You can finally uncross your fingers now Beaver Nation. That's because the Oregon State women’s basketball season has officially tipped off.
The No. 18 Beavers opened up this 2020-2021 season hosting the Montana Western Bulldogs at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Oregon on Saturday.
Led by sensational sophomore forward Taylor Jones and senior guard Aleah Goodman, the Beavs defeated the Bulldogs 88-54.
Many of the players to come through Corvallis, Oregon and the Oregon State women’s basketball program have praised head coach Scott Rueck for creating a family-like atmosphere and environment for everyone. It’s why you see the hashtag #WeAreFamily in all of OSU’s posts on social media and part of the reason why year after year the Beavers have NCAA Tournament appearances and big wins.
What was shaping up to be another postseason run in 2019-2020 was abruptly cancelled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Four-year starter Mikayla Pivec was drafted into the 2020 WNBA Draft, Destiny Slocum transferred to Arkansas and now a new era of Beaver basketball has begun.
“It’s been a long time getting here. It’s been just a journey from last March and all the disappointment and the bewilderment of not being able to use a gym… that was not that long ago that we couldn’t even get a shot up in a gym,” said Rueck after the game. “While it’s not the normal Gill experience we all love packed with people, it was an opportunity to take the floor together and to compete.
“This team stayed positive, stayed together through it all. Unbelievable to me, to be honest, how well this group has handled this offseason…”
Jones finished with 24 points (10-of-13 from the field) and was one rebound shy of recording a double-double.
But she was locked in from the very beginning.
The Beavs will play one more non-conference opponent (Carroll College) on Monday, November 30 before opening up Pac-12 conference play hosting the mountain schools Utah and Colorado.