No. 7 Oregon State wins Preseason WNIT
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Destiny Slocum was a non-factor for No. 7 Oregon State in the first half of the championship game of the Preseason WNIT on Sunday. The second half was a different story.
Slocum scored all 17 of her points after the break and ignited a decisive third-quarter run to lead No. 7 Oregon State to an 80-69 victory over Missouri State.
Slocum’s 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer capped a 13-0 run for a 55-49 lead and Oregon State went on to end the nation’s longest road winning streak at 13 games.
“That was really just my mindset to get everyone going and my teammates found me for some really nice shots,” said Slocum, who scored 11 points in the third quarter.
Taylor Jones’ inside hoop gave Oregon State (4-0) the game’s biggest lead at 64-51 and the Lady Bears (4-1) never got closer than six points the rest of the way.
Senior guard Mikayla Pivec scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the first half for the Beavers. Pivec also had six assists and seven rebounds and was selected the tournament’s most valuable player. Slocum joined Pivec on the all-tournament team, along with Missouri State senior guard Alexa Willard and sophomore forward Jasmine Franklin.
Kat Tudor, who missed the last 21 games last season due to a knee injury, provided a spark off the bench. The senior guard was 4 of 5 from 3-point range and added 14 points for Oregon State.
“I’m super happy to have Kat back,” Pivec said. “She brings so much energy, so much confidence to our team. How confident she is out there spreads out to the rest of her teammates.”
Taylor Jones’ inside basket extended the lead to 64-51, the largest lead for either team.
Willard scored 21 points. Franklin added 13, and Emily Gartner had 11.
“This game will make us better when it comes time in March,” Willard said. “It’s only going to make us better in the long run.”
Missouri State returns the nucleus of last season’s team that reached the Sweet 16 before losing to Stanford.
The Lady Bears went on an 8-0 run early in the third quarter to take their largest lead at 47-39, but Slocum hit a 3-pointer to start what proved to be Oregon State’s decisive run.
Oregon State has advanced to the Sweet 16 the last four seasons, including a Final Four berth in 2016.
“Who we are as a competitive team is evolving like it does for everyone,” OSU coach Scott Rueck said. “We moved the needle a bunch today in the way we competed in that second half. We really had to elevate and this team dug down and found a way.”
Missouri State: Missouri State is accustomed to playing the top teams in the nation. Six of its last nine games dating to last season have been against Top 25 teams.
Oregon State: Tudor should continue to provide a major boost as her minutes increase. She is third in school history in career 3-pointers with 182. ... Junior forward Taya Corosdale suffered an apparent leg injury in the first quarter and did not return.
Oregon State: Hosts Southern Utah on Thursday.
Missouri State: Hosts Santa Clara on Friday.