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OSU women's basketball: Beavers rally to end losing streak against Stanford

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Jamie Weisner pumped her fist in the air as she retreated back on defense after sinking the dagger 3-pointer for the Oregon State women.

Finally, the Beavers were going to get the best of Stanford.

Thanks to a 23-4 run over the final 7 minutes, 7 seconds, the No. 12 Beavers stunned the No. 11 Cardinal and ended a 29-game losing streak to Stanford with an exhilarating 58-50 Pac-12 win before an overjoyed Gill Coliseum crowd of 4,314 on Sunday night.

It was hard to put into words, coach Scott Rueck said.

“For 30 minutes it was like a depressing scene out there,” he said. “We were off our game, it was not fun, it was just a struggle, everything was, and when you’re off your game everything's miserable.”

Suddenly, they tide began to turn.

“The last 12-13 minutes of this game was an absolute blur,” Rueck said. “It was a stretch of basketball none of us will ever forget.”

The Beavers (14-3, 5-1) were down as many as 15 points in the third quarter and it appeared nothing was going to go right for them. They didn’t get many close calls and even open layups wouldn’t go down.

But the Beavers hung in and when they went to a zone defense, it disrupted what Stanford (14-4, 4-2) had been able to do for much of the game. The Cardinal shot 2 for 12 in the fourth quarter.

“I thought we did a really good job for three quarters and the fourth quarter really got away from us,” Stanford coach Tara Vanderveer said. “I thought they attacked us a lot more and we really struggled offensively. …

“I think the zone definitely took us out of some rhythm and we didn’t attack it the way we need to attack it. I told our team that’s on me and we’re going to work harder on it.”

After Oregon State had trimmed the deficit to as few as six early in the fourth, Stanford appeared to regain control and took a 46-35 lead on two free throws by Kailee Johnson.

Then came an impressive stretch that saw the Beavers, with help from a raucous crowd, not only get back into the game, but win it.

Deven Hunter’s 3-pointer with 3:03 to play made it a 13-0 run and put the Beavers up 48-46. After a basket by Weisner and two free throws by Gabby Hanson, Weisner buried a 3 that gave OSU a seven-point lead with just under a minute to play.

“I was just open, I didn’t really think about it I just let it go and it went in,” Weisner said. “I felt the whole crowd erupt. That was awesome, just to have Beaver Nation behind us and they were so loud. That feeling is incredible and you don’t get that many times in your life. Just really proud of this team.”

OSU hit 9 of its 11 shots in the fourth quarter, including its last seven.

Hunter and Weisner led the way 19 and 18 points, respectively. Hunter, who also had a game-high 12 rebounds, did most of her damage from behind the 3-point line, hitting 5 of 7 shots.

The senior forward, who entered the game with just 18 3-point attempts in the first 16 games, said she didn’t miss any 3s in warmups.

“I just went for it,” Hunter said. “Everybody was driving and getting open and they were open shots so I had to take them.”

Johnson led Stanford with 14 points, Erica McCall added 12 and Lili Thompson chipped in nine.

Stanford used an 11-0 run over a 5:32 span of the second quarter to take a 30-16 lead. The Beavers did score the final five points of the half — on a Hunter 3 and Weisner jumper with 2 seconds left — to get within 30-21.

But a turnover on OSU’s opening possession of the third quarter and an 8-2 Cardinal run pushed the advantage back to 15. The Beavers managed to stay in the game, closing the last five minutes of the quarter on a 7-2 run to trail 40-30.

Then in the fourth, the Beavers were finally able to find an offensive rhythm in the fourth and ended a losing streak that dated back to Jan. 11, 2001.

“I couldn’t be prouder of the will to compete this team had to have,” Rueck said. “The crowd was unbelievable and we rode that energy.”

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