CORVALLIS, Ore. – Led by a double-double from 6-foot-6 center Ruth Hamblin, the Beavers’ front line dominated Sacramento State on Friday afternoon and the OSU women’s basketball team secured a convincing 102-80 victory over the Hornets in front of a non-conference record home crowd of 4,139 in Gill Coliseum on Monday afternoon.
The sophomore Hamblin scored a career-high 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to notch her first career double-double. Freshman forward Kolbie Orum added 16 points and eight rebounds in 17 minutes off the bench, sophomore forward Deven Hunter scored 15 and pulled down seven boards and freshman Breanna Brown tallied eight points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
“That’s what [Sacramento State] gives you,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. “They pressure you hoping to get turnovers and if you handle that you’ll get decent position. I thought our posts did a great job being in the right spots and finished well today.”
Behind that effort from Oregon State’s posts, the Beavers’ 102 points against Sacramento State are the sixth-most in program history and the first time in triple digits for OSU since putting up exactly 100 against these same Hornets on Nov. 16, 2008. Oregon State last scored more than 102 when it put up a school-record 117 against Portland State on Jan. 8, 1982.
OSU’s key to success was no secret entering the game. Sacramento State, which employs an up-and-down offensive game and defensively presses and traps at every opportunity, has just two players on its roster at least 6-feet tall. Six-foot-two freshman forward Breanna Garrett hadn’t played entering today’s contest and logged just one minute of action on Friday.
With seven players standing 6-feet and taller, the Beavers executed their game plan, feeding the post and outscoring Sacramento State in the paint to the tune of 66 to 18. Oregon State’s ability to break the Hornets’ full-court pressure often gave it a 2-on-1 advantage and the Beavers’ guards were able to drop off assists to Hamblin, Orum, Hunter and their teammates waiting patiently on the block.
Sacramento State came in averaging 45 3-point attempts per game and nearly shot itself back into this one in the second half. Oregon State opened up a 22-point lead on a Breanna Brown layup with 14:15 left in the game, but the Hornets went on a 19-5 run over the next four minutes and 30 seconds to cut the Beavers’ lead to just eight, 77-69, with 9:49 to go.
Oregon State’s post presence settled things down, however, to extend the Beavers’ lead to a more comfortable double-digit margin, eventually matching its highest advantage of the afternoon (22) at game’s end. Hamblin stemmed the tide with a layup, Hunter followed with a free throw, Samantha Siegner flipped in a lefty layup and Orum fought through contact to convert a close-range shot, was fouled and made the free throw to put OSU up 14, 85-71, with 5:57 on the clock.
“We had a lot of turnovers in the second half, but that’s what that system is built to do,” Rueck said. “They rotate people in like a hockey team just to keep in the pressure on you and hope you let down or wear down. It’s the first time we’ve faced this and I thought we handled it really well all day. They made a run at us in the second half, but we executed when we needed to and then pulled away at the end.”
Ten of Oregon State’s 11 players had assists on the afternoon. Freshman Sydney Wiese had six assists, her third straight game with at least five, and Jamie Weisner added three of her own. Khadidja Toure scored nine points and had three steals, at one point swiping back-to-back Sacramento State inbounds passes and turning them into four points for the Beavers.
Oregon State shot 53.6 percent from the floor (37-for-69). Nearly half of Sacramento State’s 80 shot attempts were from behind the arc. The Hornets converted at a 32.5 percent clip overall (26-for-80) and were 12-for-39 from 3-point range (30.8 percent).
Unbelieveable energy from a record crowd today. Looking forward to having you all back next year! Hope you enjoyed the show. #gobeavs— Scott Rueck (@CoachRueck) November 15, 2013
Oregon State’s win came in front of a non-conference record home crowd of 4,139 for the program’s “Beavers Beyond the Classroom” promotion, in which it welcomes elementary and middle school students from around the area to Gill Coliseum. While watching the action they were able to interact with a workbook that covers grammar, history, math, health and sports science and was integrated with timeouts during the game. That number bested the 4,118 fans watch Oregon State defeat Montana, 62-51, on Dec. 22, 1995.
“This is my favorite day of the year,” Rueck said of the event which is in its second season. “Being a teacher I love seeing kids out here and providing an opportunity for schools to come be on a college campus and get an experience that maybe some of them never had have or will have again. This crowd was electric. It gets better every year and I’m really proud of the community for coming out and supporting us.”
Oregon State returns to the court next Thursday, Nov. 21 when it hosts Loyola Marymount at 6 p.m. in Gill Coliseum.