Gabriella Hanson

Second-Half Rally Comes Up Short Against Creighton

Photo By: Dave Nishitani/Oregon State Athletics   12-19-2013

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – The Oregon State women’s basketball team cut a 17-point deficit to just one with 39 seconds left, but Creighton went 8-of-10 from the line during the waning moments to hold off the Beavers, 70-62, at the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas on Thursday night.

Oregon State (6-3) was down eight, 62-54, with 1:25 remaining when the Beavers scored seven unanswered in less than a minute to pull to within one. Samantha Siegner converted a layup and then Jamie Weisner swiped the ensuing inbounds pass and flipped it to Ali Gibson for another easy bucket. With OSU again bringing full-court pressure, Sydney Wiese tallied her fifth steal of the game and got the ball to Gibson who drained a 3-pointer from the far wing to make the score 62-61 with just 39 ticks on the clock.

That Gibson make from deep would be the Beavers’ last field goal of the night. The junior would make one more free throw, but Creighton (5-5) would close the game going 8-of-10 from the line to seal the win. The Bluejays were 23-of-34 from the charity stripe in the contest while OSU was just 5-of-9.

“Tonight down the stretch we had to be perfect, which was very similar to our Penn State and Florida games,” Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. “We just made a few too many mistakes. But credit Creighton. They made the plays and were able to get to the free throw line.”

Jamie Weisner had 20 points and 11 rebounds for OSU to lead her team in both categories. Deven Hunter scored all 10 of her points in the second half and Ali Gibson added 11 to go along with three assists.

The Beavers, who trailed by 14 at intermission and 17 late in the first half, battled back in the second. Creighton’s 35-21 halftime lead was whittled to six, 40-34, with 13:44 to go when Gibson converted a layup off a steal and assist from freshman Sydney Wiese.

The Bluejays had their final double-digit lead, 44-34, cut to just four in under two quick minutes as Weisner hit a 3-pointer and then scored as many the old fashioned way on two consecutive possessions. Hunter powered her way to the rim for two to pull OSU within four, 46-42, with 9:38 left.

It was as close as the Beavers had been since the score was 11-7 early in the first half. Creighton’s advantage hovered around that four-point cushion until it was stretched to eight and the Beavers went on their frantic last-second run.

“I thought we got a lot of good looks tonight,” Rueck added. “The ball just didn’t go down for us. It’s a maturity that we need when you’re down on the board to hit those shots. Tonight Creighton jumped on us, we were behind and then we pressed. Everything has to go your way in the second if you’re down 14 at half.”

Oregon State was plagued by foul trouble in the first half. Deven Hunter and Samantha Siegner were both limited to just three minutes in the opening frame after picking up two fouls apiece in the game’s first six minutes. Open looks weren’t falling for the Beavers either. The team was held to just 22.9 percent shooting in the first half, including going 4-of-17 from 3-point range.

“It really impacted the first half,” Rueck said of losing Hunter and Siegner early. “We were just out of sorts and had a wing playing the four for us. It was not what we wanted to start this game. Creighton came out focused and forced us to our weaknesses and we had a hard time guarding them tonight.”

Creighton shot 44.9 percent on the night, breaking Oregon State’s 12-game streak of holding its opponent under 40 percent. The Beavers were much better from the floor in the second half, converting at a 47.1 percent (16-of-34) clip.

It was the sixth double-double of Weisner’s career and second this season. It was also her eighth game with 20 or more points. Three of those have come in Oregon State’s past four games in which the sophomore is averaging 21.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Gabriella Hanson notched career highs in both minutes (17) and rebounds (6).

Oregon State continues the Duel in the Desert tomorrow evening when it matches up with the host Lady Rebels at 5 p.m. The Beavers play Clemson in the final game on Saturday at the same time. OSU will be back in Gill Coliseum on Sunday, Dec. 29 when it hosts No. 4 Notre Dame in its first of 12 regular-season games televised on the Pac-12 Networks.