Scott Rueck

Oregon State HC Scott Rueck finds the physicality "concerning" in loss to No. 12 Arizona, has harsh words for officiating

Oregon State HC Scott Rueck finds the physicality "concerning" in loss to No. 12 Arizona, has harsh words for officiating

Just like Friday evening's contest, a team at Gill Coliseum avenged a loss from last month. 

This time, however, the No. 9 Oregon State Beavers (19-5, 7-5 Pac-12) were on the wrong side of the score, losing to No. 12 Arizona (19-4, 8-4 Pac-12) 65-58 in overtime. 

Senior guard Mikayla Pivec led the Beavers with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Her backcourt mate Destiny Slocum struggled mightily only scoring 11 points on 4-of-17 from the field. Wildcats point guard Aari McDonald led Arizona with 22 points and nine rebounds. 

Oregon State was also without starting forward freshman Kennedy Brown who left the game Friday night with a left knee injury. Beavers head coach Scott Rueck had no update on her status at the postgame press conference.

However, the real story from the game was Rueck's fiery takedown of the officiating after the game.

I know I'm supposed to lie and not share my true opinion for some reason, so I'll lie and say it had nothing to do with [the physicality]. *laughs* But you know it's hard to manage, for sure. So it's been extremely physical which is a concern. It goes against everything that we have been taught, trained... We're supposed to prepare our team to play freedom-of-movement based off rules videos that we watch at the beginning of the year that everybody's supposed to play by. So, that's what I expect, and if that doesn't happen then what are we doing? -- Scott Rueck

The foul disparity between the teams was the Wildcats drawing five more fouls, 20-15, including McDonald who drew 10 fouls while not being called for one. The Beavers head coach definitely felt that the refs were letting it be too physical all game.

I was just, right before I came out here, looking at an Instagram picture of Mik getting hammered on her arm without a call right off the bat to start the game and that set the tone. That let them swing all day. Which they were able to get away with. 

These last two contests against the Arizona schools have been quite physical and without Brown, the Beavers will need to respond. Junior guard Aleah Goodman echoed that sentiment.

As a team, we just have to play big, and we didn't do that today. We didn't have enough people step up, and play for us and fill that role [with Brown's absense].

Rueck thinks it shouldn't have to come to that, however. That if the officiating was better they might not have to worry about that.

It's frustrating. I can't sit here and say 'oh, that's why we lost,' I'm not going to sit here and say that. But to say that it's not a factor... Of course it's a factor. 

Rueck even said the level of physicality being allowed is "concerning" and likened it to being in the "Twilight Zone." 

With the loss of Brown and no timetable for her return, the Beavers will need to adjust quickly if they want to earn a top seed and potential bye in the Pac-12 Tournament in March.

UP NEXT: The Beavers will travel to Los Angeles to take on USC on Friday at 7:00 p.m. (PT).

 

No. 9 Oregon State ready for “football team" from Tempe

No. 9 Oregon State ready for “football team" from Tempe

It's been almost three years since the Oregon State Beavers have walked away with a victory against Arizona State. It was one of the most memorable games in Oregon State women's hoop history on February 25, 2018 in Tempe, Arizona. Senior Marie Gulich exploded for 30 second half points and Oregon State left the state of Arizona with a 64-60 victory. Since that day, the Beavers have lost four straight games to ASU. 

I asked head coach Scott Rueck about the streak and what it will take to end it Friday night at Gill Coliseum.

ASU has had our number. I mean they beat us in the tournament two years ago and beat us twice last year. They beat us in Tempe this year so that is four straight. The story of those four games is that they were the more physical team. — Scott Rueck

The Beavers’ most recent loss to the Oregon Ducks provided that same scenario. For the first time this season, Oregon State lost the rebounding battle to Oregon in the 66-57 loss. Coach Rueck and his team worked on that in preparation for the trips to Colorado and Utah. They out-rebounded the Buffaloes and Utes 97-55 in the two games. Rueck says the physicality inside must continue against the Sun Devils because they remind him of a football team.

If you could sum it up in one thing, they play football, thats what they do. It’s an absolute bloodbath when you play them. You either rise to it and play tougher than them and harder than them, or they push you around. We learned a tough lesson down there and let them push us all over the floor and if thats the way it’s going to be we've got to fight harder and we've got to be the ones who dish it out. — Scott Rueck

Having been a witness to the past four meetings, ASU has been the aggressor and it’s not that the Beavers have played soft, they just aren't used to what Scott has described: a lot of elbows and pushing that might be called by some officiating crews but have not been called recently in the ASU/OSU matchups by Pac-12 officials. It will be interesting to see how tight the game is called at Gill Friday night. 

Oregon State is the leading rebounding team in the Pac-12. That will be key in this matchup. The did out-rebound ASU in the the first contest in Tempe 47-37. However, the Beavers couldn't hit a shot from outside. Remember, they were 2-of-20 from three-point range. Overall, just 31 percent from the field in the 55-47 loss. Against Colorado and Utah, they were much better making 22-of-39 shots from behind the arc. 

Aleah Goodman was back to her old self hitting a career high seven-threes (7-of-9 from the floor) in the Colorado game and also had a career high 26 points. 

The Beavers found out they are currently No. 9 in the first reveal of the NCAA Top 16 looking ahead to the tournament seedings. So right now the Beavers would be a three-seed in the Ft. Wayne regional. Coach Rueck takes that on as a challenge to his team:

We're in the picture and we've got a great opportunity ahead to gain ground on teams that are ahead of us.. I saw that we are ninth in the first reveal and because of that we are excited to go to work. — Scott Rueck 

The Friday night game against ASU tips off just after 8 p.m. (PT). Be sure to visit nbcsports.com/northwest for complete game coverage.

Three years ago, the Ducks grew up against OSU, now it's the Beavers' turn

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USA Today Images

Three years ago, the Ducks grew up against OSU, now it's the Beavers' turn

Friday evening was rough for the No. 7 Oregon State Beavers (16-3, 4-3 Pac-12).

They fell 76-64 to their arch-rival, the No. 4 Oregon Ducks (16-2, 6-1 Pac-12) at Matthew Knight Arena and don't have any time to dwell. The two teams will play again on Sunday in Corvallis at Gill Coliseum. 

Despite trailing by 21 points in the fourth quarter, the Beavers were able to mount a 16-2 run to cut the deficit to just seven points, and appear to have something to build upon ahead of Sunday's rematch. 

"This is still a team that's forming. Anytime you have two freshmen on the floor as much as we do it's going to be a journey and we've played pretty well," said head coach Scott Rueck. "This was an opportunity for us to take some huge strides forward."

Oregon State as a whole struggled most of the night, but a bright spot was the stellar play of freshman center Taylor Jones who finished the first half with 17 of the Beavers' 29 points.  She ended the contest with 21 points shooting 10-of-12 from the field, and grabbing three rebounds. 

Her frontcourt mate freshman Kennedy Brown grabbed 12 rebounds but was held scoreless in the contest. 

After the game, Rueck made an interesting parallel with the play of his freshmen and two seniors from Oregon: Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard. 

And I look back to Oregon...three years ago in particular and even [Sabrina Ionescu and Ruthy Hebard's] freshman year, the Civil War weekend is where they changed. They had to elevate to play against us and they did and they learned a lot about themselves and took their games to a new level...and that created momentum for them. Well, I think we're having to rise because both of these teams are so good, the margin of error is small and we're competitors. I think we did a lot of things well tonight just not quite well enough to win here.

Rueck is right.

When Ionescu and Hebard were freshmen, the Ducks got swept by Oregon State but both contests were close (43-40 in Eugene, 67-60 in Corvallis). The Ducks would end up making the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2005; now they're on pace to win three-straight regular-season Pac-12 Championships. 

Now it's the Beavers' turn. More specifically, Brown and Jones. Brown cannot go scoreless if the Beavers want to defeat an Oregon team that's among the most talented in the country. Jones will need to continue being in the right places so guards Mikayla Pivec and Destiny Slocum can find her good looks. If the pair can take advantage of their size advantage, then they stand a chance of evening the season series with Oregon.

And who knows, perhaps in a few seasons it'll be Oregon head coach Kelly Graves' turn to say his team needs to grow up against Oregon State once again.

Scott Rueck at a loss for words following second half performance in loss to Stanford

Scott Rueck at a loss for words following second half performance in loss to Stanford

CORVALLIS, OR - The story was going to write itself. Destiny Slocum records career-high night in Oregon State’s upset win over Stanford. The Cardinal can’t catch up after a Beavers’ 13-2 run to open the game. Huge momentum swinger with a date with the Oregon Ducks in Civil War weekend up next.

But it was a different story in the second half.

Oregon State was held to six points in the third quarter, committed six turnovers in the fourth quarter alone and did not make a field goal with under 3:46 left to play. 

It was an odd second half. 

Very odd. 

And very unlike this team.

In the end, No. 8 Oregon State (16-2, 4-2 Pac-12) falls to No. 3 Stanford (16-2, 5-1 Pac-12) in a nail-biter, 61-58 at Gill Coliseum.

The third quarter is where it began, shooting 3-of-14 from the field and scoring only six points. 

What was going right was Destiny Slocum, who finished with a season-high 21 points in the first half and was on track for quite the stat line, but was held to five points in the second half.

When asked about the second half and what defensive adjustments Stanford made on her, the redshirt junior responded:

No, I don’t think they did much. I just think seeing the floor faster, finding the open person more could have been an opportunity for me to find some open teammates. So, just take better shots. — Slocum

On the other side, Oregon State switched up its defensive look from person to zone  which gave Stanford’s offense some trouble holding them to 10 points in the third. But an opportunity lost as Oregon State shot 3-for-14 from the field in the third.

Oregon State Coach Scott Rueck was at a loss for words trying to describe the second half following the game.

I don’t know. I’m going to have to watch film. Honestly. I thought we executed better. I thought we were on the same page a little better than we were in the second quarter. — Scott Rueck

Rueck continued:

But I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. It was a confusing half. It was just an interesting half. I have a hard time putting words to it. I have to watch it to see honestly what just happened. — Scott Rueck

It was a half that the Beavers need to study, learn from and then throw away. Oregon State’s daunting schedule ahead starts with a date with the Oregon Ducks, another top-10 opponent and in-state rival for this upcoming Civil War weekend, and then a road trip to the mountains to face Colorado and Utah.

Until the loss at Arizona State, Oregon State’s 15-straight victories is the longest winning streak in program history and now the Beavers have lost two Pac-12 games in one week.

Time to refocus and get back on track. 

Once again, the Oregon State Beavers have their highest AP Poll ranking ever

Once again, the Oregon State Beavers have their highest AP Poll ranking ever

Off to their best start in school history, the Oregon State Beavers continue to ascend up the rankings.

Following Texas upsetting No. 1 Stanford 69-64, Oregon State (11-0) joins Arizona as the last remaining undefeated teams in the PAC-12 heading into conference play. 

Their reward? Their highest AP Poll ranking in school history and four first-place votes.

Coming in at No. 3, they break their previous highest ranking of fourth, also set this season. 

The Beavers have multiple ranked wins over No. 16 Depaul No. 21 Missouri State and No. 24 Miami. However, their true test will be conference play where they’ll play five ranked teams multiple times: No. 2 Oregon, No. 5 Stanford, No. 10 UCLA and No. 18 Arizona. 

Heading into the season, head coach Scott Rueck joined the Talkin’ Beavers podcast to preview a season where his team’s ceiling was unknown.

It’s one of the best recruiting classes we’ve ever had... I don’t know what the ceiling is and that’s a great thing for a coach to say.

You can hear his full preview of the team in our best of 2019 edition of the Talkin’ Beavers podcast embedded below.

Listen to the podcast here