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OSU women's basketball notebook: Beavers will see familiar teams in Stockton
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OSU women's basketball notebook: Beavers will see familiar teams in Stockton

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Sydney Wiese, Gabriella Hanson, Jamie Weisner

Oregon State's Gabby Hanson, left, watches as Sydney Wiese, center, gives encouragement to teammate Jamie Weisner during the Beavers' second-round NCAA tournament game against South Carolina in 2014. The Beavers and Gamecocks are both in the Stockton Regional and could meet for a trip to the Final Four. 

There will be a sense of relative familiarity for the Oregon State women’s basketball team when the Beavers take part in the Stockton Regional this weekend.

And it has nothing to do with playing the Sweet 16 for a second straight season.

The Beavers, the No, 2 seed in the regional, will take on No. 3 seed Florida State at 3:30 p.m. in the second semifinal of the day. No. 1 seed South Carolina takes on No. 12 seed Quinnipiac at 1 p.m.

The winner will play for a trip to the Final Four at 6 p.m. Monday.

Oregon State (31-4) is familiar with all three teams. The Beavers faced Quinnipiac (29-6) at a tournament in Las Vegas, pulling out a 75-60 win to reach the title game, in mid-December.

The Beavers also got a quick glance at Florida State (27-6) last season when the Seminoles took part in the Dallas Regional semis, falling to No. 1 seed Baylor.

And then there’s South Carolina (29-4), which ended Oregon State’s season in 2014 in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

For seniors Sydney Wiese and Gabby Hanson, their desire to face Florida State is finally going to be a reality.

“There are some schools that when you’re in college you want to play them and somehow you hope that you will,” Wiese said.

Wiese said they have followed the Seminoles, who have been a top-25 team the past few years. So the two teams have that in common.

“So I think it would be a good matchup to see how we fare against them,” Wiese said. “For some reason they’ve been on our minds and our hearts.”

Surprising Quinnipiac

Quinnipiac is one of two double-digit seeds to reach the Sweet 16, and that comes after the school entered the NCAA tournament with an 0-2 record (2013 and 2015).

The Bobcats stunned No. 5 seed Marquette before knocking off No. 4 Miami on its home floor on Monday advance.

“Super happy for them and how well they’re doing,” Wiese said. “They had never won in the tournament and now they are in the Sweet 16, that’s incredible.”

Said coach Scott Rueck: “I think that’s an incredible story and not really surprising getting to know them. … They have created some magic for sure and I think we’ll be sharing a hotel with them which is pretty neat after seeing them in Vegas.”

Homecoming for Tudor

When freshman Kat Tudor learned two years ago that Stockton would host an NCAA women’s basketball regional this year, the then St. Mary’s High junior could only dream that she would be taking part in the event.

But on March 13, Tudor, from nearby Woodbridge, saw that dream become a possibility when it was announced the Beavers were in that regional.

“When I saw it on the selection show, I was like no way,” Tudor said Tuesday. “(I was) shocked more than anything.”

All they had to do was win two games in Gill Coliseum and Tudor would be heading home.

So after the Beavers knocked off Creighton on Sunday night to punch their ticket to the Sweet 16, Tudor tweeted out “I’M COMING HOME.”

Rueck said he’s happy Tudor gets a chance to play in front of her hometown fans.

“It’s awesome for her and awesome for us,” Rueck said. “We’re going to go visit their house for dinner so that’s going to be pretty special. I don’t think many teams are going to have that opportunity.”

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

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