- Associated Press - Sunday, December 20, 2015

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said that, win or lose, the marquee matchup with Tennessee was just one game and his squad would be better off afterward.

“This game brought the fight out of this team. Nothing had gotten us to that point yet this year,” he said.

Diamond DeShields had 14 points, nine rebounds and three blocks and No. 14 Tennessee held off No. 7 Oregon State 53-50 on Saturday night.

Mercedes Russell added 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting for the Lady Volunteers (8-3).

Sydney Wiese scored 17 points, and Jamie Weisner had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Beavers (8-1), but the guard duo combined to shoot 13 for 40 from the field.

“I thought we played a pretty good game. Just didn’t knock down shots in the first half,” Rueck said.

Oregon State outrebounded Tennessee 48-33, but the Lady Volunteers’ scrambling and trapping defense forced 15 turnovers and limited the Beavers to 30.8 percent shooting. Tennessee was 3 of 8 on free throws.

The Lady Volunteers had lost three of their previous five games.

“I think we came in here with something to prove,” Tennessee coach Holly Warlick said.

Tennessee went on a 9-0 run in the first quarter, capped by Graves’ jumper in the lane at the 1:48 mark, to lead 15-7.

The Lady Volunteers started the second quarter on a 10-2 run, capped by Russell’s jumper with 6:46 left in the half, to go ahead 27-13. Tennessee ended the half on an 8-0 run and led 35-18 at the break.

The Beavers went down by as many as 19 early in the second half, but went on a 12-0 run to close the third quarter, and were behind 45-40 heading into the fourth.

Oregon State trailed 51-50 with two minutes left when the Beavers got four offensive rebounds on the same possession. Wiese threw a wild pass to Weisner, who stepped out of bounds with 50.4 seconds left.

On the next possession, DeShields missed a shot, grabbed the rebound and was fouled. She made both free throws with 34 seconds left. DeShields had missed her six previous free throw attempts in the game.

Weisner missed a jumper and snagged her own rebound, but Oregon State center Ruth Hamblin apparently turned the ball over. After an official review, the Beavers were given the ball with eight seconds left.

Weisner missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Last season, then-No. 8 Tennessee beat No. 10 Oregon State 74-63 in Knoxville. Beavers players had openly talked about their eagerness for the rematch.

MID-RANGE: Warlick’s squad only attempted two 3-pointers, and missed both, but she was thrilled. “We’re not very good 3-point shooters right now. Our game is mid-range,” she said.

LAST SHOT: Weisner said she got a clean look at the basket on the last possession of the game, but Russell altered her shot. “Mercedes kind of closed on me and obviously she’s very long. Kind of had to fade on it and shoot over her arms,” she said.

TIP INS

Tennessee: Tennessee has three Oregonians on the team, including Jaime Nared, Jordan Reynolds and Russell.

Oregon State: The Beavers have dominated the boards, and entered the contest averaging an NCAA-best 35 defensive rebounds per game. The team’s rebounding margin of 18.8 was second in the nation. … Oregon State has held the opposition to under 40 percent shooting in its first eight games this season, but Tennessee shot 43.9 percent.

UP NEXT

Tennessee hosts Stetson on Dec. 30.

Oregon State hosts Cal Poly on Monday.

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