CORVALLIS, Ore. – Freshman Sydney Wiese dropped in 20 points on 8-for-11 shooting in her collegiate debut, propelling the Oregon State women’s basketball team to a 94-49 win over Corban in its regular-season opener in Gill Coliseum on Friday night.
Wiese, from Phoenix and last year’s Arizona Big Schools Girls Basketball Player of the Year, started at the point and also tallied a team-high five assists. Her 20-point barrage was the third-most for an Oregon State freshman in her first game, trailing only Alyssa Martin’s 24 from 2010 and Natalia Mattick’s 21 from 1990.
“Through our scrimmage, our exhibition game and now tonight it has been three-for-three with Sydney,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said of Wiese. “Nothing really gets to her. She’s been in a lot of big games against elite talent her whole life. She’s ready for this and she proved that tonight. We need that leadership out there and she’s providing it.”
The game was relatively close for the first 10 minutes. Oregon State (1-0) went up by 10 points early before Corban (0-2) chipped away to bring its deficit back to just six with 12:21 left in the first half. At that point, Jamie Weisner made a layup, was fouled, converted the free throw and the Beavers were off to the races.
OSU went on a 26-6 run over the next 10 minutes to stake itself to a 26-point lead, an advantage it would enjoy into the break. Weisner’s old-fashioned 3-point play was followed up by a pair of the new variety, as Wiese and Ali Gibson drained long-range jumpers to keep the momentum going. Samantha Siegner and Khadidja Toure combined for their own eight-point spurt during that stretch before Wiese drained another 3-pointer.
It was more of the same in the second half, as the Beavers came out and promptly went on a 25-3 run out of the break to put the game out of reach. During that run, which lasted 10 minutes and 40 seconds and ended with Oregon State up 80-33, OSU held Corban to 1-of-13 shooting and forced six Warrior turnovers.
“Anytime you play you want to get better,” Rueck said. “I thought we took a step forward in a lot of areas tonight. To start the game, it seemed like we were a bit sluggish, but we were doing some different things defensively. We threw some curveballs at them to work on stuff the first 10 minutes of the game and I think it made us a step slow. Once we got into a rhythm I thought we did a really good job fundamentally. I thought it was a good performance, but credit Corban. They played a good game tonight and are going to have a fun season.”
Oregon State was almost equally proficient from behind the arc as they were from the floor overall. The Beavers converted 37-of-71 field goals (52.1 percent) and made eight of 18 attempts from 3-point range (44.4 percent).
OSU dominated in the specialty categories as well, outscoring Corban in the paint 52-10; off turnovers, 30-6; in second-chance points, 28-9; and on the break 16-0. The Beaver bench also combined for 43 points to 11 for Corban’s non-starters. The Beavers held the Warriors to just 28.8 percent shooting and out-rebounded them 52-30.
In addition to Wiese, Khadidja Toure tied a career high with 13 points in 16 minutes off the bench, often blowing by her defender for open finishes at the rim. Ali Gibson added 10 and a number of other Oregon State players just missed out on double-digits. Freshman Kolbie Orum scored nine and Alyssa Martin and Deven Hunter each finished with eight.
“We knew that when we recruited her,” Rueck added of Toure’s performance. “We recruited an elite athlete. Everybody has a learning curve and I am so proud of her for the improvement that we’re seeing. She gave us great minutes tonight and the combination of her and Sydney at the point guard is going to be a tough thing for opponents to deal with.”
Oregon State spread out its rebounding load across its front line. Hamblin, Hunter and Siegner each tied for the team lead with seven. Alyssa Martin grabbed six while Orum, Gabriella Hanson and Breanna Brown pulled down five apiece.
The Beavers are back in action at home on Monday night, when they host Bakersfield at 6 p.m. in Gill Coliseum.