Oregon St. women advance in 70-60 win over WSU

SEATTLE (AP) Sydney Wiese and Ali Gibson combined for 36 points while making 9 of 15 shots from three-point range as No. 3 seed Oregon State breezed past seventh-seeded Washington State 70-60 on Saturday night, setting up an unlikely Pac-12 Conference championship matchup with No. 5 seed USC.

Six-foot-6 sophomore Ruth Hamblin added 11 points and nine rebounds for the Beavers (23-9), who rolled through their first two games of the tournament without trailing for a single second. Wiese had 20 points while hitting 4 of 6 shots from three-point range, while Gibson matched a career-high with five three-pointers on the way to 16 points.

Washington State (17-16) got 18 points from Tia Presley, who scored 13 after halftime. Teammate Lia Galdeira added 16 points, giving her a Pac-12 tournament record of 75 over Washington State’s three games.

The Cougars made just 8 of 30 shots over the first 20 minutes, while Oregon State’s Sydney Wiese scored eight points to lead the Beavers to a 33-20 lead. Oregon State scored the first four points of the half and led by as many as 16 points without ever falling behind.

Washington State missed its first eight shots of the second half, helping the Beavers pull away for a second consecutive easy victory. The Cougars used a late run to pull within 67-58 in the final minute, marking the first time in Oregon State’s two games in the tournament that an opponent has been within double-digits in the second half, but the Beavers held on down the stretch to secure their first trip to a conference tournament final in program history.

The Cougars dodged a bullet 3 1/2 minutes into the game, when Galdeira went down hard after a missed layup and was writhing on the floor while clutching her left wrist. Galdeira came out of the game and got the wrist taped up before returning to action less than five minutes later.

With the win, Oregon State moved one step closer to its first NCAA tournament appearance since 1995-96. The Beavers have won 11 consecutive games, the third-longest current streak in the country and the program’s longest winning streak since OSU was 14 in a row in 1982-83.