LEXINGTON, Ky. – Aggressive rebounding and timely baskets certainly helped sixth-seeded Oregon State against No. 2 seed Baylor.
More impressive was the Beavers’ poise throughout as they handed the Lady Bears their first loss since November and earned a second Elite Eight appearance in three seasons.
Marie Gulich had 26 points, Kat Tudor added 16 and Oregon State shot 58 percent in the second half to upset Baylor 72-67 on Friday night in the women’s NCAA Tournament Lexington Region semifinal.
Two years after upsetting Baylor in the Dallas Region final, Oregon State (26-7) followed up with a steady performance to improve to 4-0 all-time against Baylor while ending its 30-game winning streak. The Beavers had to withstand nine consecutive points by Alexis Morris that got the Lady Bears (33-2) to 69-67 with 42 seconds remaining before Katie McWilliams’ left-corner 3-pointer 30 seconds later provided a five-point edge.
That pivotal shot typified a night in which OSU stuck with the game plan and didn’t flinch for the brief times it trailed.
“When you play a team like Baylor, part of the tempo issue is you can’t turn it over,” Beavers coach Scott Rueck said. “You can’t hand them possessions by either a turnover or taking a quick, poor shot.
“I thought we took a couple early in the first quarter, but overall they just know how to win, and that leads to possessions like that against a great defense and a great offense.”
Morris missed two 3s and Natalie Chou another in the final 10 seconds for Baylor, which shot just 39 percent and was edged 38-37 on the glass.
Gulich made 10 of 17 from the field and had nine rebounds for OSU, which shot 45 percent in winning for the 10 time in 11 contests. Tudor was 5 of 10 shooting and 4 of 8 from long range as the Beavers made 9 of 20 from behind the arc.
Kalani Brown had 19 points and 10 rebounds for Baylor, which was outscored in all but the second quarter in losing for the first time since falling 68-62 at UCLA in November.
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