanks and WSU’s Jazmine Perkins were whistled for technical fouls.
That seemed to fire the Beavers up.
“That was a pivotal point of the game,” Rueck said. “You never want to see a technical, I don’t even know what happened to be honest, but what this team did though during that stretch, it was like we hit a different gear intensity-wise and we kind of took it over.”
Added Indendi: “Anna’s technical for some reason gave us a little extra spirit and we needed that. With a game like this you need stuff like that. It may not be pretty, it may not be traditional but you’ve got to find a way to win on the road and that’s exactly what we did.”
The Beavers shot just 18 for 56 from the floor, including a 1-for-24 performance from beyond the arc to win. They did hold WSU to 14-for-59 shooting for the game and outrebounded the Cougars 50-35.
“(Shooting 3s) is a big thing that we do so we had to find other ways to score, we had to scrap for the ball and we had to rebound,” Indendi said. “We came up with boards tonight and I think that really kept us in the game. (And) our defense once again prevailed.”
In addition to Schwegler’s play off the bench, Thais Pinto came up big with a team-high 12 points. She was forced into more action than normal – a career-best tying 21 minutes – as starting post Patricia Bright picked up two quick fouls.
“She played great for us and we needed that,” Rueck said. “… This team (WSU) likes to front the post and we worked this week on looking over the top and the guards did a good job getting her the ball. But she did a great job holding her own and finishing.”
Oregon State 51, Washington State 39
OREGON STATE (16-7, 7-5): Patricia Bright 3-4 2-2 8, Ali Gibson 3-9 2-2 9, Earlysia Marchbanks 1-3 1-3 3, Sage Indendi 3-17 4-4 10, Alyssa Martin 0-5 1-2 1, Alexis Bostick 0-1 0-0 0, Thais Pinto 5-6 2-4 12, ShaKiana Edwards-Teasley 2-3 2-3 6, Mollee Schwegler 1-8 0-0 2. Totals 18-56 14-20 51.
WASHINGTON STATE (10-14, 4-8): Sage Romber 4-12 2-2 11, Brandi Thomas 1-8 1-2 4, Carly Noyes 0-6 0-0 0, April Cook 3-11 0-0 6, Jazmine Perkins 1-5 0-0 2, Rosetta Adzasu 0-2 3-5 3, Katie Grad 0-1 0-0 0, Jordan Kelley 0-1 0-0 0, Rosie Tarnowski 2-5 0-0 6, Shalie Dheensaw 1-3 1-3 3, Hana Potter 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 14-59 7-12 39.
Halftime: WSU 26, OSU 22. 3-Point Goals: OSU 1-24 (Gibson 1-6, Indendi 0-8, Martin 0-3, Bostick 0-1, Schwegler 0-5, Edwards-Teasley 0-1), WSU 4-24 (Romberg 1-6, Thomas 1-4, Cook 0-5, Perkins 0-2, Adzasu 0-1, Kelley 0-1, Tarnowski 2-5). Rebounds: OSU 50 (Martin 9), WSU 35 (Romberg 11). Assists: OSU 11 (Marchbanks 3, Schwegler 3), WSU 8 (Perkins 3). Total fouls: OSU 15, WSU 19. Fouled out: none. Technicals: Marchbanks (OSU), Perkins (WSU). Att.: 509