CORVALLIS, Ore. – Freshman Sydney Wiese scored 12 first-half points, sophomore Jamie Weisner followed with 15 of her own in the second half and the Oregon State women’s basketball team hit on 10 of its 16 3-point attempts to beat Hawai’i, 76-64, in Gill Coliseum on Friday night.
From the start, a crowd of 2,369 was able to see Oregon State’s young backcourt tandem of Wiese and Weisner at its finest. The Beavers (6-2) entered the game as one of the nation’s top shooting teams from distance, making 8.9 3-pointers per game to rank 11th in the country. Weisner entered hitting from behind the arc at a 45 percent clip while Wiese was not far back at 43.6 percent and it was much of the same for the duo on Friday.
Wiese opened her team’s scoring with a triple two minutes into the action and wouldn’t miss from deep all night. She hit another at the 14:08 mark to tie the game at 11 and knocked down her third after UH (5-4) opened up a seven-point advantage, its largest of the game, with 7:43 until the break.
The Beavers quickly turned that deficit into a 36-32 halftime lead. Gabriella Hanson made a pair of free throws after Wiese’s 3-pointer and then Deven Hunter converted her second long-range bucket of the season to cap a mini 8-0 run and give OSU a 24-23 edge with 6:36 until intermission.
“It’s always hard to play during finals week,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. “This team battled all week in practice getting ready for Hawai’i, a very experienced and physical team. I thought they provided a great effort against us tonight, but I was proud of our team for fighting like they did and really happy with the win.”
The game seesawed back-and-forth a bit in the closing minutes of the first half until Weisner got in on the action with her first points of the night, converting a jumper to put the Beavers up 31-29. She immediately hit another to stretch the lead to four and stayed in that groove coming out of the locker room in the second.
The sophomore scored Oregon State’s first eight points coming out of the break, nailing two 3-pointers and a mid-range jumper in the first two minutes to put the Beavers up seven, 44-37. She was successful on a layup and another jumper a few minutes later and when Hunter fought through contact for a layup of her own at 13:14, OSU had its first double-digit lead of the night, 52-42.
In an eight-minute stretch, from 2:13 on the clock in the first half to 13:51 left in the second, Weisner scored 14 of her team’s 19 points with the only respite coming in the form of a Wiese three to end the opening period and a Hamblin layup early in the second.
Weisner scored 15 in the game’s final 20 minutes and finished with a team-high 19. That came on the heels of a 22-point second-half performance in the Beavers’ win at Portland last Friday. In her last five games, the Clarkston product is averaging 19.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Oregon State grew its lead to 15, 57-42, with 9:53 to go on another Wiese triple, her fifth of the game. That 3-pointer was the final basket in an 11-0 OSU run over 5:14 that saw its defense step up and force UH into more turnovers (5) than field goal attempts (4).
The Beavers would extend their margin to as large as 17 (72-55) on Ali Gibson’s corner 3-pointer with 3:58 remaining, but Hawai’i hung around the rest of the way until the final buzzer sounded the 76-64 OSU victory.
“There’s one way to play this game and we’re learning that,” Rueck added. “We’re figuring out that the mental side of the game is every bit as important as the physical, if not more important. We made mistakes tonight, but we’re young, we’re learning and we made enough plays to win.”
Weisner’s second-half performance was made possible by Wiese’s in the first half, which kept OSU close until it was able to take control of the game. The freshman, who scored 12 in the first, finished the game with 17. She was a perfect 5-of-5 from 3-point range and also handed out a game-high five assists, a number she has reached all but twice this season.
“She’s improving every game,” Rueck said of Wiese. “She was the reason we were in the game in the first half. She came to play and came to shoot the ball. We knew that there were some advantages in on-ball situations with Sydney in this game and she rose to the challenge and knocked those shots down. But more than that she was the leader we needed tonight.”
On the night, Wiese and Weisner combined for 36 points on 12-for-18 shooting, including hitting 7-of-8 threes. Wiese has made 22 of her 44 attempts from behind the arc this season while Weisner is now 20-of-43. The Beavers, who came in shooting 38.3 percent from deep as a team, the 22nd best mark in the nation, left Gill converting at a 40.4 percent clip.
Deven Hunter was the other Oregon State player in double figures, contributing 12 points and seven rebounds.
OSU held Hawai’i to 35.3 percent shooting, the 12th consecutive opponent it has held below 40 percent. The Beavers also fought for a double-digit edge on the glass (46-36) for the sixth time in eight games. They are now a perfect 5-0 in Gill Coliseum and have beaten their opponents at home by an average of 30 points.
Oregon State will play three more games before the holidays, appearing at next week’s Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas. The Beavers play Creighton on Thursday, Dec. 19 at 7:30 p.m., the host UNLV Lady Rebels on Saturday, Dec. 20 at 5 p.m. and Clemson on Saturday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. OSU will be back in Gill Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 29 when it hosts No. 4 Notre Dame in a game televised on the Pac-12 Networks.