Weisner keys OSU win over Colorado
BOULDER, Colo. — Talk about a possible league crown isn't taboo or off limits, just something the Oregon State players don't really discuss right now.
Still, No. 7 Oregon State moved a step closer to its first Pac-12 title by beating Colorado 66-44 Friday.
"This is huge," said Jamie Weisner, who had 17 points and 10 rebounds for her 10th career double-double. "We say every game just leads us to the championship, so every game is like a championship game for us.
"We know that's our final goal. We have to take it one practice, one game at a time."
The Beavers (24-2, 14-1 Pac-12) maintained a two-game cushion in the conference race with three contests remaining, including one at home next week against No. 18 Stanford. The Cardinal are the gold standard in the conference — and the defending champion.
That's why Oregon State coach Scott Rueck tries to keep his team grounded in the moment, not looking down the road.
"Those things take care of themselves if we take care of business," Rueck said. "And so that's all we talk about — next possession is all that matters."
Ali Gibson scored nine of her 14 points in the second half as the Beavers pulled away from pesky Colorado (11-15, 4-11) for their first-ever win in Boulder. With the victory, Oregon State matched the school record for wins in a season that was set a year ago.
In the first half, OSU turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 10 times and shot just 33 percent. In the second, the Beavers went on a 20-8 run to gain some separation.
"We were a bit out of our element. Second half was a normal half for us," Rueck said. "We settled down and did our thing."
Sydney Wiese finished with 10 points and had seven of the team's 16 assists. The Beavers entered the game fifth in the nation in assists per game (19.5).
Jen Reese scored 19 points for Colorado, which dropped its 16th straight game against ranked opponents.
"They're No. 1 in the league for a reason. You can see why," Colorado coach Linda Lappe said. "Such good balance — they're tough. They shoot the ball well."