Destiny Slocum scored 15 points in her Oregon State debut and three other Beavers reached double figures as the No. 8 Beavers pulled away from Cal Poly for a 79-54 season-opening women's basketball win on Friday night.
Slocum, the transfer from Maryland who sat out last season after transferring, hit 5 of 9 shots, including 4 of 7 3-pointers, and dished out eight assists.
“Being able to be out there with my team today, I couldn’t ask for anything,” Slocum said. “I’m blessed to be able to be on the floor with them and to be able to be coached by Scott (Rueck) and the rest of the staff. Just happy to be a part of it now.”
Cal Poly coach Faith Mimnaugh said the addition of Slocum to an already loaded roster makes Oregon State even more dangerous.
“They’re a very talented team obviously,” she said. “As good as they were last year, I think they’re even better with Slocum in their lineup. She just weaved and wiggled and did whatever she wanted on the court and set up her shooters all around her. She was fabulous.”
Slocum wasn’t the only star for the Beavers. Mikayla Pivec added 15 points and nine rebounds, Kat Tudor had 14 points and hit four 3s and Taya Corosdale chipped in 10 points and seven rebounds as four players finished in double figures.
“I think we’re getting more and more comfortable together,” Pivec said. “I think the first exhibition game some of us were still learning how to run and how fast Destiny plays. I think this game we ran in transition a lot better and we were able to be ready for her passes more.
“Each day we’re getting more comfortable together and we’re excited to see how we can fit this puzzle together.”
Devin Stanbach was a handful for the Mustangs as the senior scored a game-high 26 points and hit 11 of 21 shots, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range.
“I thought they had a good plan for us tonight,” Rueck said. “They created some good looks and they hit them. They shot well, especially in the post. When the five steps out and goes 4 for 5 from 3, that’s usually going to give anyone trouble and you have to give her credit for knocking down those shots.”
The Beavers (1-0) will host Arkansas-Pine Bluff at 11 a.m. Wednesday in their annual Beavers Beyond the Classroom game. Oregon State wraps up the three-game homestand at 6 p.m. Nov. 17 against St. Mary’s.
Cal Poly, which won its opener over Academy of Art University, 87-65, on Tuesday, falls to 1-1.
The Beavers finished 31 for 63 from the field, including 12 for 30 from 3, and dished out 24 assists.
While Rueck doesn’t mind the number of 3s the Beavers took, he didn’t like that that was all they were taking early instead of working the ball inside.
Part of the conversation at the half was to try to penetrate more and that eventually opened up the outside for even better shots.
“Just a much more concerted effort getting to the rim down the stretch and that was the final separation in the game,” Rueck said.
Oregon State used strong finishes to the first and third quarters, both fueled by their defensive approach, to gain some separation.
The Beavers closed the first quarter on an 8-0 run over the last four minutes to take a 23-12 lead.
The run reached 14-3 and Oregon State led 29-15 on back-to-back buckets by Janessa Thropay with 6:46 left in the half.
The Beavers took a 42-26 lead early in the third but Cal Poly countered with a 7-0 run to cut the deficit to 42-33 with 7:14 left.
After the teams traded baskets, Oregon State was finally able to stretch the lead back to 16 with a 7-0 run over the last 2:45 of the quarter to take a 58-42 edge into the fourth.
A 9-0 run early in the fourth helped end any thoughts of a comeback for Cal Poly. The lead reach 78-51 on Slocum’s fourth 3-pointer with 3:17 to play.
“We played with great energy in the third quarter and switched defenses a little bit and I thought that was key,” Rueck said. “And usually defense fuels offense so this team is figuring out who they are defensively, I’m figuring out who they are defensively. It’s just a work in progress. As the game went on we got to push some different buttons to put them on their heels a little bit.”