CORVALLIS, Ore. – Sydney Wiese put on her customary display from long range and Ruth Hamblin dominated both ends of the court as Oregon State routed No. 20 Arizona State, 66-43, in front of a raucous Gill Coliseum crowd of 5,208 in the final regular-season game of the season and possibly the biggest contest in the program’s history.
It was the Beavers’ ninth consecutive win, tying the third-longest streak in school history, and its record 13th Pac-12 victory. The result also moved OSU into a tie for second place in the final Pac-12 standings with Cal, its highest finish in the conference since 1996.
Based on tiebreaking procedures, Oregon State will be the No. 3 seed in next week’s Pac-12 Tournament, its best-ever position in the event, and will play the winner from Thursday’s 6-11 contest between Washington and Utah. The Beavers’ game against that winner will tip at 8:30 p.m. on Friday from KeyArena in Seattle.
OSU also made a huge statement for inclusion in this year’s NCAA Tournament, where it hasn’t played since 1996, and won its first game over a nationally ranked team since December 2003. The Beavers could also break into the Associated Press Top 25 in the coming days for the first time since that ’96 campaign.
Hamblin led a defensive effort that forced the Sun Devils to abandon their game plan early as she blocked seven shots to give her 115 for the season, matching the OSU school record and leaving her just four short of the Pac-12 mark. The sophomore had a game-high 16 points, on 8-of-10 from the floor, to go along with eight rebounds.
Her play was a major part of the Sun Devils hitting just 25.9 percent from the field and her offensive play helped OSU hit 51 percent, its third straight game converting more than half its attempts. While Hamblin was doing damage in the key, Wiese hit five 3-point daggers that finished ASU off.
Wiese set a new Pac-12 freshman record for 3-point makes in the process. Her 94 this year are third in Pac-12 single-season history.
Sunday was also a celebration of Alyssa Martin’s career, as the senior played her final game in Gill. The four-year letterwinner, one of the more accomplished players in the program’s history, left her mark in the record book in several categories and is currently third at OSU in career makes from deep (148).
Oregon State put things away thanks to a run midway through the second half. Up just eight, 38-30, with 10:27 left, the Beavers scored 12 of the game’s next 13 points to go up 19 with just over six minutes remaining (50-31). OSU concluded the final period with a 35-20 advantage after leading 33-25 at the break.
The Beaver defense forced the Sun Devils to make just one of their first 19 attempts from the floor in the second half. ASU only made 5-of-28 from the field in the entire final 20 minutes (17.9 percent).
The game came before an announced crowd of 5,208, the seventh-largest in Oregon State history and the biggest since 5,401 saw the Civil War on Jan. 8, 2000. Not only did it snap an extended losing streak against ranked opponents, it was the Beavers’ largest margin of victory against an AP Top 25 foe since downing No. 23 USC, 92-59, on March 11, 1996.
The Beavers finished their 2013-14 home schedule with a program-best 14-1 mark. OSU was also a perfect 9-0 in Gill in Pac-12 games for the first time. The team’s only loss came back on Dec. 29 to No. 2 Notre Dame.