In a disappointing season full of COVID-19 cancellations and some lackluster play, Oregon State needed a quality win to earn a berth to NCAA Tournament.
That victory finally came Sunday afternoon.
Oregon State (9-7, 6-6) upset No. 8 UCLA (13-4, 11-4) on the road, 71-64, to all but punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament. Entering the weekend, Oregon State was considered one of the first four out of the field by ESPN's bracketology projections.
UCLA entered the game ranked eighth in the country in the AP Top 25 and seventh in NET rating. Before Sunday, the Beavers were winless against ranked teams with all losses coming by double digits.
Aleah Goodman led the Beavers with 20 points on 6-13 from the field to go with nine assists.
Here are the key takeaways.
Talia Von Oelhoffen will be great.
The five-star freshman should be playing her senior high school basketball season right now but instead, she's closing games in the Pac-12.
While running the second unit, the point guard has the presence of a veteran but once in awhile showing a flash of what made her one of the top recruits in the nation.
Against the eighth-ranked team in the nation, Von Oelhoffen scored 13 points on 5-12 from the field while grabbing six rebounds.
Oh yeah, and she has four years of eligibility remaining after this year.
Great team defense.
Oregon State had its best defensive effort of the season holding UCLA to just 61 points, the second-lowest point total all season for the Bruins.
UCLA as a team shot just 27.6% from the floor and 22.7% from the three-point line. The Beavers used a matchup zone to clog the lane and rotations ran shooters off of the line.
Taylor Jones needs to stay out of foul trouble.
While the Beavers still won, Taylor Jones needs to play as much as she can to keep Oregon State's best players on the court. She picked up two quick fouls in the first half and then another just two minutes into the second half.
When defending in the post, she needs to do better at executing verticality and not trying to block shots she has no chance of blocking which become fouls.
Aleah Goodman hit a near-game-sealing three-pointer with under two minutes remaining.
Oregon State scored 71 points, which ties the season-high for a UCLA opponent.
Quotes will be added after the post-game press conference
The Next Game
Oregon State will play Oregon at Matthew Knight Arena on Sunday, February 28th at 3:00 p.m. PT.