CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State women's basketball team celebrated its historic 2013-14 season with a banquet on Friday night in the Reser Club on OSU’s campus, allowing fans to recognize the Beavers for their accomplishments and winners of various team awards as well as interact with student-athletes and staff.
The dinner served not only to celebrate the program, but also to honor the team’s senior, Alyssa Martin, who served as the foundation for an accelerated turnaround of Oregon State basketball over the past four seasons.
For the second consecutive season, Deven Hunter was recognized as the Beavers’ best rebounder. The sophomore averaged 7.4 boards per game this season. Her 258 total are 10th in OSU single-season history and the fourth-best for any sophomore.
Fellow sophomore Ruth Hamblin, a member of the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team and a league honorable mention selection, was honored as OSU’s Most Improved Player. Hamblin set a school and Pac-12 single-season record with 141 blocks, tied for the 19th highest total in NCAA history. She also converted 57.1 percent of her shots from the floor, good for ninth on OSU’s single-season list and 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.
Dynamic point guard Sydney Wiese was chosen as Oregon State’s Offensive Player of the Year. Wiese, the first OSU freshman since Tanja Kostic in 1993 to receive a spot on the All-Pac-12 Team, obliterated the school record for 3-point makes, draining 112 this season, a number which is also the most for a Pac-12 freshman and second overall in single-season conference history. It’s tied for 20th in NCAA single-season history and tied for fourth among NCAA freshmen all-time. Her 42.4 3-point field goal percentage was 16th in the NCAA and also led the nation’s freshmen. Wiese became the Beavers’ 19th 500-point scorer, just the second to do so as a freshman, and first since Casey Bunn in 2006-07.
Ali Gibson was tabbed as the Beavers’ Defensive Player of the Year. The junior guard led the team in steals for the second straight year, becoming the first Oregon State player to do that in a decade.
Academic achievements were recognized as OSU place a school-record five on Pac-12 All-Academic Teams. Ruth Hamblin, Samantha Siegner, Deven Hunter, Alyssa Martin and Jamie Weisner were each celebrated for their work in the classroom. Hamblin was also named to the 2013-14 Capital One Academic All-District Women’s Basketball Team in late January.
On-the-court performances received their just due as well. In a polling of the league’s coaches, Sydney Wiese was named to both the All-Pac-12 squad and the Pac-12 All-Freshman Team. Ruth Hamblin and Jamie Weisner were selected All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention with the center also receiving a nod on the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team. And Gabriella Hanson earned her honor as Pac-12 All-Freshman Honorable Mention. It was the first time since the formation of the Pac-10/12 in 1986-87 that Oregon State has had four players recognized for postseason honors voted on by the conference’s coaches.
Wiese then represented the team in honoring Rueck, who added to his cache of coaching awards with three more following OSU’s magical run. The fourth-year head coach was named Russell Athletic/WBCA Region 8 Coach of the Year and Pac-12 Coach of the Year by both the league’s media and ESPN.
Martin was honored as the recipient of the Carol Menken-Schaudt Teammate of the Year Award, given to “the person who exemplifies what a Beaver student-athlete should be….[and one] who is looked up to because of her work ethic, attitude, support and care for other teammates and is an outstanding representative of the program.” The award is named after OSU legend and 1984 Olympic gold medalist Carol Menken-Schaudt (1979-81).
Before a speech from Scott Rueck in which he thanked the program’s administrators, staff, student-athletes, their families and everyone associated with Oregon State women’s basketball, the 2013-14 Beavers were celebrated as a group for their record-setting efforts.
The 2013-14 campaign was one of the greatest in Oregon State history. OSU finished 24-11 overall, tying the school record for wins previously set in 1982-83. The team's 13-5 conference record was a new program best and the Beavers tied for second in the final Pac-12 standings, matching their highest finish as a conference member (1996).
Oregon State advanced to the program’s first Pac-12 Tournament Championship courtesy of a late-season 11-game win streak, the second-longest in school history. Each win during the dominant run was by at least 10 points and three came 20 or more. The Beavers’ average margin of victory was 16.1 points.
That unblemished five-week stretch catapulted OSU into its first NCAA Tournament since 1996. On March 23, the Beavers defeated then-No. 22 Middle Tennessee, 55-36, notching just the school’s third-ever win in the Big Dance and first since 1995.
The Beavers finished fourth in the nation in field goal percentage defense (.346), fourth in blocks per game (6.3), 13th in 3-point field goal percentage (.369) and 19th in 3-point field goals per game (8.2). The team’s 221 blocks set a Pac-12 record.
The evening, which was emceed by women’s basketball radio broadcaster Ron Callan, began with opening remarks from legendary Oregon State women’s basketball coach Aki Hill. Ashley Shearer, the program’s Director of Operations, recognized the contributions of the team’s student managers and the support of its booster club, The Rebounders.
Martin addressed the 300 family, friends and fans in attendance before a video played with season highlights, behind-the-scenes footage of the 2013-14 Beavers and special messages for the senior from her teammates.
OSU, which posted the second-biggest turnaround in school history this season, returns strong nucleus in 2014-15 which accounted for 95 percent of its scoring and 96 percent of its rebounds.
Seat deposits for new 2014-15 Oregon State women's basketball season tickets are currently being accepted. Deposits are $25 and provide season ticket holders with the best seat locations, savings over single game prices and priority to postseason tickets. Current season ticket holders will receive their renewals during the summer. To put down your deposit, visit the following link.