LOS ANGELES — Oregon State coach Scott Rueck has known he has a good team, but that it needed time and experience to develop. After having two long stretches of their season paused due to COVID-19, it appears as if the Beavers are starting to hit their stride at the right time.
Aleah Goodman scored 20 points and Taylor Jones posted her fifth double-double of the season in a 71-64 upset of eighth-ranked UCLA on Sunday. Most had Oregon State as one of the first four teams out of the NCAA Tournament, but this win provides a huge boost to their resume.
“Everybody in this program is used to going to the tournament, That’s the expectation, but the way this season has played out it has been in doubt,” Rueck said. “The confidence and belief with this team is growing. We can be a good team and this weekend was all that we hoped.”
Oregon State led for most of the final three quarters. The game was tied at 57 with 5:57 remaining but the Beavers (8-6, 6-6 Pac-12) outscored the Bruins 14-7 the rest of the way. Talia von Oelhoffen’s jumper from beyond the arc put Oregon State on top for good.
UCLA (13-4, 11-4) was within two late in the fourth quarter, but Goodman hit a 3-pointer with 1:32 remaining to extend Oregon State’s lead to 66-61.
“We executed down the stretch and played defense. To see everything come together I was extremely proud of them,” Goodman said.
Jones had 16 points and 11 rebounds as the Beavers controlled the inside with a 38-24 advantage in points in the paint and 45-39 edge in rebounding.
Michaela Onyenwere led UCLA with 21 points and Lauryn Miller added 13. The Bruins, who posted a 27-point win over No. 13 Oregon on Friday, shot a season-low 27.6% from the field (21 of 76) but made all 17 of their free-throw attempts
“There was a lack of focus and we have to learn from this game,” Onyenwere said.
UCLA trailed 49-42 late in the third quarter before going on a 10-2 run over the final 2:32 to take a 52-51 lead going into the final 10 minutes. Onyenwere and Natalie Chou each had four points during the rally and Charisma Osbourne hit a jumper in the lane with a second remaining to put the Bruins on top for the first time since early in the second quarter.
Oregon State trailed 18-13 at the end of the first quarter, but took control in the second outscoring the Bruins by 10 to grab a 36-31 advantage at halftime. The Beavers started the second quarter with an 11-2 run and led by eight at various points in the period.
“Oregon State is an NCAA Tournament-level team,” UCLA coach Cori Close said. “I am disappointed we couldn’t focus on the things under our control. We were not nearly as focused and tough as we have been.”
Oregon State came into the game first in the nation in 3-point percentage (41.3%) but was 3 of 11 from beyond the arc for the first three quarters before going 3 of 5 in the fourth. UCLA made 10 3-pointers against Oregon on Friday but was 5 of 22 on Sunday.
Osborne came into the game second in the Pac-12 in scoring (18.6 points per game). She finished with 11 points but was 4 of 21 from the field.
Oregon State: The Beavers started the season 3-5, but have won five of their last six. This is their 11th win over a top 10-team since the start of the 2014-15 season.
UCLA: The Bruins will likely need to win the Pac-12 Conference tournament in order to have a shot at a second seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Both teams wrap up the regular season next Sunday with games against their rivals. Oregon State travels to Oregon while UCLA hosts Southern California.