Two seasons ago, the Oregon State women’s basketball team had to play without one of its leaders as Jamie Weisner missed the final nine games of the regular season with a wrist injury.
Weisner's absence meant other players had to elevate their performances to compensate for her loss on and off the floor.
They did, as the Beavers won all nine of those games and two more in the Pac-12 tournament, where Weisner slowly worked her way back into the rotation.
No. 11 Oregon State hopes for a similar outcome over the next few weeks as they will be without the services of junior point guard Sydney Wiese for an indefinite period of time, coach Scott Rueck announced after Monday’s 80-43 home win against Cal Poly.
Wiese, a three-year starter, injured her right (non-shooting) hand during Saturday’s home loss to No. 14 Tennessee. She had a cast on the hand Monday.
It is a blow for the Beavers, who head to No. 3 Notre Dame on Dec. 28, then open Pac-12 play Jan. 2 at USC and wrap up the trip at No. 19 UCLA on Jan. 4. Back-to-back Civil War games follow that.
Junior Gabby Hanson, who scored a game-high 19 points in the win over Cal Poly, remembers how the Beavers came together and weathered the loss of Weisner in the 2013-14 season.
Monday was a good start.
“I think everyone had the mindset to step up and hit shots and take care of business on the defensive end,” Hanson said. “That was huge for us. It’s a situation that most of us have been in before. I think everyone did that (Monday).”
Rueck believes this team can make it through this stretch.
“They have the confidence in knowing they’re capable of surviving it and that they can step up because they’ve done it,” he said. “Everybody did step up (Monday). It was really a collective effort and that doesn’t surprise me because who they are.”
Freshman Katie McWilliams, who started in Wiese’s place, was happy to be a facilitator and dished out nine assists. She also had five rebounds to go with two points.
Hanson had 19 points, Weisner 16 and Marie Gulich 14. Deven Hunter chipped in nine and Ruth Hamblin added seven points and eight rebounds.
As a team, the Beavers had 21 assists on 27 made baskets.
The Beavers are off for a few days before returning to prepare for Notre Dame next week.
“I just anticipate a continuation from what we saw Saturday, the way this team bounced back from that adversity (Monday) says a lot about who they are and the way they played, they weren’t satisfied being up 10, 15, they just kept going,” Rueck said.
“I anticipate them coming back hungry knowing we have another great opportunity in this preseason and then it’s conference time, what we’ve been preparing for for a year now.”