DURHAM, N.C. — Oregon State clawed back time and time again, but each time the No. 18 Beavers made a run, No. 16 Duke had an answer.
The Beavers got as close as 58-57 but turnovers proved to be the difference down the stretch as Duke closed out a 72-65 women's basketball victory over the Beavers in a top-25 battle at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
Oregon State returns home before heading out to Hawaii for a two-game tournament Friday and Saturday. The Beavers face Nevada at 9 p.m. Friday and Utah State at 9 p.m. Saturday.
The Beavers trailed by nine early in the fourth quarter before going on an extended 8-0 run, capped off by Kat Tudor’s 3-pointer that got Oregon State within 58-57 with just under 6 minutes to play.
But the Blue Devils scored four straight, thanks to some steals and transition baskets, to regain the momentum and closed out the win at home.
It’s the second loss to a ranked team in the past three for the Beavers, who fall to 3-2 overall. OSU lost 72-67 at home to No. 6 Notre Dame last Sunday.
“It’s very similar to what we saw with Notre Dame,” coach Scott Rueck said in his postgame radio interview. “You had a team out there that had been through the wars together, where a lot of our veterans moved on last year and graduated and now we have people experiencing these things and these environments for the first time.”
Marie Gulich led the Beavers with 16 points while Tudor and Mikayla Pivec each had 13. Taylor Kalmer added nine off the bench.
Duke got 19 points from Lexie Brown, while Rebecca Greenwell had 17 and Leaonna Odom 16.
The Blue Devils finished 27 of 59 from the field and hit 9 of 19 3-point attempts.
The Beavers were 24 for 54 overall and 9 for 25 from 3.
Oregon State won the rebounding battle 34-28, but finished with 18 turnovers which led to 24 Duke points.
After taking a 35-26 lead at the half, Duke built a 42-30 advantage early in the third before the Beavers chipped away and got within 52-47 on a four-point play by Tudor.
The Beavers took an early 11-7 lead in a 3-pointer by Katie McWilliams with 5:45 left in the opening period.
But the Blue Devils went on a 12-0 run for a 19-11 lead with 3:08 left thanks to getting out in transition.
"I thought we got a lot (of open looks) in the first half and some of those misses led to their transition,” Rueck said.
The Beavers closed the quarter on a 5-0 run, capped by a Kalmer 3 from the corner.
Duke responded with a quick 5-0 run to open the second to push the lead back to eight. An 8-3 run later in the period gave the Blue Devils a 34-24 lead.
Duke started 14 for 26 from the field, and despite missing their last eight shots of the half and not making a field goal in the final 5:20, the Blue Devils took a 35-26 lead into the break.
The Blue Devils finished 14 for 33 from the floor, including 5 for 9 from 3, and had 10 points off eight Oregon State turnovers.
The Beavers, who were led in the first half by Gulich’s eight points, finished the half 10 for 26 from the floor and 4 for 14 from 3. Gulich played just 11 minutes and picked up two fouls.
Odom had 12 points and Brown nine for the Blue Devils in the first half.
“I feel good about our effort, disappointed that we couldn’t find a way to win it because I think you can win every game you play,” Rueck said. “We’re just going to continue to get better and better.”