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Midway through the third quarter, Destiny Slocum started the break and delivered a pass to Mikayla Pivec in stride at the 3-point line.

Slocum then raised her right arm as she watched Pivec step through the defense and in for the layup.

That bucket put Oregon State up 63-37 in their exhibition game against Northwest Nazarene on Saturday.

The Beavers hope that is a sign of things to come this season.

After an even first five minutes, the Beavers kicked things into gear, got out on the break and played their typical stifling defense in a 95-58 win over the Nighthawks.

The season gets started for real on Friday when Oregon State welcomes Cal Poly to Gill Coliseum for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Oregon State’s depth was on display throughout the game as the Beavers sent wave after wave of scoring threats to the floor.

Northwest Nazarene had no answers.

Katie McWilliams led the way with 17 points, Joanna Grymek 15 and Slocum and Aleah Goodman 13 each. Mikayla Pivec added nine points, while Taya Corosdale, Maddie Washington and Kat Tudor all chipped in eight.

“I thought we looked pretty good,” McWilliams said. “I thought we pushed the ball really well, we got transition buckets, we shot pretty well from the 3 and Jo was really good inside. So it was just good to see everyone playing and bringing a little bit to this game."

Added coach Scott Rueck: “I thought we executed, for where we’re at, pretty well. I thought today was a positive step forward for us.”

It was the first game, although a noncounting one, for Slocum, who sat out last season after transferring from Maryland.

Slocum, who was the national freshman of the year and the Big Ten freshman of the year in 2016-17, was most happy to go through warmups and take the court at Gill.

“It’s been a long time waiting,” Slocum said. “It was just nice to be out there with my team and finally get the opportunity to just be in front of Beaver Nation. That’s what I was waiting for.”

Slocum was a bit anxious and it showed at times as she finished with eight turnovers to go with her seven assists and three steals.

Once Slocum, who was named to the all-Pac-12 preseason team, settled in, she showed why she has received such high praise even after sitting out a season.

“The first quarter I had some jitters,” she admitted. "My teammates were like, 'Destiny you’ve got it, just calm down.' … As the quarters went on it became more natural just playing with my teammates, the rhythm that we have it’s so easy.”

Rueck said he was pleased with the way Slocum managed the team, something they have been working on.

“I thought it was a great first night out for her,” he said.

Oregon State finished the game shooting 50 percent from the floor (35 for 70) and was 13 for 37 from 3. The Beavers had 25 assists on the 35 made baskets.

With the decided height advantage, the Beavers outrebounded the Nighthawks 59-26 and gave up just nine offensive rebounds. Corosdale and Janessa Thropay each had eight.

Oregon State did turn the ball over 21 times.

The Beavers used two 11-0 runs in the first two quarters to break open the game.

OSU trailed 15-14 midway through the first before the first run gave the Beavers a 25-15 lead.

After a Northwest Nazarene 3, another 11-0 run, capped by a Corosdale layup off a feed from Slocum, pushed the advantage to 36-18 with 6:48 to play in the half.

Slocum’s fastbreak layup off a pass from Tudor gave the Beavers their largest lead of the first half at 48-26 and Slocum’s 3 with 2 seconds left made it a 51-31 lead at intermission.

McWilliams, who had nine points in the first quarter, led the way with 11 in the first half while Grymek chipped in 10 and Slocum nine.

Raquel Jardine helped keep the Nighthawks in the game with 13 first-half points. She finished with 17 while Maya Rodgers chipped in 16.

After starting off with shooting well from the field, the Nighthawks cooled off as the Beavers held them to an 11-for-32 performance in the first half.

The Beavers were 18 for 34 from the field, including 7 for 19 from 3, and were just 8 for 15 from the foul line.

OSU held a 31-10 edge on the glass and gave up just three offensive rebounds in the first half.

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Sports Editor

Sports editor of the Corvallis Gazette-Times and Albany Democrat-Herald