CORVALLIS – Senior Marie Gulich powered the No. 22 Oregon State women's basketball team to a big win over No. 18 Arizona State Friday evening, as the Beavers battled to a 57-54 victory at Gill Coliseum.
"This was a typical Oregon State-Arizona State game," said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck. "Arizona State plays really hard and they're very efficient. We knew it was going to take a big-time effort tonight. Our team made the plays we needed down the stretch, and our defense was a big reason we were able to win tonight. We're seeing this team get better and better, and I'm really proud of the way we fought tonight."
Gulich went 9-for-12 from the floor to finish with 20 points, including refusing to be denied in the paint on the go-ahead basket with 40 seconds to play. The senior finished with 20 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
"I'm really proud of this team," Gulich said. "This was a tough week of practice, but we stuck together, and coming away with a win today I'm very proud."
Sophomore Mikayla Pivec scored 12 points, including a pair of 3-point plays in the fourth quarter. She added six rebounds and a pair of blocks, including one on an Arizona State 3-pointer as the Sun Devils looked to tie the game at the buzzer.
Taylor Kalmer went 4-for-8 to score eight points off the bench, while Katie McWilliams went for seven points, six rebounds and three assists.
Oregon State shot 54.2 percent in the contest, while holding Arizona State to 34.9 percent shooting, including 14.3 percent in the fourth quarter. The Beavers held a 36-28 advantage in rebounds and scored 46 of their 57 points from inside the paint.
The defenses dominated the opening minutes, as Gulich scored the Beavers first three baskets of the game to send the teams to the opening media break level at six. The scores remained low for the rest of the first quarter, as the Sun Devils ended the frame up 12-10.
Arizona State extended the lead to nine mid-way through the second quarter. The offenses heated up late in the frame, as the Beavers hit their final four field goal attempts of the half, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from McWilliams to cut the deficit to two at the intermission.
The Beavers battled back to tie things up at 38 and 43, but Oregon State could not take the lead in the third quarter, as ASU took a 46-45 edge into the closing frame.
OSU finally took the lead 90 seconds into the fourth quarter, as McWilliams converted a contested fade-away. The two sides would trade baskets from there, as they went to the final media timeout level at 49. The Oregon State defense clamped down for the fourth quarter, limiting the Sun Devils to just eight points in the period. Gulich's bucket with 40 seconds to play put the Beavers in front for good, as Oregon State closed out the 3-point win.
The Beavers will remain at home on Sunday, as they host Arizona. That game is slated to tip off at 1 p.m. and will air live on Pac-12 Networks.