- Associated Press - Sunday, February 7, 2016

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) - Oregon State basketball fans call Ruth Hamblin “The Hammer,” but it was Sydney Wiese who nailed down the Beavers’ 10th consecutive win Sunday at Washington State.

Wiese scored 11 of her 16 points in the fourth quarter, when No. 9 Oregon State rallied for a 54-45 victory at Beasley Coliseum. The Cougars have lost six straight games, but they held small leads after the second and third quarters before Oregon State outscored WSU 26-11 in the final quarter.

“It was a tough one,” Wiese said. “This was our third game in six days. We’re on the road, not a lot of crowd. Give them credit; they played hard.”

The Beavers (20-3, 11-1 Pac-12) did not go ahead for good until Weise buried a 3-pointer with five minutes left. Weise sank three of her four 3-pointers in the final eight minutes.

“She’s huge for us,” said Hamblin, who led the Beavers with 17 points. “It’s so nice to have that kind of anchor offensively.”

The 6-foot-6 Hamblin serves a similar role on the defensive end. She blocked five shots and changed the angle of several others, and five of her seven rebounds came off the defensive glass.

“She’s a defensive presence every day,” Wiese said. “We know, especially as guards, if we get beat, she’s there. She came through on offense, too.”

The Cougars (12-11, 3-9), looking for more energy after a sluggish performance Friday against Oregon, inserted three new faces into the starting lineup. Freshman sensation Borislava Hristova came off the bench for the first time and scored 22 points against one of the leading defensive teams in the country.

“She’s a great player and, obviously, an elite scorer,” Wiese said. “She gave us trouble, especially off screens.”

“She hit some big-time shots,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said.

The Cougars shot just 31.6 percent from the field before an announced crowd of 687 on Super Bowl Sunday. Hristova sank 9 of 12 shots, but her teammates went 9 for 45 (20 percent). Hristova, who leads WSU with 16.9 points, was the only Cougar with more than seven points.

“Our defense kept us in the game,” Rueck said. “I loved our defensive effort.”

Rueck also praised Washington State’s defense after the Cougars held OSU to 35.3 percent shooting and forced 17 turnovers. Wiese, a standout point guard, offset her five assists with seven turnovers.

“Their defense disrupted us,” Rueck said. “I think the (defensive) pressure was a little bit more than we were expecting, to be honest.”

“I feel like we played 35 minutes of great basketball,” WSU senior forward Mariah Cook said after scoring five points in her first start of the year.

TIP-INS

Oregon State: Entering Sunday play, the Beavers led NCAA Division I in field-goal percentage defense (30.9) and defensive rebounds per game (33.0). The Beavers were third in 3-point field goal percentage defense (23.8) and blocked shots per game (6.5) and fourth in average points allowed (50.2). Washington State: Seven of WSU’s 14 players hail from foreign countries. Hristova came to Pullman from Varna, Bulgaria.

WIESE KEEPS CLIMBING

Oregon State junior Sydney Wiese climbed into 10th place in Pac-12 history with 240 3-pointers.

STINGY DEFENSE

Oregon State has held 21 of 23 opponents to less than 40 percent shooting from the field. No opponent has shot better than 44.6 percent against the Beavers, and no one’s topped 35.3 percent during OSU’s 10-game win streak.

UP NEXT

Oregon State hosts Colorado on Friday.

Washington State visits UCLA on Friday.

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