All even -- Oregon State earns split in season series
CORVALLIS — After Friday's loss in Eugene, the Oregon State women's basketball team focused on execution.
And in Round 2 of the Civil War on Monday, the Beavers made the crunch-time plays in a 67-62 win over the Ducks.
Destiny Slocum scored five quick points to break a tie, and OSU was perfect from the foul line as the 12th-ranked Beavers turned away the No. 2 Ducks in front of a sellout crowd of 9,301 at Gill Coliseum.
The win improved OSU to 21-5, 11-3 in Pac-12 play.
Oregon had its 17-game win streak end and fell to 24-2, 13-1.
Oregon holds a two-game lead over OSU and Stanford with four conference games remaining.
For the Beavers, coach Scott Rueck's 200th win at OSU was significant because it kept the Ducks from wrapping up a Pac-12 regular-season crown and could be big come NCAA Tournament seeding time.
For the Ducks, losing on the day they climbed to No. 2 in the national rankings stung. But their more painful loss might be the right-knee injury that sent junior forward Ruthy Hebard to the bench in the second quarter.
"We're going to pray and hope that she is better" for the stretch run and postseason, Oregon coach Kelly Graves said.
Rueck was pleased with the way his team responded with the game on the line, three days after not getting the needed stops or hoops in a nine-point loss at Oregon.
"I thought that their overwhelming energy and their will to win was elite tonight," Rueck said of his players. "Oregon is obviously a great basketball team and forced us to play huge."
La Salle Prep grad Aleah Goodman led the Beavers with 22 points, and Slocum finished with 20.
But defense was the foundation of the win.
"We were right there in Friday night's game, and we knew we didn't play our best game. So that was a huge motivation factor for us," Goodman said.
Mikayla Pivec had 11 points, 11 rebounds and five assists for the Beavers on Monday.
Satou Sabally and Erin Boley each scored 12 points apiece for the Ducks, and Hebard had eight points before limping off with 6:39 left in the second quarter
Oregon shot a season-worst 35.8 percent, including 22.7 percent (5 of 22) from 3-point range.
Sabrina Ionescu finished with 21 points but was 9 for 25 from the floor, missed all six of her 3-point shots and even failed on a couple of close looks and a run-out layup that would have put Oregon up four and given the Ducks momentum with 5:10 on the clock.
Graves said his team forced some shots and missed on some of its better looks.
"What they do is they force you into quick, bad shots," Graves said of the Beavs' defense, noting that Oregon seems to struggle moving the ball from one side of the floor to the other only when it plays the Beavers.
The Ducks shot 5 for 18 in the fourth quarter, including 0 for 10 from 3-point distance.
Ionescu scored the first four points of the frame on a couple of aggressive drives to put the Ducks up 52-50.
But Oregon did not score again until Taylor Chavez, who played as the extra guard with Hebard on the bench, hit a 3-pointer with 55 seconds left.
All that did was get the Ducks within two because Slocum had hit a tough jumper in the paint with 2:28 to go to put OSU up by two, then hit a dagger 3-pointer from the corner with 1:53 left to make it a five-point lead.
"I think we did a good job being patient and just waiting for our shots to come," Slocum said.
Graves, who was pleased with his team's defense throughout, credited Slocum.
"She's a heck of a player," he said. "When she makes that little step-back move, there's not a whole lot you can do. You can just challenge it and hope to heck that she misses it."
The next possession was an example, as Slocum answered the Chavez 3 by finding post Joanna Grymek at the basket for a four-point lead.
The Ducks cut the lead to two points twice in the final minute and were within one when Ionescu made three foul shots after she was fouled on a 3-pointer by Goodman with 7.2 seconds remaining.
Goodman made up for that error by forcing a traveling call on Ionescu with the Beavers up three and five seconds on the clock.
"I knew we had one foul to give, so if I kind of ran up on her I could either get a foul called, which was fine, or a travel would be called," Goodman said. "I kind of took a chance and went for it."
The injury to Hebard scrambled things for both coaches. Graves went to more of a four-guard lineup, and Rueck matched that with his own guards for much of the second half.
"The game changed, of course, when Ruthy went down. Then it turned into just a chess match that neither us had probably prepared for," Rueck said.
Ionescu's uncharacteristic off night was a case of trying to do too much, Graves said.
"Her positives are so many. But she feels like there's nights when she needs to do it all, and she's such a great player you almost allow it a little bit," Graves said. "Believe me, this will eat at her and this will drive her this next weekend and the following weekend after that."
The next two weekends figure to be a challenge for both teams. UCLA and USC play in the Willamette Valley on Friday and Sunday before the Beavers and Ducks close the regular season at the Arizona schools.
The Beavers had the Ducks on the ropes for much of the second quarter thanks to swarming defense and some hot 3-point shooting. Their largest lead was 31-20 on a driving layup by Slocum with 3:30 to go. A 7-2 Oregon spurt followed, though, and the margin was six points at halftime.
But the biggest story of the first half was the injury to Hebard, who limped off after crashing to the court during a scramble for an offensive rebound. Hebard still led Oregon scorers at the half, and her absence took away the pick-and-role play with Ionescu that is a foundational piece of the Ducks' offense.
Ionescu scored six of Oregon's first 11 points but went without a point for the final 13:37 of the first half.
Goodman led the Beavers' first-half attack with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting, going 3 for 5 from 3-point range.
Led by Goodman, Oregon State's bench outscored Oregon's 24-4.
The Ducks had an 18-5 advantage in points from turnovers, and Oregon turned over the ball only three times to the Beavers' 15.
But the Ducks, without the pick-and-roll threat of Hebard and Ionescu, had only eight assists on 24 field goals, and the Ducks did not have a a fast-break point.
The Beavers had assists on 12 of 24 baskets, were 12 for 12 from the line (8 for 8 in the fourth quarter) and had five blocked shots.