THE GAME: Oregon State (15-9, 7-5) will look to win four straight when it plays the third game of four consecutive at home on Friday night, Feb. 14, hosting UCLA (11-13, 5-7) at 7 p.m.
TRACKING THE BEAVS: The game will be streamed live for free via Oregon State’s Pac-12 portal and air on the radio on KLOO 1340AM 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.
4-4-4 DEAL: Friday’s game features a deal in which fans can buy four tickets, four sodas and four hot dogs for just $34. Those packages must be purchased in advance, either online, over the phone (1-800-GO-BEAVS) or in person at the Gill Coliseum ticket office. Online purchases can be made here.
THE RUNDOWN: After playing seven of its first 10 conference games on the road, Oregon State will play six of its final eight in Gill where it owns a 10-1 record, the team’s best start at home since 1995-96 ... The Beavers are currently 34th in the official NCAA RPI and have played the nation’s 25th-toughest schedule ... OSU is a perfect 5-0 in home conference games for the first time as a member of the Pac-10/12 ... Oregon State has not been outrebounded in 10 straight games, matching its longest streak in the last 34 years ... In the last five games, Deven Hunter is averaging 13.2 ppg, 7.6 rpg and 3.6 apg and has made 23 of her last 40 shots from the floor ... Ruth Hamblin is fifth in the NCAA with 83 blocks, averages 3.46 per game and is on pace for 107 ... She averages more than 217 teams in the country and is already in the school’s all-time top 10 with 115 in her career ... Hamblin also leads the conference in field goal percentage in league games (.663) and is third when including non-conference contests (.568) ... The Beavers are 19th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (8.3) ... Sydney Wiese is on pace to make 89 3-pointers this season, which would be sixth in Pac-12 history ... Her 4.2 assists per game are 10th in the nation among freshmen ... Freshmen and sophomores are responsible for 83.0 percent of the team’s points and 89.7 percent of its rebounds ... Oregon State, which hasn’t averaged more than 70.0 ppg since 1995-96, scores 72.8 this season.
VS. UCLA: Oregon State is 18-44 all-time against UCLA. The Bruins have won the last nine meetings, including three in a row playing as the visiting team. On Jan. 20, UCLA pulled out a 66-63 victory in a game that featured six ties, 12 lead changes and an advantage for either team not greater than six. A missed free throw with eight seconds left gave the Beavers a chance, but Sydney Wiese’s three-point shot at the buzzer from in front of OSU’s bench was off its mark. Ruth Hamblin scored 19 and was 8-of-9 from the floor and Wiese put up 17 to pace OSU’s offense. Oregon State’s only win in the last 14 against the Bruins came on March 7, 2009, 61-58.
CONFERENCE START: Following the weekend sweep against Colorado and Utah, Oregon State is 7-5 through 12 conference contests for the second time in the past three seasons. In 2011-12, the Beavers had the same record through as many games and eventually started Pac-12 play 8-5. Before Scott Rueck took over, OSU hadn’t had a better league start through 12 games since 2001-02 (8-4).
SOS & RPI REVIEW: As of the most recent release of the official NCAA RPI ratings (Feb. 10), the Beavers sit in 34th, thanks in large part to playing the nation’s 25th-toughest schedule according to WarrenNolan.com. Of Oregon State’s nine losses, five are to teams in the Associated Press Top-25 (No. 2 Notre Dame; No. 6 Stanford; No. 11 Penn St.; No. 15 Arizona St.; No. 22 Cal).
WHAT’S AT STAKE: A win on Friday would give Oregon State just its second four-game conference winning streak in the past 13 seasons. Rueck’s 2011-12 Beavers also put together such a stretch, winning six straight in league play. Before that however, OSU hadn’t put together that many wins in a row in Pac-10/12 play since winning five consecutive games late in the 2000-01 campaign. Beating UCLA would also move OSU to 16-9 overall, which would be the program’s second-best record through 25 games since 1995-96. The 2011-12 squad was 17-8 through its first 25 contests. That was the Beavers’ best mark since beginning that 1995-96 season with a 19-6 tally.
HOME COOKING: After playing seven of its first 10 conference games on the road, Oregon State will play six of its final eight in Gill where it has fared well so far this season, with a 10-1 mark at home. The Beavers last started a season with such a record at home in 1995-96 when they were 11-1 in Corvallis, 19-9 overall, and made the school’s last NCAA Tournament appearance. The single-season school record for wins in Gill Coliseum is 13, accomplished three times (1994-95; 2002-03; 2008-09). The Beavers’ only home loss this season came to No. 2 Notre Dame on Dec. 29.
HOME COOKING II: OSU is a perfect 5-0 in home conference games for the first time as a member of the Pac-10/12. The Beavers were a perfect 5-0 in NorPac home games in 1983-84 and 7-0 in 1982-83. They were 6-0 in home NWBL contests in 1980-81 started that league slate 7-0 in 1979-80 before dropping the final home conference game that season to finish 7-1.
FRIENDLY CONFINES: In true road games, Sydney Wiese (15.4 ppg) and Jamie Weisner (12.6 ppg) have been responsible for 39.1 percent of OSU’s scoring offense while the production has been much more equitable for the Beavers at home. In 11 games in Gill, Wiese (13.7 ppg), Weisner (12.3 ppg), Ruth Hamblin (12.0 ppg) and Deven Hunter (10.8 ppg) are all averaging double figures and Ali Gibson (9.3 ppg) is not far behind. OSU puts up 78.9 points at home compared to 68.2 in away contests.
STREAK ON THE GLASS: Oregon State has not been outrebounded since playing at Stanford on Jan. 5., a streak of 10 straight, matching the school’s longest in the last 34 years. The Beavers had a similar stretch through the first 10 games of the 2011-12 season, but have not been even or better than their opponents on the glass in 11 straight since they did it in a school-record 17 consecutive games in 1980. OSU accomplished the feat through the final 16 contests of the 1979-80 season and the first game of the 1980-81 campaign.
MORE FOR MARTIN: Alyssa Martin has started the last three games in place of sophomore Jamie Weisner, who has been out with an injury sustained on Jan. 31. In 3+ years, Martin has played in 117 games and has career averages of 8.1 points, 3.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists per contest. She is third on OSU’s all-time 3-point list with 143 makes from deep and also has 947 career points.
HUNTER COMING ON STRONG: Deven Hunter has had the best stretch of her career of late. In OSU’s last five, the sophomore is averaging 13.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists. She’s made 23 of her last 40 shots (57.5 percent) from the floor. In the Beavers’ eight games before the run, from Notre Dame on Dec. 29 to Washington on Jan. 24, the forward averaged 6.8 points and shot just 33.9 percent (19-of-56).
THE CANADIAN HAMMER: Ruth Hamblin, who was affectionately dubbed “The Canadian Hammer” by former Oregon State men’s basketball standout Joe Burton during her freshman season, posted Oregon State’s first triple-double in 30 years against rival Oregon on Jan. 13. The 6-foot-6 sophomore totaled 23 points, 12 rebounds and a school-record 10 blocks in the Beavers’ 84-70 win, their seventh straight in the series. Lisa Channel was the last Beaver to accomplish the feat when she scored 16 points, had 10 rebounds and handed out 10 assists in an 84-62 Beaver win over Cal in Gill Coliseum on Feb. 11, 1984. Judy Spoelstra, also Oregon State’s coach from 1996-2005, was the first to do it when she had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists against Illinois State on Jan. 7, 1983, an 89-57 OSU win; a game that was also played in Gill as part of the Big ‘O’ Classic. Hamblin’s performance is one of 18 triple-doubles in the NCAA this season and the only by a Pac-12 player. It’s the 17th triple-double in Pac-12 history and the first to be accomplished with blocks.
JUST STOP: Ruth Hamblin is quickly becoming the next in a line of great Oregon State shot blockers. Her school-record 10 rejections against Oregon on Jan. 13 came just two weeks after she tied the previous mark with nine against No. 2 Notre Dame on Dec. 29. With those performances, Hamblin has two of the 10 best single-game blocking totals in the NCAA this year. She has 83 total, which is fifth in the NCAA, and averages 3.46 per game, a rate which is sixth in the country. The Canadian is on pace to finish the year with 107, which would be second in Oregon State and fourth in Pac-12 history. She has 115 career blocks to her name in just 52 games, already ninth all-time at Oregon State. Her 83 blocks are currently fourth in OSU single-season history. Hamblin averages more blocks than 217 teams in the country.
HAMBLIN ACADEMIC HONOR: On Jan. 30 Hamblin was selected to the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District Women’s Basketball Team and now advances to the Capital One Academic All-America Team ballot, where first-, second- and third-team All-America honorees will be selected later this month. The sophomore currently has a 3.98 GPA as a pre-mechanical engineering major. She was the only non-senior among the NCAA Division I representatives from District 8 and has the highest GPA. Only four Division I underclassmen in the entire country received recognition on their respective Academic All-District squads.
TEAM BLOCKS: The top blocking team in the Pac-12 two of the last three years, OSU is again leading the conference and is ninth in the nation in blocks per game (5.9). Oregon State has had three games this season with at least 10 rejections (Bakersfield, Notre Dame and Oregon). Opponents have taken 1,540 shots and OSU has rejected 141, meaning one in every 11 field goal attempts gets blocked by a Beaver.
EFFICIENT FROM THE FLOOR: Hamblin has also been the most efficient Pac-12 player from the floor in conference games. She’s made 65-of-98 from the field in league contests, a 66.3 percent clip. The OSU record for field goal percentage in Pac-12 games is held by Tina Lelas, who made 64.5 percent of her shots (87-of-135) during the 1994-95 league schedule. [Minimum 3.0 field goals made per game] Hamblin is third in the Pac-12 from the field when including non-conference games, shooting 56.8 percent (96-for-169) overall this season.
BOMBS AWAY: The Beavers have proven adept at hitting from long range. They are currently 19th in the nation in 3-point field goals made per game (8.3) and 26th in 3-point field goal percentage (.369). 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 four times this season. It hit a school-record 17 against LMU, 14 against Florida, 13 against Clemson and 12 at Oregon. 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. Oregon State has made 199 3-pointers this season, beating the previous school record of 194 (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: OSU is led from 3-point land by Sydney Wiese and Jamie Weisner, who are fourth and eighth in the conference in 3-point field goal percentage. Wiese has converted 41.6 percent (69-of-166) of her attempts from behind the arc while Weisner has been successful on 39.2 percent (47-of-120).
SHARPSHOOTING SYD: Wiese leads the Pac-12 and tops all freshmen in the country, making 2.9 shots from deep per game. With 31 guaranteed games, Wiese is on pace to finish with 89 made 3-pointers, which would place first in OSU’s record book. If she finished the season with that many, Wiese would be sixth all-time in Pac-12 history.
THREE AMONG CAREER LEADERS: Oregon State has three active players among its all-time top 10 in 3-point field goals made. Jamie Weisner has made 95 in her career to move into ninth on Oregon State’s all-time list. Alyssa Martin is currently third in that category (143) and Ali Gibson is fourth (126).
OFFENSIVE PACE: Oregon State has scored 80 or more points six times this season, something it hasn’t done that often since 1995-96 when it broke that mark nine times. The Beavers have scored 1,744 total points and average 72.7 per game. That 1995-96 season was the last time OSU scored more than 70 points per outing (72.8).
WHAT A DIFFERENCE: OSU has increased its offensive output from a year ago. When compared to the Beavers’ statistics from the first 23 games of 2012-13, they’re averaging 14.4 more points per game (72.7 to 58.3), have 86 more assists (361 to 275), are shooting 5.2 percent better from the floor (43.4% to 38.2%) and 9.5 percent better on 3-pointers (36.9% to 27.4%).
BETTER TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE: Sydney Wiese has proven herself to be an able distributor at the point. She is fifth in the Pac-12 and tops all conference freshmen, averaging 4.2 assists per game. Through games played as of Feb. 10, she is also 10th among first-year players across the country in assists. Her 101 assists through the season’s first 24 games are the most for an OSU player since Mercedes Fox-Griffin had 102 after the first 24 contests of the 2008-09 campaign. Wiese is on pace to finish the season with 130 assists, which would place second among freshmen at Oregon State. Leilani Estavan handed out 139 during her first year in Corvallis (2000-01).
SHARING THE ROCK: As a team, Oregon State averages 15.0 assists per game and has assists on 361 of its 624 made field goals (57.9 percent). No Beaver squad has averaged more than 15 assists in a season since 1997-98 (15.4).
YOUNG & RESTLESS: OSU features an extremely young roster in terms of NCAA experience. Of its 11 players, nine are underclassmen, and the team collectively has 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. Freshmen and sophomores are responsible for 83.0 percent of Oregon State’s scoring (1,448 of 1,744 points), 80.1 percent of its minutes played (3,845 of 4,800 minutes) and 89.7 percent of its rebounds (963 of 1,073). 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.
OWNING THE BOARDS: Improvement in rebounding was a main focus during the Beavers’ offseason workouts and a concerted effort on the glass has paid dividends. OSU is second in the conference and tied for 34th in the nation, pulling down 7.4 more rebounds per game than its opponents. The top four Pac-12 schools in that department in 2012-13 made the NCAA Tournament (California, Colorado, Stanford, UCLA). The Beavers are averaging 44.7 rebounds per game this year after eclipsing the 40.0 rpg mark last season for the first time since 1996-97. The school record for rebounding average is 44.5, set during 1990-91.
DRASTIC DEFENSE: OSU has held three opponents this season to less than 30 percent shooting and four to under 50 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 24-3 when holding them to under 50 points. OSU’s .362 field goal percentage defense is second in the Pac-12 and 35th in the country. Its .346 field goal percentage defense was a school record in 2012-13 and the 16th best in the country. Since 2006-07, all but one of Rueck’s squads has finished in the top 25 in the nation in that category.