CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) There’s no doubt that seventh-seeded Creighton is busy studying the tape of Long Beach State’s near-upset of No. 2 seed Oregon State to learn how the 49ers were able to slow down Sydney Wiese.
Long Beach, the No. 15 seed, held Wiese to seven points in the Beavers’ first-round game. Oregon State’s senior point guard was averaging 15.7 points and 4.9 rebounds as the team’s top scorer going into the NCAA Tournament.
The Beavers (30-4) survived the surprisingly resilient Beach 56-58 in their first-round nailbiter on Friday. Wiese put the Beavers ahead with just over a minute left, and then they fought off Long Beach’s calculated effort to control the clock.
As the crowd at Gill Coliseum collectively held its breath, Raven Benton’s shot from out front with five seconds left bounced off the back rim. A desperation 3-point attempt from Anna Kim at the buzzer caromed off the backboard.
No fifteenth seed has ever defeated a second seed in the history of the women’s tournament.
Oregon State moves on to face the Bluejays (24-7) on Sunday evening at Gill. The winner of the game will go on to face either third-seeded Florida State or No. 6 seed Missouri in the Stockton Regional. The Seminoles play the Tigers on Sunday at Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida.
Creighton coach Jim Flanery said it was valuable to see how Long Beach State handled the Beavers.
”Just watching them, I thought Long Beach did a great job of keeping Oregon State off balance. I thought they had a really good game plan. I don’t know if Oregon State played tight, but I was really impressed with Long Beach,” Flanery said. ”I think in our saturation, to be able to see them live and see some things that maybe they struggle with. As a coach you’re looking at film saying `OK, what things bother them,’ but it’s good to see it live too.”
Wiese broke the Pac-12 career record for 3-pointers earlier this season, surpassing Stanford’s Candice Wiggins. She currently has 371. She also set Oregon State’s career assist record this season and now has 620.
HOW CREIGHTON GOT HERE: Janning scored 15 points in less than six minutes at the start of Creighton’s first-round game against Toledo, and finished with 19 in the 76-49 rout of the No. 10 seed Rockets. Creighton is making its sixth overall NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2013, when they played into the second round. The Bluejays’ seeding matches its best in school history.
BUTTERFLIES? NAH: Janning said before the tournament opener that she had a chat with teammate Brianna Rollerson about the Bluejays’ previous trip to the Big Dance in 2013. Janning, a senior, was on the roster, while Rollerson redshirted that season.
”I looked at her and I was like, `I don’t have those jitters that I remember I had the first game.’ She was like, `Really? I do,”’ Janning joked.
PROUD WELCOME HOME: Despite the first round loss, Long Beach State can be proud of their season. The 49ers (23-11) edged UC Santa Barbara 56-55 for the Big West Tournament title and the automatic berth, making their first tournament appearance since 1992.
And that’s why Long Beach State President Jane Close Conoley met the team at the airport on Friday night. The 49ers’ team Twitter account posted simply: ”Best. President. Ever.”
SIZING UP MISSOURI: The Tigers (22-10) got a 66-64 win over No. 11 South Florida Friday in its first-round game when Sierra Michaelis scored on a putback off Amber Smith’s miss with 0.6 seconds left. Missouri is making their second straight tournament appearance after finishing third in the SEC, the team’s highest conference finish since 1990.
SIZING UP FLORIDA STATE: The Seminoles (26-6) beat No. 14 Western Illinois 87-66 in their first-round game on Friday night. Shakayla Thomas had 23 points for Florida State, which has won 14 straight tournament openers. The Seminoles have played in the tournament in 12 of the last 13 seasons.