Few teams in the Pac-12 are hotter than the Oregon State Beavers. Scott Rueck's team entered the Pac-12 Tournament winning back-to-back games over ranked opponents away from home.
Then, the Beavers took care of business Wednesday in the first round defeating last-ranked California to advance to the Pac-12 quarterfinals, defeating the Golden Bears 71-63. Talia Von Oelhoffen led Oregon State with 20 points, showing why she was a five-star recruit, and Taylor Jones added 17 points and 13 rebounds, her sixth double-double of the season.
It was the Beavers' 11th consecutive win over Cal. Both regular-season matchups in 2020-21 were canceled due to COVID-19 complications.
Meanwhile, Kelly Graves and the No. 19 Oregon Ducks are awaiting the Beavers in the Pac-12 quarterfinals, looking to defend its Pac-12 Tournament title.
Something's got to give and it will Thursday, March 4th at 11:00 a.m. PT when Oregon and Oregon State play each other in the Pac-12 Tournament for the first time in the event's history.
The two teams split the season series, with each time winning convincingly on the other's home floor: Oregon won at Gill Coliseum 79-59 in December but Oregon State returned the favor with a 88-77 win at Matthew Knight Arena last Sunday. The Ducks will have a chance at revenge just four days later.
Oregon Ducks starting point guard Te-Hina Paopao missed her first career game Sunday and is doubtful for Thursday's rematch with a right foot injury per Graves' postgame comments.
With Paopao out Sunday, the Ducks started a three-guard lineup of Taylor Chavez, Jaz Shelley and Taylor Mikesell. Chavez and Shelley both went scoreless missing a combined five field-goal attempts while Mikesell shot 7-16 from the field. Interestingly, Kelly Graves only played Shelley 10 minutes despite her being the backup point guard for the team last season.
Still, Oregon has plenty of talent and both teams will give it their all to punch a ticket to the Pac-12 Semifinals.