The Beavers and Stanford mirror each other. Look at the stats.
They are nearly identical. Both teams are now 16-2. Look at the commitment to defense. Both teams are tremendous at making their opponents feel uncomfortable.
The game played Sunday at Gill Coliseum before 8,667 fans represents what is best about women's college basketball and even more. It also shows us what is tremendous about the quality of this year's Pac-12 conference.
In reality, either team had a chance to win Sunday's game in the final five minutes. A game won by Stanford 61-58.
Check this out......with 3:59 to go in the game, redshirt junior Destiny Slocum (who had a season-high 26 pts) hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 55-55. With 3:46 to go in the game, Lexie Hull answered for the Cardinal with her own three-pointer to give Stanford a 58-55 lead. Those were the final field goals of the afternoon. Defense was outstanding by both teams. Offensive rebounding by Stanford turned out to be the difference down the stretch. The Cardinal had eight offensive rebounds in the final minutes of the fourth quarter that kept the ball away from the Beavers. Ultimately, that was the difference in this one.
Senior Mikayla Pivec had 10 points and three rebounds in the game and was asked afterwards about if she still feels positive about things after such a heart wrenching loss. Pivec was brutally honest:
I'm not really positive right now......we just lost. I don't want that to happen. We will look at the film but right now it hurts. — Pivec
Pivec will return to the practice court on Tuesday with the fervor the All-American brings to this talented Oregon State team.
By the way, the post-game news conference was the shortest in recent memory lasting just three minutes and 44 seconds. The loss was a gut punch but at the same time the season is still young and this team has so much room to grow.
Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck was proud of the effort against Stanford. Its about getting better and playing your best basketball in late February and March. He was asked how he will handle the fact his team has lost two of their last three conference games
Like I would if we'd won. How can we better than we were today. Go back and see what worked and what didn't What did they do that caused us trouble and get better. That's it. Simple. — Rueck
I think the Beavers will look back at this game and realize this one was so close to a victory. But, that is the story of the Pac-12. It is so deep, so talented and now the Beavers must put the Stanford loss in the rear view mirror immediately. The Ducks are next.
Rueck has a 15-3 record over Oregon since his arrival as the head coach at Oregon State. The Ducks, have arguably their best team since the Kelly Graves era began. This past weekend, Oregon showed how powerful they are with a 32-point win over Stanford and a 50-point win over Cal.
For Oregon State, it is a chance to regroup and prepare for a game against their rival and show everyone they can stick with Sabrina and company.
More to come from Corvallis after the players get their day off tomorrow. Make sure you check the NBC Sports Northwest webpage for the latest on this week's Civil War matchup!