THE GAMES: Oregon State will make an international trip for the second consecutive year, and the fourth in program history, when it journeys to Freeport on Grand Bahama Island to participate in the Junkanoo Jam this Friday and Saturday. OSU opens the event with a game against No. 13 Penn State on Nov. 29 followed by a meeting with either Florida or Illinois State on Nov 30.
TRACKING THE BEAVS: Friday’s game will air on the radio on KLOO 1340AM and Saturday’s will be carried on KEJO 1240AM. Jay Reese will be on the call from the Bahamas. Live audio is also available on osubeavers.com and fans can follow @OregonStateWBB on Twitter for all game day information, including score updates, photos and observations.
THE RUNDOWN: Oregon State defeated LMU last Thursday, 92-54 ... OSU’s 17 3-pointers made against the Lions set a new school record ... The Beavers have started 4-0 for the second time in four years under head coach Scott Rueck ... OSU is among the national leaders in a number of categories, including points per game (92.0; 5th), scoring margin (+34.0; 7th), assists per game (22.0; T4th), field goal percentage (.500; 6th), field goal percentage defense (.299; 8th) and rebound margin (+18.8; 2nd) ... Oregon State is the only team in the nation shooting 50 percent from the field while also holding its opponents below 30 percent ... The Beavers have scored 368 points so far this season, their best four-game stretch in that department since 1980-81 ... Oregon State is 18-2 when forcing their opponents to shoot less than 30 percent and 22-3 when holding them to under 50 points in the 3+ years with Rueck at the helm ... Sydney Wiese’s 20 assists through the season’s first four games are the most for an OSU player since 2006-07 ... Oregon State is tied for fourth in the nation, averaging 22.0 assists per game and has assists on 88 of its 136 made field goals (64.7 percent) ... Alyssa Martin has 891 career points and is 109 away from becoming Oregon State’s 17th 1,000-point scorer.
BAHAMAS MATCHUPS: The Beavers have limited experience against all of their opponents in the Bahamas. They played the then-No. 10 Lady Lions only one other time, in 1984-85, are 1-1 all-time against Florida, but haven’t met the Gators since 2004-05, and have battled Illinois State on three occasions, but not since 1982-83. OSU’s game against Penn State will be just its seventh against a Big Ten opponent. The Beavers played Michigan State last year in Las Vegas, but before that had not played a school from the conference since 1996-97 (Illinois). Other games against Big Ten teams have come against Iowa (1988-89), Michigan State (1992-93) and Northwestern (1990-91). Penn State was not a member of the Big Ten in 1984-85.
HISTORY ABROAD: The tournament will be the Beavers’ second consecutive international trip, the fourth in program history and their second time at the Junkanoo Jam. Last season, OSU took part in the inaugural Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, defeating UCSB (49-46) and Winthrop (68-64) before losing to national finalist and then-No. 7 Louisville, 61-43. Oregon State’s previous appearance in the Junkanoo Jam came in 2008 and featured games against Arkansas (W, 69-56) and No. 2 North Carolina (L, 82-78). Oregon State’s other journey outside the 50 U.S. states occurred in 2004 when it played in the Paradise Jam on St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. OSU lost games against Kentucky (73-70) and No. 17 Rutgers (77-53) before defeating South Dakota State, 68-65.
WHAT’S ON THE LINE: The Beavers will be looking to improve to 5-0 for the second time under Scott Rueck (2011-12) and ninth time in program history on Thursday. Those other eight seasons with such starts have ended with an average of 17 wins and include three years with at least 20 victories.
AGAINST THE AP TOP 25: After playing a school-record eight ranked schools in 2012-13, No. 13 Penn State will be Oregon State’s first such opponent this season. The Beavers are 15-78 against ranked foes since 1990-91 and have not beaten a team in the polls since they defeated No. 19 Utah, 71-62, on Dec. 16, 2003.
LAST TIME OUT: Oregon State is coming off of another big win, this time at the expense of LMU, 92-54, last Thursday evening in which the Beavers connected on a school-record 17 3-point shots. The Beavers’ shooting display was spearheaded by the backcourt duo of sophomore Jamie Weisner and freshman Sydney Wiese. Weisner led all scorers with 17 points and was backed up by Wiese’s 15. Both were 5-of-7 from behind the arc and set personal bests for 3-point makes. Oregon State’s upperclassmen, Alyssa Martin and Ali Gibson, were the other two in double figures, each scoring 14.
BOMBS AWAY: OSU’s 17 made shots from long range easily eclipsed the program’s previous record of 12, which had happened on three occasions, most recently at Arizona on Jan. 2, 2011. The Beavers were just three shy of the Pac-12 record of 20, attained earlier this season by Oregon against Bakersfield. The NCAA record is 22.
NATIONAL & PAC-12 RANKS: OSU is among the national leaders in a number of categories, including points per game (92.0; 5th), scoring margin (+34.0; 7th), assists per game (22.0; T4th), field goal percentage (.500; 6th), field goal percentage defense (.299; 8th) and rebound margin (+18.8; 2nd). It is the only team in the nation shooting 50 percent from the field while also holding its opponents below 30 percent. The Beavers are also at the top of the Pac-12 in numerous statistical areas, including scoring margin (+34.0), field goal percentage (.500), field goal percentage defense (.299), rebounding margin (+18.8), blocked shots (6.3/game), assists (22.0/game) and steals (10.5/game).
PICK YOUR POISON: Oregon State has shown its ability adapt and beat teams in different ways this season. More than half of the Beavers’ roster stands over 6-foot-3 and OSU has used that height to average 46.5 ppg in the paint, outscoring its opponents 186-76 in that category. In its 102-80 win over Sac State, Oregon State outscored the Hornets 66-18 down low. Its next time out against Loyola Marymount, the Beavers resorted to their outside game, shooting 53.1 percent from deep (17-of-32) and scoring more than half of their 92 points (51) from behind the arc.
OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS: The Beavers have scored 368 points so far this season, their best four-game stretch in that department since 1980-81 when they put up 379 in games against Amarillo College (105), Utah State (101), Utah (77) and Colorado State (96).
RECORD-SETTING WIN: The Beavers’ 102 points against Sac State are the sixth-most in program history and the first time in triple digits since putting up exactly 100 against the same Hornets on Nov. 16, 2008. Oregon State last eclipsed 102 when it scored a school-record 117 against Portland St. on Jan. 8, 1982. The win also 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. That number bested the 4,118 fans that watched Oregon State defeat Montana, 62-51, on Dec. 22, 1995.
DRASTIC DEFENSE: Known as a great defensive team, OSU has already held two of its four opponents this season to less than 30 percent shooting and under 50 points. In the 3+ years Scott Rueck has been the head coach, the Beavers are 18-2 when forcing their opponents to shoot less than 30 percent and 22-3 when holding them to under 50 points. Their .346 field goal percentage defense was an OSU record in 2012-13 and the 16th best number in the nation. Since 2006-07, all but one of Rueck’s squads has finished in the top 25 in the nation in field goal percentage defense.
BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE: Freshman Sydney Wiese is leading the team in scoring, but has also proven herself to be an able distributor at the point. She is second in the Pac-12, averaging 5.0 assists per game, and tied for seventh in the league with a 2.0 assist to turnover ratio. Her 20 assists through the season’s first three games are the most for an OSU player since Mercedes Fox-Griffin had 26 after the first four contests of the 2006-07 campaign.
SHARING THE ROCK: As a team, Oregon State is tied for fourth in the nation, averaging 22.0 assists per game and has assists on 88 of its 136 made field goals (64.7 percent). No Beaver squad has averaged more than 15 assists in a season since 1997-98 (15.4) and 1994-95 was the last season OSU assisted on as large of a percentage of its made baskets, also 64.7 percent (561-of-867), a school record.
YOUNG & RESTLESS: The Beavers feature an extremely young roster in terms of NCAA Division I experience. OSU has 11 players, nine of which are underclassmen, who collectively have 10 varsity letters (0.9 average). Ali Gibson (junior) and Alyssa Martin (senior) are the only players with more than one year under their belts. Scott Rueck went undefeated and won the NCAA Division III title at George Fox in 2009 despite returning no starters and bringing in 10 freshmen.
NO CHANCE: The top blocking team in the Pac-12 the last three seasons, OSU swatted 10 of Bakersfield’s 62 shot attempts on Nov. 11 as Oregon State reached double digits in that category for the first time this year. A season ago, the Beavers had four games with 10+ blocks after doing it a school-record five times in 2011-12.
OWNING THE BOARDS: OSU has outrebounded its first four opponents by wide margins. They pulled down 52 to Corban’s 30, 59 to Bakersfield’s 37, 48 to Sacramento State’s 30 and 45 to LMU’s 32. The Beavers hadn’t posted +20 rebounding margins in back-to-back games since Feb. 2010 when they did so against Bakersfield (+28) and Oregon (+21).
A LOOK AT THE LONG BALL: Alyssa Martin is second in the Pac-12 among active players in 3-point field goals with 131, which is also third all-time at Oregon State. Ali Gibson isn’t far behind, with 101 career makes from deep, seventh in OSU history. Oregon State and Colorado are the only Pac-12 schools with two active players that have 100 or more makes from behind the arc.
MORE FOR MARTIN: Alyssa Martin also has 891 points in her career and is just 109 away from becoming Oregon State’s 17th career 1,000-point scorer. She has scored more than 220 points in each of her previous three seasons.
SO INTERNATIONAL: Oregon State had four student-athletes suit up for national squads at various age levels this summer. Playing for Canada, Jamie Weisner dominated competition at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women in Lithuania in July, averaging 17.0 points on 54.5 percent shooting, 6.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists en route to making the All-Tournament Team. Ruth Hamblin was promoted to Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team for exhibition tournaments in Europe (2.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg) and China (1.6 ppg, 1.4 rpg). Gabriella Hanson led Sweden to an eighth-place finish at the FIBA U18 European Championships for Women in Croatia in August, leading her squad in rebounds (7.2), assists (2.4) and steals (2.4) per game. Ali Gibson made her international debut with the Puerto Rican National Team at an exhibition tournament in São Paulo, Brazil in mid-August.