CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) - Oregon State coach Scott Rueck knew his team needed to gt better after a demoralizing blowout loss to UCLA earlier this season that he said was perhaps the worst performance of his eight years with the Beavers.
The 15th ranked Beavers had a chance to show the seventh-ranked Bruins just how much they had improved in the rematch Friday night.
Marie Gulich had 24 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks to lead Oregon State to a 67-64 overtime win over UCLA.
“They stayed with it through all the tough lessons and have gotten better, week after week,” Rueck said.
Katie McWilliams had 16 points and five rebounds, and Kat Tudor added 14 point and seven rebounds for the Beavers (20-6, 11-4 Pac 12). Oregon State shot 42.4 percent, compared to 33.3 for the Bruins, but UCLA committed only eight turnovers, while the Beavers had 12.
Gulich scored 14 of her 24 points in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“Getting the ball to Marie was our focus and she came up super big,” McWilliams said.
Jordin Canada had 21 points and five assists, and Monique Billings added 14 points and 12 rebounds for the Bruins (21-5, 12-3).
UCLA scored the first five points of overtime, but Oregon State stormed back.
Gulich made a lay-up at the 1:47 mark of the extra period to put the Beavers ahead 63-62. Billings was fouled on the next possession and sank both free throws for UCLA.
Gulich was then fouled and made both free throws to give the Beavers a 65-64 lead.
The Bruins missed two shots and had a third blocked. Gulich was fouled on the rebound and sank both free throws with 34 seconds left for the final margin.
Kennedy Burke and Canada missed 3-pointers on UCLA’s final possession.
“It came down to a couple of mistakes and a couple of good plays by them,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “I thought when we went up five in the overtime that if we could get a couple of stops we’d be okay, but credit to them, they executed and got the shots that they wanted, got to the free throw line.”
The teams traded baskets on five consecutive possessions in the last two minutes of regulation.
UCLA’s Japreece Dean had her 3-pointer blocked by Taya Corosdale with 4 seconds remaining, and the Beavers called timeout with 1.3 seconds left. Tudor’s 3-pointer rimmed out before the buzzer.
The teams shot poorly in the first quarter, which ended tied at 11-all. But UCLA went on an 6-0 run early in the second quarter, with Canada showing her speed on two fast-break layups, to take a 19-14 lead with 5:30 left in the first half.
UCLA went to the break ahead 27-23.
Oregon State went on a 10-0 surge, capped by a Mikayla Pivec lay-up with 3:58 left in the third, to take a 39-32 lead. But UCLA outscored the Beavers 11-3 during the rest of the period to go into the fourth quarter ahead 43-42.
UCLA: The Bruins crushed the Beavers 84-49 at Pauley Pavilion in the teams’ first matchup this season on Jan. 5. . Entering the week, the Bruins were in a three-way tie for first place in the Pac-12 with Stanford and Oregon. But each of those teams won their first game of the weekend.
Oregon State: The victory secured the Beavers’ fifth straight 20-win season. … The Beavers entered Friday first in the nation in 3-point shooting, at 41.7 percent, but were only 4 for 17 from long range against the Bruins.
CALM AND COOL
Gulich, a center from Germany and Oregon State’s lone senior, sets the tone for the Beavers every day with high expectations but a calm demeanor, Rueck said.
“Cool and calm all the time. Her example has spread throughout this group,” Rueck said.
Canada needs five assists to match the Pac-12 career record of 757 held by Sonja Henning of Stanford from 1988-1991. Close said her fast player is the best point guard in the country.
“The thing that makes her unique is she’s really fast without the ball and with the ball. A lot of times, people don’t have the ball handling to take advantage of their foot speed,” Close added.
UCLA plays at No. 9 Oregon on Monday.
Oregon State hosts USC on Sunday.
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