No. 7 Oregon State women rout USC 68-35

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Even when the offense wasn't quite working, No. 7 Oregon State could rely on its defense.

''The old saying, defense wins games,'' guard Jamie Weisner said. ''Our offense was a little stagnant to begin with, but we just putting it on defensively and finally our offense clicked a little more and that's when we pulled away.''

Weisner scored 21 points and Oregon State held USC to its lowest point output ever in a 68-35 victory on Saturday.

Deven Hunter added 15 points and 10 rebounds for Oregon State (19-1, 9-0 Pac-12) which is off to the best start in school history with just one loss so far this season, on Dec. 28 at Tennessee. The Beavers have won 31 of their last 34 games dating back to last season.

Kaneisha Horn had 10 points for the Trojans (11-9, 3-6), who have lost four straight and five of its last seven.

The Trojans shot just 25 percent from the floor for the game (14-of-56). They had a particularly hard start to the second half, going more than six minutes without hitting a shot from the floor.

''We lost our confidence,'' said USC coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke, pointing to the struggle USC had with Oregon State center Ruth Hamblin, who finished with eight blocked shots. ''We just had a tough night.''

Weisner was named the Pac-12 player of the week after scoring 21 points in Oregon State's 68-57 victory at No. 12 Arizona State last Sunday.

The Trojans were coming off a 71-80 loss at home to No. 11 Stanford last week.

Oregon State took a 13-8 lead midway through the first half on Gabriella Hanson's 3-pointer, but the Trojans pulled even on Kristen Simon's layup and Brianna Barrett's 3.

Then Oregon State took over scoring 14 of the final 16 points of the half. USC shot just 21 percent from the floor in the first half, while the Beavers shot 35 percent.

''From the beginning our defense was great so we just knew we had to keep that up and our shots would eventually fall, just keep doing what we needed to do to stop them and keep them off the boards,'' Hunter said.

''That's also about the time out offense got better,'' coach Scott Rueck chimed in.

Weisner's 3-pointer pushed Oregon State's lead to 38-17 as the Beavers took off with 13 unanswered points to push the margin to 45-17.

Oregon State led by as many as 35 points.

''Today I just loved the focus that this team played with, defensively especially,'' Rueck said. ''Credit USC for disrupting us early in this game - it was a real struggle offensively, that was evident. .... It was a great last three minutes of the first half for us to create that separation. Then I just loved the will of this team to come out and not mess around in the second half.''

TIP-INS

USC: The Trojans went into the game leading the Pac-12 with an average of 15 offensive rebounds per game. They had 14 against the Beavers. ... USC's record for lowest point total in a game was 39 set at Stanford in 2010.

Oregon State: Oregon State's school record for wins in a season is 24, set last year when the school went to the NCAA tournament and advanced to the second round.

HAMBLIN BLOCKS:

Oregon State's 6-foot-6 center Hamblin had nine rebounds to go with her eight blocks. (Her career high for blocks in 10 set earlier this season against Concordia.)

''It was pretty clear that they were attempting to get Ruth into foul trouble, so they kept attacking her, and Ruth just kept altering shots and blocking shots. Then we did a good job on the boards, outrebounding them by 12.''

QUOTING:

''Scott has done a terrific job of building this program,'' Cooper-Dyke said. ''They do a tremendous job defending with Hamblin on the inside and offensively they always make the extra pass.''

UP NEXT

USC: visit the Oregon Ducks on Monday.

Oregon State: hosts UCLA on Monday.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.