When Taya Corosdale is on the floor, the Oregon State women’s basketball team is at or near its best.
Corosdale, a 6-foot-3 sophomore forward, has a wide array of skills on the offensive end. She can drive to the basket, score in the post or step out and hit from beyond the 3-point line.
As the Beavers’ main option at the 4 position, her versatility helps make Oregon State difficult to defend.
“You can definitely say when she is on the floor we are very good because we know and are comfortable with her there,” said Aleah Goodman, a fellow sophomore and Corosdale’s roommate the past two years. “She knows all of our stuff. She’s really hard to guard on offense because she’s a 4 that can shoot 3s like a guard (and) she can dribble.”
Goodman said the Beavers have complete confidence in Corosdale and know she will make the correct read.
“She has her shot, she has her drive, but she definitely just brings more of a comfort level because she has been in that position for the past two years,” Goodman said. “And she also brings confidence for us guards. We know setting that screen we’re going to have her on that pop if they double us or however they guard us.”
Added junior Mikayla Pivec: “Her ability to space the floor as a 4 provides so much more room for our team to drive into those gaps or if people help off on the drive then she’ll be ready to make them pay from the outside.”
Corosdale has elevated her outside shooting from a season ago and is as confident as ever taking 3s. She was 36 for 99 last season for 36.4 percent from long range.
She is 24 for 61 so far this season (39.3 percent), but has been even better in Pac-12 play, hitting 12 of 26 (46.5 percent) from beyond the arc heading into Friday’s game at Washington.
“She’s really shot the ball well,” coach Scott Rueck said, noting he has seen more overall consistency out of Corosdale this season. “She’s just found her rhythm and spots within our offense.”
Corosdale averaged 6.8 points per game last season and enters the weekend at 7.3. That number is up to 9.3 in Pac-12 play.
Rueck and Goodman have both been impressed with Corosdale’s passing ability. She has 40 assists on the season, fourth best on the team.
“Her passing is one of a kind, especially from post to post,” Goodman said. “She’s probably one of the best passers I’ve seen to (center) Jo (Grymek) especially just kind of getting it right where she needs it. She sees the floor great.”
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Added Rueck: “You look at some of the assists or potential assists she got (against Arizona State), she had some high-low passes to Katie (McWilliams), to Jo, to Maddie (Washington) that were outstanding.”
Corosdale said she has always loved making the extra pass to set up a teammate and it’s something that has come natural to her.
While her offensive numbers have improved, she’s also been a steady and key contributor on defense. Corosdale has worked at becoming a better rebounder and is second on the team with 7.7 per game. That number has increased to 9.7 in six conference games.
“Scott always talks about rebounding can often win games and it can come down to the winning possession,” Corosdale said. “So we really focus on it at practice.”
Pivec, who leads at 8.7 rebounds per game overall and is second behind Corosdale in conference play at 7.7, has been a great example for Corosdale.
“I’ve been learning from Mik a little bit,” Corosdale said. “She may not know it but I am.”
Corosdale has also held her own for the most part against some of the opposition’s top players.
“She’s had some really tough assignments on the defensive end guarding a lot of the other team’s best players or top players and she’s done a great job kind of holding her own or shutting them down a little bit,” Goodman said.
Because of her importance, Corosdale knows she needs to stay on the floor as much as needed. That means working on cutting down her fouls, an area that she has struggled with a couple times this season.
The Beavers have been trying to see what they get called for and ways to adjust.
“I do get frustrated with myself but I’m just learning and (the coaches) are doing their best to make sure I don’t get those fouls,” she said.
Her growth is impressive considering she missed most of the summer after having shoulder surgery.
“She is talented and it’s cool to see her coming into her own there and kind of seeing what she’s capable of offensively and defensively,” Pivec said.
Corosdale is happy with the progress she has made, but far from satisfied.
“I definitely want to keep getting better,” she said. “Yeah, I’ve had some good performances but I think just getting better each game so that we can go as far as we need to is what I really want to do for the team and I just want to keep getting better for the team.”