THE GAME: For the first time in program history, Oregon State will host an ACC opponent in Gill Coliseum when No. 2 Notre Dame makes its first-ever trip to Corvallis for a game on Sunday, Dec. 29. Tipoff is slated for 2 p.m. and the contest will be the first of OSU’s 12 televised on the Pac-12 Networks during the 2013-14 regular season.
TRACKING THE BEAVS: The game will air live on Pac-12 Oregon with Ann Schatz and Mary Murphy on the call and be broadcast on KEJO 1240AM with Ron Callan at the mic. 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.
THE RUNDOWN: Oregon State, on a school-record pace from deep, is seventh in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (9.4) and 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (.396) ... The Beavers are the only team in the country with two players shooting over 45 percent from 3-point range (Wiese/Weisner) ... OSU, which has nine underclassmen on its roster and starts four, employs one of the five youngest starting lineups in the nation ... The Beavers have scored 853 points so far this season, their best offensive start since 1980-81 ... Sydney Wiese’s 48 assists through the season’s first 11 games are the most for an OSU player since 2008-09 ... Oregon State is averaging 16.8 assists per game and has assists on 185 of its 302 made field goals (61.3 percent) ... OSU is 19-2 when forcing its opponents to shoot less than 30 percent and 23-3 when holding them to under 50 points with Scott Rueck at the helm ... Jamie Weisner is averaging 18.1 points and 6.0 rebounds over the last eight games ... Ruth Hamblin leads the conference and is ninth in the country, averaging 2.82 blocks per game ... Alyssa Martin has 927 career points and needs to average 2.4 ppg the rest of the season to become 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 (Martin/Ali Gibson).
VS. NOTRE DAME: The game will be the first meeting between the two schools and is believed to be the first time Notre Dame has competed against Oregon State in Corvallis in any sport. It will be the Beavers sixth-ever ACC opponent and the first time one has traveled to play OSU in Gill. The Beavers are 4-1 all-time in games against ACC foes, and before beating Clemson last weekend, had only played one – North Carolina in 2008’s Junkanoo Jam – over the last 17 seasons. This will mark the ninth game in OSU history against a team ranked second in the nation (0-8). Six of the previous eight occurrences came against Stanford. OSU has never played a No. 1.
LAST TIME OUT: Oregon State went 2-1 at the Duel in the Desert in Las Vegas last weekend. After a tournament-opening loss to Creighton (70-62), the Beavers bounced back to defeat UNLV, 68-60, and crush Clemson, 74-41. Jamie Weisner was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging an OSU-best 15.7 ppg and 6.7 rpg. She posted the sixth double-double of her career against the Bluejays (20 points, 11 rebounds). Sydney Wiese (13.0 ppg) and Ali Gibson (11.3 ppg) were the other Beavers to average double figures during the tournament.
AGAINST THE AP TOP 25: The Beavers are 15-79 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, which is also the last time they hosted a ranked opponent during the non-conference portion of their schedule. OSU played a school-record eight ranked schools in 2012-13 and Sunday will be its second this season after matching up with No. 13 Penn State on Nov. 29. Oregon State’s last win against a top-five team came on Feb. 6, 1992 when it beat No. 3 Stanford, 75-69.
TOUGH SLEDDING: Sunday’s game begins a stretch of three straight against nationally ranked opponents. OSU begins conference play on the road against No. 23 California and No. 4 Stanford. It will be just the third time in program history the Beavers have matched up with three ranked foes in a row (2007-08; 2012-13).
BOMBS AWAY: The Beavers have proven adept at hitting from long range this season. They are currently seventh in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (9.4) and 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (.396). Prior to this year, Oregon State had only connected on 12 3-pointers in a game three times in program history, a feat it has already accomplished three times in the season’s first 11 games. It hit a school-record 17 against LMU, 14 against Florida in and 13 against Clemson last Saturday. 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.
#SWISHSISTERS: The Beavers are led from 3-point land by Sydney Wiese and Jamie Weisner. Wiese is 21st in the nation, converting 46.4 percent of her attempts (32-of-69), and Weisner is 22nd at 46.2 percent (30-of-65). Oregon State is the only school in the country boasting two players shooting better than 45 percent from three. With 31 guaranteed games, Wiese is on pace to finish with 90 made 3-pointers and Weisner with 84, which would place them 1-2 in OSU’s record book.
OFFENSIVE FIREWORKS: The Beavers have scored 853 points so far this season, their second-best offensive start in school history. In 1980-81, Aki Hill-led Oregon State scored 927 points in its first 11 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.
DRASTIC DEFENSE: Creighton’s 44.9 percent mark from the floor broke a streak of 12 games in which OSU had not allowed an opponent to shoot better than 40 percent. It’s the second time in as many seasons the Beavers have strung together such 10+ game streaks. The school record is 15 games, which ran from March 7, 2012 (Washington State) to Dec. 19, 2012 (Michigan State). After holding Clemson to 28 percent shooting and 41 points, in the 3+ years Scott Rueck has been the head coach, the Beavers are 19-2 when forcing their opponents to shoot less than 30 percent and 23-3 when holding them to under 50 points.
BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE: Freshman Sydney Wiese has proven herself to be an able distributor at the point. She is fifth in the Pac-12, averaging 4.4 assists per game, and eighth in the league with a 1.7 assist to turnover ratio. Her 48 assists through the season’s first 11 games are the most for an OSU player since Mercedes Fox-Griffin had 53 after the first 11 contests of the 2008-09 campaign.
SHARING THE ROCK: As a team, Oregon State averages 16.8 assists per game and has assists on 185 of its 302 made field goals (61.3 percent). No Beaver squad has averaged more than 15 assists in a season since 1997-98 (15.4) and 2002-03 was the last season OSU assisted on as large of a percentage of its made baskets, 63.3 percent (433-of-684).
WE SEE YOU JAMIE: Jamie Weisner had somewhat of a slow start to the season, scoring 19 points combined over the first three games. She has scored in double figures in each contest since, tying a career-best streak, and is averaging 18.1 points and 6.0 rebounds in the last eight.
BIGGER ROLE FOR HANSON: Freshman Gabriella Hanson has significantly upped her playing time and production of late, setting career highs in nearly every statistical category at last weekend’s Duel in the Desert. She averaged 2.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and 0.8 assists in 9.9 minutes in the first eight games of the season before coming off the bench to the tune of 6.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 22.0 minutes in the three games in Las Vegas.
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.
STARTING YOUNG: After a quick national survey, it is believed that Oregon State has one of the five youngest starting lineups in the nation, featuring four underclassmen (three sophomores, one freshman) and one junior. Maryland Baltimore County, New Mexico State and Boise State all start five underclassmen and Abilene Christian pencils three freshmen, one sophomore and one senior into its starting lineup. (Thanks to Boise State and the Mountain West Conference for the note.)
NO CHANCE: The top blocking team in the Pac-12 the last three seasons, OSU is again leading the conference and is 10th in the nation in blocks per game (5.9). Ruth Hamblin leads the team and the conference and is 14th in the country, averaging 2.82 rejections per contest. Hamblin is on pace for 87 blocks, which would place her third in Oregon State history and ninth in the Pac-12 record book. She started the season with 2+ rejections in the Beavers’ first 10 games, the longest streak with double-digit rejections for an OSU player since El Sara Greer in 2010-11 (13).
OWNING THE BOARDS: OSU has out-rebounded its opponents by wide margins and is 21st in the nation, pulling down 10.4 more per game than its opponents. The Beavers are averaging 47.7 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 139, which is also third all-time at Oregon State. Ali Gibson isn’t far behind, with 112 career makes from deep, sixth 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 927 points in her career and is just 73 away from becoming Oregon State’s 17th career 1,000-point scorer. She needs to average 2.4 points over the final 20 guaranteed games to break the mark.
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.
SO INTERNATIONAL: OSU 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, averaging 17.0 points on 54.5 percent shooting and 6.4 rebounds 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, pacing 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.