PULLMAN – The bricks piled up for both No. 9 Oregon State and Washington State, but the Beavers shot and defended a bit better.
Mikayla Pivec had 19 points and nine rebounds, and Oregon State beat Washington State 52-35 for its ninth win in 10 games.
Destiny Slocum scored nine points for Oregon State (17-3, 7-1 Pac-12), which has won its past 11 games against Washington State.
The game was a defensive battle as both teams had off-days from the field. Oregon State shot 37 percent while the Cougars shot just 25 percent.
“I was really happy for the team that they got to experience a defensive, grind-it-out type of win,” Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. “The ball didn’t fall but fortunately we got looks and then in the second half we settled in a little bit.”
“I thought our defensive effort and energy was outstanding today and all weekend,” Rueck added. “Our defense carried us.”
Chanelle Molina scored 12 for Washington State (7-13, 2-7), which lost its fourth straight. Borislava Hristova, who is averaging 21 points per game, finished with just nine along with 12 rebounds. It was the first game of the season in which she failed to score in double digits.
“I’m really disappointed in our effort,” Washington State coach Kamie Ethridge said. “We were really emotionally flat.”
Along with the subpar game from Hristova, Alexys Swedlund was held scoreless for the Cougars.
“We got exposed in our lack of execution,” Ethridge said. “Points were hard to come by.”
Oregon State scored the last four baskets to take a 16-7 lead after the first quarter. Washington State was scoreless for the final 4:22 of the period.
Oregon State led 23-15 at the half after holding Washington State without a field goal for the final 8:38 of the second quarter. Pivec had 13 points at halftime for the Beavers.
Oregon State was shooting just 20 percent (5 of 25) at halftime, compared with 30 percent for the Beavers.
Slocum scored eight points in the third as the Beavers took a 41-28 lead into the final quarter.
The Beavers came in averaging 81 points per game, while the Cougars were averaging 69.
“They have three of the best scorers in the conference,” Rueck said of WSU’s Hristova, Molina and Swedlund. “We focused really defensively in this game.”
Washington State held the Beavers 29 points below their season average. They also held the nation’s best 3-point shooting team to 5 of 17 from long range.
The Cougars made just 14 of 55 shots, and just 3 of 17 from 3-point range.
Oregon State: The Beavers’ three losses are against No. 1 Notre Dame, No. 24 Texas A&M and No. 16 Arizona State. … The Beavers lead the nation in 3-point shooting at 42.6 percent. … They rank second in the nation in defensive rebounds at 33 per game.
Washington State: This was the Cougars’ third straight game against a Top-10 team. … Hristova, a junior, entered the game with 1,504 career points and is on track to become the team’s all-time scoring leader next season. She averages 21.7 points per game. … Swedlund holds the WSU record for career 3-point baskets with 208, but got none on Sunday. … Sisters Chanelle, Celena and Cherilyn Molina are all on the Cougars’ roster.
Washington State travels to UCLA on Friday.
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