There’s little doubt that Oregon State’s showdown with No. 14 Utah on Super Bowl Sunday is the most anticipated game of the weekend for the No. 9 Beavers.
Sure, that game has plenty of implications in the Pac-12 women’s basketball standings. But the Beavers also know they can’t look past any team in the conference, not even a Colorado squad that has fallen on hard times since going 10-1 in nonconference play.
The Buffaloes are 0-8 in Pac-12 play and have been without senior point guard Kennedy Leonard the last five games.
Still, the Beavers will treat Colorado like any other opponent, even though Utah and Stanford come up after the Buffaloes, followed by a game at California and back-to-back battles with Oregon.
“We’ve just got to remember to take it game by game, we can’t look past a team like Colorado,” senior Katie McWilliams said. “They have competed very tough against teams like Stanford. So you can never look past any team in the Pac-12 because we know they’re going to come out with a great effort. Even with experience we need to be able to come out focused and on our A game.”
Junior Mikayla Pivec, from Lynwood, and sophomore Taya Corosdale, from Bothell, both had solid outings against the Washington schools this past weekend.
Pivec had a career-high 19 rebounds in the win over the Huskies to go with 12 points while Corosdale added 14 rebounds to go with nine points.
Against the Cougars, Pivec added 19 points and nine rebounds while Corosdale chipped in 11 rebounds and six points.
Joanna Grymek has come on as of late and had solid performances against the Washington schools.
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The 6-foot-8 senior was 7 for 7 from the floor and scored 14 points in 17 minutes against the Huskies and added seven points in the defensive slugfest against the Cougars.
If Grymek can continue to be more of a threat to score, along with Maddie Washington, at the center spot, that allows the Beavers to put even more pressure on the opposition.
“We look for all of our posts, no matter who it is, to be basically unguardable one on one,” coach Scott Rueck said. “That’s the mission that we give them. So I think we’re getting closer to that with all of them.
“Their confidence is growing, they’re getting better position and we’ve still got a lot of season left. So I expect to see a lot of growth in that area even more as we’re going forward."
The Utes enter the week No. 14 in The Associated Press poll and moved up seven spots after Sunday’s 75-68 home win over then-No. 6 Stanford.
“Their will to win right now is clearly as good as anybody’s,” Rueck said. “(Megan) Huff, I think, is the heart and soul of that team, just a great athlete, a great post player a great competitor. The young players are playing big.”
The Beavers know it won’t be easy Sunday.
“They have a lot of quality players and we will have to have a good game plan to get the win,” Pivec said.
Utah has started the season 18-1 with its lone loss a buzzer-beater at the hands of Arizona State.
First, though, the Utes must face No. 4 Oregon on Friday.