Pac-12 player of the year Jamie Weisner scored 20 points, Sydney Wiese added 16 and No. 8 Oregon State survived a late rally to beat Washington 57-55 on Saturday night in the conference tournament semifinals in Seattle.
The Beavers (27-4) will play No. 12 UCLA in the tournament title game on Sunday. It’s the second appearance in the tournament final for Oregon State after losing to USC in the 2014 championship game.
Weisner, a Clarkston grad, was the only one that could hit shots in the second half after a dynamic first half for both teams. Weisner hit 4 of 6 shots in the second half and Oregon State held on despite going scoreless the final 6:15 of the game.
Chantel Osahor led Washington (22-10) with 18 points. Kelsey Plum, the Pac-12 scoring leader, was held to a season-low 14 points and missed a runner in the lane at the buzzer that could have forced overtime.
Oregon State put the responsibility of slowing down Plum on Gabriella Hanson with a lot of help from others. Plum was strong early as the Huskies hit seven of their first eight 3-point attempts, but the No. 3 scorer in the country struggled in the second half. Plum finished 4-of-19 shooting and was 1 of 13 in the second half.
Meanwhile, Weisner and Wiese were able to find space on the perimeter against Washington’s zone defense. And the Beavers got key baskets from others at important moments. Hanson knocked down an open 3 with 6:15 left after Washington had pulled within 54-50 on Plum’s first field goal of the second half.
The 3-pointer from Hanson proved vital as it was Oregon State’s final points. The Huskies pulled within 57-52 on Osahor’s driving layup with 1:51 remaining. Oregon State missed open 3s on consecutive possessions and Osahor hit her fourth 3-pointer – and first since the first quarter – with 36 seconds left to pull Washington within 57-55.
The Huskies chose to play defense rather than foul and forced a turnover when Wiese lost the ball and the shot clock expired with 5.5 seconds left. But Plum’s right-handed runner at the buzzer banked too hard off the backboard and caromed off the rim.
Ruth Hamblin added 10 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for the Beavers. Talia Walton had 15 points for Washington.
UCLA 73, California 67 (OT): Jordin Canada scored eight of her 26 points in overtime, Monique Billings added 22 points, and the Bruins shook the Golden Bears to advance to the championship game.
Kari Korver’s 3-pointer with 7 seconds left in regulation helped force overtime, but she missed the free throw on the potential four-point play that could have given UCLA the lead. Asha Thomas’ 3-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed off for California.
The Golden Bears scored first in overtime but UCLA (24-7) ran off the next seven points, five of them by Canada. Courtney Range scored for Cal (15-17) with 43 seconds left to pull within 68-65 but the Bruins made 6 of 8 free throws in the final 37 seconds.
Tourney staying in Seattle
The Pac-12 Conference announced a three-year extension that will keep the women’s basketball conference tournament at KeyArena through the 2019 season.
Seattle has been the host city for the conference tournament since 2013 when low attendance prompted the move from Los Angeles. Last year, the conference announced a one-year extension to keep the 2016 tournament in Seattle before reaching a longer arrangement.