Oregon State women back in familiar NCAA setting

CORVALLIS – Here’s a familiar refrain: The Oregon State women’s basketball team is NCAA tournament bound.

Perhaps the most telling statement about OSU’s status as a rising power in women’s college hoops is that it seems like a formality for the Beavers to be part of March Madness.

OSU (29-4), which has won or shared three consecutive Pac-12 championships, was selected as the No. 2 seed in the Stockton (California) Region when the NCAA tournament brackets were announced Monday.

Corvallis is a host site for first- and second-round games and the Beavers open at 2:30 p.m. Friday against No. 15 seed Long Beach State (23-10) at Gill Coliseum.

No. 7 seed Creighton (23-7) and No. 10 seed Toledo (25-8) also will be in Corvallis.

The Beavers, who advanced to the Final Four last season for the first time in school history, are making their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

Before head coach Scott Rueck arrived in 2010, the Beavers most recent trip to the NCAAs came in 1996.

Senior guards Sydney Wiese and Gabby Hanson, and senior forward Kolbie Orum have been part of March Madness in each of their four seasons.

Corvallis is a host site for first- and second-round games and the Beavers open at 2:30 p.m. Friday against No. 15 seed Long Beach State (23-10) at Gill Coliseum.

No. 7 seed Creighton (23-7) and No. 10 seed Toledo (25-8) also will be in Corvallis.

The Beavers, who advanced to the Final Four last season for the first time in school history, are making their fourth consecutive NCAA tournament appearance.

Before head coach Scott Rueck arrived in 2010, the Beavers most recent trip to the NCAAs came in 1996.

Senior guards Sydney Wiese and Gabby Hanson, and senior forward Kolbie Orum have been part of March Madness in each of their four seasons.

Wiese, who is averaging a team-high 15.7 points per game, is a four-time all-Pac-12 selection, and was named second-team all-American last week by ESPNW. She was joined as a first team all-conference selection by junior center Marie Gulich (10.0 ppg, 8.1 rebounds).

Katie McWilliams (4.9 ppg), a sophomore guard from South Salem High School, is a key reserve.

UConn, which defeated OSU in last season’s Final Four, is the tournament’s No. 1 seed and takes a NCAA-record 107-game winning streak into the tournament. The Huskies are seeking a fifth consecutive national championship.

If the Beavers win two games in Corvallis, they would advance to the Sweet 16 in Stockton, with a potential Stockton Region final game against No. 1 seed South Carolina.

Despite being picked to finish fifth in the Pac-12 preseason coaches’ poll after losing three starters to graduation, including conference Player of the Year Jamie Weisner, OSU climbed in the rankings throughout the season. They are No. 8 in this week’s USA TODAY coaches’ poll.

The Pac-12 will be well represented in the tournament.

In addition to OSU, Pac-12 tournament champion Stanford is the No. 2 seed in the Lexington (Kentucky) Region; Washington, a Final Four team last year is the No. 3 seed in the Oklahoma City Region; No. 4 seed UCLA is in the Bridgeport (Connecticut) Region; No. 8 seed Arizona State is in the Stockton Region; California is the No. 9 seed in the Oklahoma City Region, and No 10 seed Oregon is in the Bridgeport Region.

The OSU/Long Beach State and Creighton/Toledo winners play Sunday in the second round (time to be determined) at Gill Coliseum with a berth in the Sweet 16 on the line.

ghorowitz@StatesmanJournal.com, or Twitter.com/ghorowitz

© 2017 KGW-TV


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