DALLAS — Oregon State prides itself on making teams work in the half court to score points.
The Beavers will try to do just that on Monday night when No. 2 seed Oregon State takes on No. 1 seed Baylor in the Dallas Regional final at American Airlines Arena at 6 p.m.
The winner will advance to the Final Four and play either Connecticut or Texas.
“That's why we have the numbers that we do, defensive points and field goal percentage,” Rueck said. “We make teams work typically and we don't want to give up anything easy, keep them off the free-throw line, away from the basket, out of transition and challenge everything. So, yes, that's our MO and that's what we've done all year. Needs to be another one of those.”
It won’t be an easy task.
“Huge key for them is transition,” said junior guard Gabby Hanson. “They push the ball like no other team we've kind of seen before.”
Baylor is looking to advance to its first Final Four since cutting down the nets in 2012 following a 40-0 season.
The Lady Bears average 78.2 points per game and have scored over 85 points 10 times this season.
Junior forward Nina Davis, Baylor’s leading scorer at 16.4 points per game, has been red-hot the past two games as she has scored 30 in each contest.
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“Just doing what I do,” Davis said. “You know, attacking and trying to cause the defense to collide on me and dish it out to my teammates, and if they don't come, then try to get a shot off.”
Speaking of red hot, that was Oregon State senior guard Jamie Weisner on Saturday as she torched DePaul for a career-high 38 points on 14-for-20 shooting.
Sydney Wiese and Ruth Hamblin each added 13 in the win,
Baylor is also balanced with eight players scoring more than six points per game and is hitting close to 49 percent of its shots from the floor.
“I think watching them, they know how to play well with each other,” said OSU senior Deven Hunter, who had nine points and 12 rebounds in Saturday’s win. “They have been through it all. They know where each other are and find each other and they know how to work their system really well.”
The Beavers will present a challenge defensively as OSU allows teams to shoot just 31.5 percent.
“So it will be a game where you're going to see a lot of great offensive players, but I think you're going to see a game where you're going to see a lot of good team defense on both sides,” Baylor coach Kim Mulkey said.
“We're not as big as they are on the perimeter. Their shooters are 6-foot and bigger. They guard people in a different way than we do. If you look at how many points they're allowing on average to their opponents, it's low. So that tells you that they stress defense as well.”