CORVALLIS - In front of a rocking Gill Coliseum, the No. 7 Oregon State Beavers hosted Team USA. The Beavers put up a valiant effort but in the end, Team USA proved to be too much, winning the game 81-58.
In the postgame press conference, Beavers coach Scott Rueck discussed how this exhibition game will prepare his team for the upcoming season.
They’re all pros and WNBA All-Stars for the most part...that is the best team in the world...what a great opportunity to learn from.
The Beavers came out gunning with sophomore Aleah Goodman hitting a step back three while being guarded by the legend Sue Bird. The Beavers led by as much as four points in the first quarter before trailing by only two points at the end of the period.
Goodman thought her team got their “jitters out early” and just “played basketball.” She also greatly appreciated the experience of playing against the best and learning from them at their shared practice session earlier in the day. Goodman finished the contest with 14 points including three three-pointers.
Rueck mentioned that due to starting underclassmen in the post, it limited what his team could do on offense. He claimed he was speaking "a different language" at times.
At halftime, the Beavers trailed by just five. But Team USA showed why they’re elite by doubling Oregon State in the third quarter, 24-12. That dominating period proved to be the difference as every other quarter was won by Team USA by two, three and six points respectively.
After the game, junior Destiny Slocum said she felt they let the game slip away in the third.
Our first two quarters we held our own, came out with a great mindset and great focus from the tip. That third quarter is something that you look at and [think] 'man, if we had held our own in that quarter this would have been a completely different game.’
Slocum led the Beavers with 15 points and five assists. Her and her teammate, Mikayla Pivec, were recognized as among the nation's best.
Overall, the Beavers should be pleased with their performance. No one expected them to defeat a team that should win the Gold Medal. Experience against professionals like this should pay dividends this season, as they too aspire to take home trophies of their own.
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