CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP)Oregon State prides itself on defense, and that attribute was on full display against Hawaii.
The No. 5 Beavers frustrated Hawaii throughout and posted a 64-32 rout on Friday night.
The Rainbow Wahine (4-5) struggled to get open looks against Oregon State’s man-to-man defense and shot just 23.2% from the field.
”Defense gets your offense going,” said Oregon State senior guard Mikayla Pivec, who finsihed with 11 points and seven rebounds. ”Knowing we can stop teams defensively gives us more confidence on the offensive end. Defense is what it will take to win late in the season.”
With four consecutive trips to the Sweet 16, Oregon State (8-0) is well equipped to turn up the defense when it matters most.
Kennedy Brown paced the Beavers offensively with 16 points on 6-for-9 shooting from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range.
”I struggled the past couple games shooting from (3-point range) so just being able to hit a couple at the beginning and kind of get started, it was good,” said Brown, a 6-foot-6 freshman forward. ”Hopefully it can continue.”
Taylor Jones added 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting for Oregon State. The Beavers shot 49.2% and had a 43-31 advantage on the boards.
Julissa Tago led Hawaii (4-5) with 12 points.
”They’re solid. I think they should probably be the No. 1 or 2 team in the country,” Hawaii coach Laura Beeman said. ”They funnel everything into the paint and they use those 6-6 kids to deter some things.”
Oregon State closed the third quarter on a 12-0 run to take a commanding 48-20 lead into the final quarter. The lead grew to as many as 32 points.
The Beavers are off to an 8-0 start for the first time since the 2015-16 season. That team reached the Final Four.
”Overall I thought we took big strides forward tonight,” Oregon State associate head coach Jonas Chatterton said. ”Defensively I thought it was probably one of our best games we’ve played so far this year.”
Oregon State: The Beavers showed no rust after a six-day layoff. … Oregon State is the only team with three wins against opponents in this week’s AP Top 25 – No. 16 DePaul, No. 21 Miami and No. 22 Missouri State.
Hawaii: The Rainbow Wahine took a major step up in competition against their first ranked opponent of the season and struggled to score against the Beavers’ aggressive man-to-man defense
Oregon State: Hosts Utah State on Dec. 14
Hawaii: At Washington on Sunday.
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