Oregon State players cheer from the bench as their team increases its lead against Washington late in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Feb. 5, 2016, in Seattle. Oregon State won 61-53. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Elaine Thompson
February 06, 2016

SEATTLE (AP) Scott Rueck and Oregon State jumped and screamed six years ago on the Washington court like they had just won a title. In reality, it was just Rueck's first conference win, deep into an abysmal initial season at the helm of the Beavers.

How things have changed.

There was little celebration Friday night after No. 9 Oregon State captured a 61-53 win at No. 24 Washington. Expectations have skyrocketed and wins are no longer a novelty for the Pac 12 Conference-leading Beavers.

''Just look at the culture of our program and how it has evolved,'' Rueck said. ''It's a story that, honestly I feel like, it's better than it gets credit for even. I'm just looking at what they've done. The fact that they've put this program on the map when it was anything but on the map. It was on the backside of the map at the time.''

Just as the transformation has been spearheaded by Jamie Weisner, so was Friday's win. The senior led Oregon State (19-3, 10-1 Pac 12) with 21 points, and added five rebounds. No basket was bigger than her fourth-quarter layup.

Trying to hold off the Huskies (16-6, 7-4) and hanging on to a 10-point lead with six minutes left, Weisner stripped the ball from Talia Walton and drove the length of the floor for a quick bucket. The Huskies didn't get within 10 until after the Beavers had clinched the game.

''I think we were kind of in a little drought right there and kind of took my chances on it,'' Weisner said. ''Doubled her and I knew (Kelsey) Plum wasn't going to foul me going down the court, so I just went up strong and finished it.''

Washington fell behind in large part thanks to a horrendous second-quarter performance from the field. The Huskies shot 2 of 15, managing one 3-pointer and two free throws.

The conference's leading scorer, Plum, recovered from a tough first half. The Washington guard finished with 30 points on 10-of-22 shooting. Plum was 3 of 11 at halftime.

''A year ago, she would have stayed frustrated,'' said Washington coach Mike Neighbors. ''Today, she got better in the second half. That's that maturation of a kid from sophomore to junior year. I don't care how talented you are coming out. To be able to put 30 up on that team on 22 shots, tremendous night.''

Even with Plum's efforts, Washington wasn't able to overcome a 14-point halftime deficit and suffered its third home defeat of the season - all against ranked opponents.

Sydney Weise added 12 points and Ruth Hamblin grabbed nine rebounds and blocked three shots for Oregon State, which has won nine straight since a defeat at UCLA on Jan. 4.

''I honestly believe, and I watch basketball all across the country, they are one of the top 5 teams in the country,'' Neighbors said. ''No doubt about it.''


Washington fell more than 20 points shy of its season average of 74.8 per game. ''First of all, Ruth (Hamblin) around the basket really eliminates easy plays. She eliminates your stick-backs, the layups,'' Neighbors said.


Oregon State: The Beavers, normally a good free-throw-shooting team, managed just 9 of 16 at the line.

Washington: Washington junior Kelsey Plum was honored before the game for becoming the fastest player to score 2,000 points in conference history. Plum accomplished the feat on Jan. 31, in her 88th game. She moved into second place on the program's all-time scoring list.


Oregon State plays at Washington State on Sunday.

Washington hosts Oregon on Sunday.

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