THE GAME: Oregon State will make just its third appearance in Portland in the past decade and play its first game at the Chiles Center since 2002 when the Beavers make the short road trip to play the Pilots on Friday at 7 p.m.
TRACKING THE BEAVS: The game will be streamed live via PortlandPilots.com and air on the radio on KEJO 1240AM with Ron Callan on the call. Live audio and live stats are also available on osubeavers.com and fans can follow @OregonStateWBB on Twitter for all game day information, including score updates, photos and observations.
PORTLAND PRE-GAME: As part of the atmosphere surrounding the game, the OSU Alumni Association, OSU Athletics and Our Beaver Nation have scheduled a pre-game event and transportation to make attendance easier and the night more enjoyable for fans. There will be a pre-game meet-up at Leisure Public House (8002 N Lombard Street) beginning at 4 p.m. featuring an appearance from head coach Scott Rueck and round trip bus transportation is also available to and from Portland, picking up and dropping off at Gill Coliseum. Registration information for both and additional details can be found at this link.
THE RUNDOWN: Oregon State dropped its two games at the Junkanoo Jam in the Bahamas to No. 13 Penn State and Florida ... OSU is on a school-record pace from deep, is 12th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (9.0) and 23rd in 3-point field goal percentage (.386). ... OSU is among the national leaders in a number of categories, including points per game (82.3; 24th), scoring margin (+21.3; 20th), assists per game (19.8; 10th), field goal percentage defense (.314; 10th), blocked shots per game (6.5; 8th) and rebound margin (+11.0; 24th) ... The Beavers have scored 494 points so far this season, their best offensive start 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 31 assists through the season’s first six games are the most for an OSU player since 2006-07 ... Oregon State is 10th in the nation, averaging 19.8 assists per game and has assists on 119 of its 178 made field goals (66.9 percent) ... Jamie Weisner is averaging 19.0 ppg and 5.3 rpg over OSU’s last three games ... Ruth Hamblin leads the team and the conference and is ninth in the country, averaging 3.17 blocks per game .. Alyssa Martin has 912 career points and is 88 away from becoming Oregon State’s 17th 1,000-point scorer ... OSU is one of only two Pac-12 schools with two active players that have 100+ makes from deep.
VS. PORTLAND: The Beavers are 16-4 all-time against Portland, but the two teams haven’t met since the 2002-03 season. A matchup between the local rivals used to be almost an annual formality. They played at least one game in all but four seasons between 1982-83 and the last contest over a decade ago. Oregon State won 16 of the first 17 overall in the series, but the Pilots have taken the last three. OSU’s last win came on Dec. 29, 1999, when Sissel Pierce’s 22-point, 13-rebound double-double led the Beavers to a 72-44 victory. Felicia Ragland’s 37-point outburst on Dec. 6, 2001 is Oregon State’s best individual performance against Portland.
LAST TIME OUT: Oregon State is coming off a pair of close losses at the Junkanoo Jam on Grand Bahama Island last weekend. Samantha Siegner scored a career-high 14 points, Jamie Weisner posted her fifth career double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) and the Beavers cut a 10-point second-half deficit to just two, but No. 13 Penn State was able to fend off OSU on Friday, Nov. 29, 61-56. Against Florida on Saturday, Nov. 30, Weisner scored 26 points and Oregon State shot over 42 percent from 3-point range, but the Gators took their first lead late in the game and were able to hold on for the win, 73-70.
BOMBS AWAY: The Beavers have proven adept at hitting from long range this season. They are currently 12th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (9.0) and 23rd in 3-point field goal percentage (.386). Both marks also rank second in the Pac-12 and would set new school records if Oregon State was able to keep up the pace. OSU has five seasons in its history where it finished converting more than five 3-pointers per contest, including a school-record 6.5 in 2010-11. The Beavers led the conference in 3-point field goal percentage in 1993-94, shooting at a .383 clip that still stands as an OSU record. However, that squad only made 72 of its 188 attempts. To compare, this year’s team has already hit 54 of its 140 tries from deep. Oregon State made 17 shots from long range against Loyola Marymount on Nov. 21, easily eclipsing 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. OSU followed that up with a 14-for-33 (.424) performance from behind the arc against Florida in the Bahamas.
NATIONAL & PAC-12 RANKS: Oregon State is among the national leaders in a number of categories, including points per game (82.3; 24th), scoring margin (+21.3; 20th), assists per game (19.8; 10th), field goal percentage (.458; 31st), field goal percentage defense (.314; 10th), blocked shots per game (6.5; 8th) and rebound margin (+11.0; 24th). The Beavers are also at the top of the Pac-12 in field goal percentage defense (.314), blocked shots (6.5/game) and assists (19.8/game).
PICK YOUR POISON: OSU has shown its ability to beat teams in different ways. More than half of the Beavers’ roster stands over 6-foot-3 and they’ve used that height to average 35.0 ppg in the paint, outscoring their opponents 210-118. In its 102-80 win over Sac State, OSU 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 494 points so far this season, their best offensive start since 1980-81, when Aki Hill-led Oregon State scored 545 points in its first six games. OSU would average a school-record 81.6 points per game that year en route to a 22-6 record and the Beavers’ first appearance in the Associated Press Top 25 national rankings.
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 has proven herself to be an able distributor at the point. She is second in the Pac-12, averaging 5.2 assists per game, and ninth in the league with a 1.7 assist to turnover ratio. Her 31 assists through the season’s first six games are the most for an OSU player since Mercedes Fox-Griffin had 36 after the first six contests of the 2006-07 campaign. With 31 guaranteed games this season, Wiese is on pace to hand out 161 assists, which would rank ninth in Oregon State history and set a new freshman record.
SHARING THE ROCK: As a team, Oregon State is 10th in the nation, averaging 19.8 assists per game and has assists on 119 of its 178 made field goals (66.9 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, 64.7 percent (561-of-867), a school record.
WEISNER AWAKENS: Sophomore sensation Jamie Weisner had somewhat of a slow start to the season, scoring 19 points combined over the first three games. Over the Beavers’ last three however, she has returned to form as the team’s dynamic playmaker, averaging 19.0 ppg and 5.3 rpg. She posted her fifth career double-double against No. 13 Penn State last Friday and came just one point off her career high against Florida on Saturday, pouring in 26. It was Weisner’s sixth career game with 20 or more points and, amazingly enough, her first against a non-Pac-12 foe.
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 is again leading the conference and is eighth in the nation in blocks per game (6.5). The Beavers 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, OSU had four games with 10+ blocks after doing it a school-record five times in 2011-12. Ruth Hamblin leads the team and the conference and is ninth in the country, averaging 3.17 rejections per contest. Only two Oregon State players have ever averaged more than three blocks per game, El Sara Greer (3.07; 2010-11) and Patricia Bright (3.48; 2011-12).
OWNING THE BOARDS: OSU has outrebounded four of its first six opponents by wide margins and is 24th in the nation, pulling down 11.0 more per game than its opponents. The Beavers are averaging 49.2 rebounds per game after eclipsing the 40+ rpg mark last season for the first time since 1996-97. The school record for rebounding average is 44.5, set during the 1990-91 campaign.
A LOOK AT THE LONG BALL: Alyssa Martin is second in the Pac-12 among active players in 3-point field goals with 136, which is also third all-time at Oregon State. Ali Gibson isn’t far behind, with 104 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 912 points in her career and is just 88 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.