Second-seeded Oregon State survives Long Beach State 56-55
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Breanna Brown scored 12 points and second-seeded Oregon State held off feisty No. 15 seed Long Beach State in the final minute to eke out a 56-55 victory Friday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Mikayla Pivec and Marie Gulich each added 10 points for Oregon State (30-4), which was also seeded second last season when they made a run to the Final Four.
Raven Benton had 17 points Long Beach State (23-11), which was trying to become the first 15-seed to ever win a game in the women's NCAA Tournament.
The 49ers took over the lead on Jessica Gertz's 3-pointer with 2:48 left, but Sydney Wiese hit two free throws to put Oregon State back in front 56-55 with 1:07 to go.
Long Beach State tried to manage the clock, but Benton missed a long jumper with 5 second left and Anna Kim's 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the backboard, ending the upset bid.
The 49ers, who edged UC Santa Barbara 56-55 for the Big West Tournament title and the automatic berth, were making their 12th overall tournament appearance and first since an at-large bid in 1992.
Ranked No. 8 in the final AP poll, the Beavers were coming off a loss to Stanford 48-43 in the Pac-12 Tournament final.
With four seniors in its starting lineup, Long Beach State was tenacious, pulling in front 27-23 lead on Montgomery's 3-pointer. Afterward she signaled "10" to the crowd with her fingers, her point total.
Oregon State, with a distinct size advantage, reclaimed the lead to go up 29-27, but Benton's 3-pointer at the buzzer sent Long Beach into the break with a 30-29 lead, stunning the large pro-Beaver crowd.
Wiese was scoreless in the first half, sitting after her second foul. The 49ers' point guard, Kim, was also scoreless.
The Beavers pulled in front 33-32 on Brown's layup, and Pivec added another layup to extend it. Wiese hit a 3-pointer, her first points of the game, with 2:37 left in the third quarter to cap an 11-2 run and give Oregon State a 40-34 lead. The Beavers were up 44-39 heading into the final quarter.
The 49ers were especially effective on Wiese, holding her to just seven points. Wiese broke the Pac-12 career record for 3-pointers earlier this season, surpassing Stanford's Candice Wiggins. She currently has 371. She also set Oregon State's career assist record this season and now has 620.
Long Beach State: The lone non-senior among the starters is sophomore Martina McCowan who hails from Portland, about a 90 minute drive north from Corvallis. McGowan played for St. Mary's Academy. Gertz, played for Oregon City High School, while freshman forward Azena Henry played for Portland's Jesuit.
Oregon State: Oregon State played Long Beach State to open the 2010-11 season. It was Scott Rueck's first game as coach of the Beavers, and they won 71-39 despite a cobbled together roster of walk-ons and a few recruits.
Oregon State: The Beavers face the winner of the late game between seventh-seeded Creighton and No. 10 seed Toledo.
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