EUGENE — When Jamie Weisner scored the first seven points of the second half, the Oregon State women’s basketball team seemed to be in complete control of Tuesday night’s Civil War.
The Beavers led 44-20 and the Ducks looked dead in the water.
Even after OSU weathered an 8-0 Oregon run moments later, the Beavers still managed to take a 50-31 advantage with 10 minutes to play.
But the Ducks reeled off 11 straight points to make it 50-42 before the Beavers regained control for a moment with a 4-0 run. While the Ducks kept battling, they were never able to get closer than seven the rest of the way as the Beavers escaped Matthew Knight Arena with a 63-53 Pac-12 win over the Ducks before a crowd of 1,533.
“I guess there was a little more scoreboard pressure, but we stayed calm through it and kept playing through it,” Weisner said of the Ducks’ rally.
Even with a big lead at the half, OSU coach Scott Rueck knew the second half wouldn’t be easy.
“When we came out at halftime, I told (assistant coach) Mark (Campbell) we’ve been on the other side of it a couple years ago down 20,” Rueck said, referring to the 2011 game in Corvallis when the Beavers rallied for a 61-59 victory over the Ducks after trailing by 20 at the break.
“We knew they were going nowhere,” Rueck added. “They were down big against UCLA a week ago and battled back against them and made it a game. We knew it was going to be a war to the end.”
It was, but OSU was able to hang on. And with the win, the Beavers (8-9, 2-3) have now won four straight in the series, the first time they have accomplished that feat. The streak began with that improbable comeback win in 2010.
Playing in her first Civil War, Weisner picked up where she left off over the weekend, when she was named the conference’s freshman of the week.
Weisner scored 11 of her 22 points in the first half, where the Beavers appeared to take control with a 37-20 lead at the break. It was even more secure when she hit two 3s and a free throw to open the second half.
Not bad for a freshmen in the Civil War.
“She’s proven that she doesn’t,” Rueck said of Weisner feeling pressure in big games. “Opening night in the Pac-12, she puts 27 on USC and so we’re kind of used to the fact Jamie is going to be Jamie no matter the circumstance — practice or game. We needed her performance today. I thought she helped us all relax early by hitting shots then kept it up. She’s a handful.”
Weisner wasn’t the only star for the Beavers. Senior center Patricia Bright continued the strong play she exhibited over the weekend in the desert against Arizona and Arizona State.
Bright scored 10 points, grabbed seven rebounds and had six blocks in 24 minutes. Her three-point play with 1 minute, 52 seconds left gave the Beavers a 10-point advantage.
“She was huge for us, probably overall the player of the game I thought because she skewed their offensive attack,” Rueck said of Bright. “She slowed down Jillian (Alleyne) on the inside which is not easy to do. But Patricia has a defensive presence. When she plays like that, inspired basketball, it’s hard for anybody to score.”
Weisner also praised Bright: “Patricia Bright, she did great for us down low and we just tried to stop their posts because they’re their leading scorers.”
After spotting the Ducks (2-15, 0-5) a 4-0 lead, the Beavers rolled off 12 straight points and continued to build the lead throughout the first half.
OSU hit five of its first 10 3-point attempts and led 27-14 after Mollee Schwegler’s 3 with 7:15 left in the half.
The Ducks made just six of 31 shots in the first half and were 1 for 10 from 3. They finished 17 for 66 from the floor, including 6 for 24 from 3.
The Beavers hit 13 of 32 shots in the first half, including 5 for 14 from 3. They cooled off in the second half and finished 21 for 56 from the field, including 7 for 21 from 3.
“I could tell from shootaround today they were dialed in and excited for this game,” Rueck said. “They know what the Civil War means and stands for.
After playing three road games in five days, the Beavers will take a break today and get ready to face Oregon again on Sunday.
“It’s been a long weekend,” Rueck said. “It was our third road game in five days, a unique situation. We’re all going to sleep well tonight.”
Oregon State 63, Oregon 53
OREGON STATE (63): ShaKiana Edwards-Teasley 0-2 0-0 0, Deven Hunter 2-5 2-2 6, Ali Gibson 1-7 4-6 7, Jamie Weisner 7-16 4-5 22, Alyssa martin 3-11 0-0 7, Samantha Siegner 1-1 2-4 4, Patricia Bright 4-8 2-3 10, Mollee Schwegler 3-5 0-0 7, Ruth Hamblin 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 21-56 14-20 63.
OREGON (53): Danielle Love 4-7 2-2 12, Jillian Alleyne 2-14 3-6 7, Liz Brenner 5-11 7-10 17, Jordan Loera 1-9 0-0 3, Ariel Thomas 2-11 0-0 4, Devyn Galland 1-3 1-2 4, Amanda Delgado 2-9 0-0 6, Megan Carpenter 0-2 0-2 0. Totals 17-66 13-22 53.
Halftime: OSU 37, UO 20. 3-Point Goals: OSU 7-21 (Gibson 1-4, Weisner 4-9, Martin 1-6, Schwegler 1-2), UO 6-24 (Love 2-4, Loera 1-8, Thomas 0-4, Galland 1-1, Delgado 2-7). Rebounds: OSU 41 (Bright 7), UO 47 (Alleyne 11). Assists: OSU 11 (Weisner 2, Martin 2, Siegner 2, Schwegler 2), UO 11 (Thomas 4). Total fouls: OSU 18, UO 14. Fouled out: None. Technicals: None. A: 1,533