SEATTLE (AP) - Resilient USC refused to go away, but Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said his eighth-ranked Beavers can benefit from the closer-than-expected battle.
Jamie Weisner scored 20 points and Ruth Hamblin and Sydney Wiese added 17 apiece to lead Oregon State to a 63-53 victory over USC on Friday night in the Pac-12 tournament quarterfinals.
“We had to execute down the stretch and get stops and it had to be timely,” Rueck said. “I think that just gives us confidence going forward that we can finish a game out like this. We leaned on all of our strengths down the stretch. That only can help our confidence.”
The Beavers (26-4) advance to Saturday’s semifinals against Washington (22-9), which upset No. 11 Stanford 73-65.
Hamblin, a 6-6 senior center, scored on a half hook from the lane to put Oregon State up 58-48 with 5:37 remaining. Sophomore guard Sadie Edwards, a transfer from Connecticut, answered with five straight points to pull the Trojans within 58-53 with 3:20 left.
Wiese’s 3-pointer with 2:48 remaining put Oregon State up 61-53.
“Syd’s three I thought was the shot of the game tonight,” Rueck said. “I really thought that corner three iced it, although you can never ice a game with time left, but she did.”
Edwards had 20 points for the Trojans (19-13) and Temi Fagbenle added 10.
“I thought we had a few opportunities in the game to tie it up and really make a game out of it, but they stepped up to the challenge and were able to knock down some huge, huge shots down the stretch,” said USC coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke
All of Oregon State’s points came from its starters, with Weisner, Hamblin and Wiese accounting for all but nine.
“Well, defending any of the three of those was giving us particularly a lot of trouble,” Cooper-Dyke said. “You know, when you talk about Weisner and Wiese and Hamblin, you pick your poison.”
Oregon State was never able to put the Trojans away, despite shooting 53 percent compared with 38 percent for USC and a 40-25 rebound advantage. Hamblin pulled down 12 rebounds and Weisner added 10.
“I would have liked it to have been slightly different, but that’s the silver lining in it right there, Rueck said. “And credit SC for playing a great game. They made it close.”
Oregon State led by double digits on several occasions in the first half. Hamblin scored down low to put the Beavers up 34-22 with 4:54 left in the second quarter, but the Trojans pulled within 36-31, holding Oregon State without a field goal the rest of the half.
Edwards scored on a drive to open the third quarter to cut the lead to 36-33. Weisner responded with eight consecutive points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to put the Beavers up 44-33.
USC: The Trojans lost to Oregon State for the first time in four tournament meetings. Fagbenle scored in double figures for the 24th time this season.
Oregon State: The Beavers have won 16 of their last 17. The lone defeat was 76-54 on Feb. 26 in the next-to-last game of the regular season.
USC awaits a possible post-season bid.
Oregon State plays Washington on Saturday in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals
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