Seniors lead Beavers to Civil War sweep
EUGENE — There were some big smiles on the faces of several of the Oregon State women’s basketball players Sunday as they walked off the Matthew Knight Arena floor.
The 59-45 Pac-12 victory over the Ducks was an especially sweet moment for the four four-year seniors — Jamie Weisner, Ruth Hamblin, Samantha Siegner and Deven Hunter — who helped keep their career undefeated streak alive against their rivals.
The No. 11 Beavers (12-3, 3-1) fought through some sluggish play on the offensive end with a hot start to the fourth quarter to pull away and give the program its 11th straight win over Oregon, the longest streak in program history.
It also matches the Ducks’ longest win streak in the rivalry. Oregon (11-4, 0-4) has twice won 11 straight — from the 1985-1990 seasons and the 1995-2001 seasons.
“It’s huge just to do it for our fans,” Weisner said. “They’re here with us through it all and that’s the biggest game of the season for them almost. They always mark the Oregon games down. Just to have a bunch of Oregon State fans behind us ion the crowd is huge and we love doing it for them."
Hamblin also said it was exciting to move to 8-0 against the Ducks.
“I know Ali (Gibson) finished last year with the career sweep so it’s kind of cool to just have that special thing,” Hamblin said. “It’s a unique situation, I don’t know how many other people have done that. But like (Jamie) said, it’s for Beaver Nation because the fans have been behind us all the way and they love the Civil War.”
Those five players are the only ones to win every game against the Ducks over four years.
On Sunday, the seniors were a big reason for the Beavers’ success as they combined for 39 points, 22 rebounds and seven assists.
Hamblin shared the Beavers’ scoring lead with junior Gabby Hanson with 12 points. She added nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Weisner had 11 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Siegner was big at the end of the second quarter, scoring five of her seven points in the final two minutes to help the Beavers trail by just one at the half.
“I’m so proud of her,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “… Those were two big baskets she got us in the first half to stop moment.”
Hunter, saddled with foul trouble after the first three minutes, finished with nine points in 12 minutes and hit a crucial 3-pointer with the shot clock about to expire early in the third quarter that put the Beavers up 29-25. She added six more in the fourth as the Beavers pulled away.
Oregon State’s offense may have been in a funk at times, but the Beavers had several stretches where they were able to string together runs. They started with a 7-0 run in the third to regain the lead and then hit their first five shots to open the fourth to take control.