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Mikayla Pivec

Oregon State guard Mikayla Pivec, left, and the Beavers have started well this season, outscoring the opposition 144-72 in the first quarter through the first six games.

The first quarter has been a productive period through six games of the season for the No. 9 Oregon State women’s basketball team.

The Beavers have dominated the opening stanza, outscoring the opposition 144-72.

Oregon State had a 29-12 lead after the first quarter against No. 1 Notre Dame in last Saturday’s Vancouver Showcase title game.

An evening earlier, the Beavers led then-No. 13 South Carolina (now No. 18) 17-8 after 10 minutes.

OSU also had a 30-12 lead after the first against Saint Mary’s, was up 26-4 on Arkansas-Pine Bluff and held a 23-12 edge on UC Davis in the season opener.

The only first quarter where the Beavers didn’t have a lead was in the Vancouver Showcase opener when Katie McWilliams hit two free throws to forge a 19-19 tie after one quarter against Western Kentucky.

“I can’t point to one reason why we’ve played so well to start the game, I know we just play with a ton of energy and try to make the most of each opportunity,” junior guard Mikayla Pivec said. “… Thankfully we’ve gotten off to really good starts so far.”

Taya Corosdale said it’s all about having the correct mindset.

“Going in we know we need to focus really hard and just be together as one and execute,” she said. “You can’t start off the game slow or else that just sets the tone for the rest of the game. I think that’s one thing that we’ve improved on from last year, honestly, just coming out strong and ready to go.”

Those quick starts have allowed Oregon State to lead at the half in all six games and have had a double-digit edge in four of the six games. The Beavers led Notre Dame by nine and South Carolina by eight in the two they didn't.

In 24 quarters, the Beavers have outscored the opposition 18 times. Notre Dame won three quarters and South Carolina two while Western Kentucky was even once.

Oregon State will look to start fast again on Saturday when the Beavers (5-1) host La Salle. Tipoff is set for noon and will be televised on Pac-12 Oregon.

The Explorers are 0-6 and coming off a 58-43 home loss to Drexel on Wednesday night. They are averaging just 52.5 points per game while giving up 73.8 and have been outscored 113-71 in the first quarter.

The Explorers have struggled from the field, making just 104 of 358 total field goals (29.1 percent), including a woeful 19 for 122 (15.6 percent) from beyond the 3-point line.

La Salle has lost every game by double figures, except the season opener, a 57-54 home loss to Howard. The Explorers' top three leading scorers are averaging between 7.0 and 7.5 points per game.

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Sports Editor

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