- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

MILWAUKEE (AP) - Oregon State coach Scott Rueck challenged his players during a timeout with his team trailing by 10 points on the road in the third quarter against a decided underdog.

The seventh-ranked Beavers responded with renewed efforts on the glass and the defensive end to finally pull away from Marquette.

Jamie Weisner scored 26 points, Ruth Hamblin had 17 points and 17 rebounds and Oregon State rallied for the 65-58 victory Thursday night.

The Beavers (6-0) are heading home after a long, three-game trip with a perfect record.

“We’ve been tested in a unique way in all three and we’ve passed those tests,” Rueck said. “This was the definition of a trap game for us.”

It looked like a probable loss with Oregon State trailing 40-30 with 7:35 left in the third quarter. That is when Rueck called the timeout and asked his team to look at the rest of the second half as a challenge.

“Here we are, on the road, we’re down 10, we’ve got 17 minutes, we’ve got 17 minutes to play,” he recounted. “What are we going to do with it?”

The Beavers finished the period on an 18-5 run, with Hamblin and Weisner combining for 14 points.

Oregon State’s Katie McWilliams added six points in the second half, including a key 3 from the left corner with 4:38 left for a 57-52 lead.

There was much better ball movement in the half, as opposed to a first half with 14 turnovers.

“In the second half, we really just tightened … things off. We started putting pressure on them,” Hamblin said.

Allazia Blockton scored 21 points for Marquette (2-5), which led the Beavers early by hustling on defense and scrambling for loose balls.

Oregon asserted itself on the glass in the second half. Weisner had 10 rebounds for her double-double, while Sydney Wiese had 13 boards.

“In the first half, we held them to four offensive rebounds. In the second half, they got 18, so that’s obviously the difference in the ballgame,” Marquette coach Carolyn Kieger said.

FIRST STRIKE

Danielle King added 12 points for Marquette, which led 30-25 at halftime, and Amani Wilborn had 10.

Kieger loved the early defensive effort. Marquette was focused on denying entry passes to Hamblin.

“Fantastic. Our communication was better than it has been all year,” Kieger said.

BOARD GAME

The Beavers lead the nation in rebounding margin, outrebounding foes by 22.6. But Marquette was even on the glass with Oregon State at 22 at halftime. Hamblin had 12 rebounds in the second half, while Wiese had 11.

It seemed only a matter of time before the Beavers took control of the glass, especially with the 6-foot-6 Hamblin in the lane.

“Ruth was the game-changer,” Rueck said.

RISING EAGLES

The Golden Eagles went up-tempo on offense, but couldn’t capitalize on all the Oregon State mistakes and mustered just 10 points off turnovers and 15 second-chance points.

But for a young team that starts three freshmen, Kieger saw signs of growth.

The effort was there all game, she said, something that was lacking at times in the first four games of the season.

“We’re going to continue to get better, and I tell you I would not want to play us in January because this group has got heart, this group has got fight and they’re very fun to coach,” Kieger said.

TIP-INS:

Oregon State: The Beavers’ No. 7 ranking matched the highest in school history. … Hamblin finished with seven blocks, five in the first half.

Marquette: Blockton was averaging 16.3 points per game to lead Big East freshmen. … The Golden Eagles were coming off two victories to win the FIU Turkey Slam tournament.

UP NEXT:

Oregon State hosts Idaho on Dec. 12.

Marquette hosts Wisconsin on Sunday.

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