Corvallis, Ore. -- Oregon State women's basketball wraps up their regular season on the road against Arizona and Arizona State, but aren't looking ahead to the Pac-12 women's basketball tournament just yet. It's easy to see why not considering they still haven't quite gotten over their overtime loss to the Sun Devils at Gill Coliseum earlier in the year, their only loss there this year.
"It still stings a lot," says guard Mikayla Pivec. "Right now, you look back at it, if we won that game, we'd be tied for first place in the Pac-12. It stung cause we had that game."
A lot has changed in the time since that matchup, the Beavers have been, outside of a 17 point loss to Stanford on the road, have been playing like a team that can contend with any in the country. The ability to win close games that eluded them against ASU was on display at home against USC and UCLA this past weekend: games that the Beavers needed to dig deep to win, and did just that.
"The USC game was just one more lesson for this team to galvanize the fact that we're never out of it," explains head coach Scott Rueck. "It was one more example of the fact that they can. It just increases our confidence in our ability to overcome."
Part of that resurgence has been the emergence of center Joanna Grymek and guard Aleah Goodman. Where Grymek's consistency has improved, particularly in the last two weeks, Goodman has seen the ball in her hands in multiple key situations, and made the right move just about every time.
"The consistency wasn't there the first half of conference and now we're seeing her know exactly who she is in each moment," Rueck says of Grymek. "She made plays this weekend that none of us had ever seen her make before."
Grymek had seven blocks against UCLA in the Gill Coliseum regular season finale, while Goodman's multiple clutch shots lifted the Beavers over the Trojans, Bruins and the No. 2 ranked Oregon Ducks.
"At the beginning I was a little nervous coming off last year when I wasn't in those moments," Goodman describes. "The coaches gave me all the confidence in the world, also my teammates have confidence in me and that helps me relax. I know that when Scott calls my number, I gotta be ready to go and my team needs me to do that.
Oregon State women's basketball takes on Arizona State at 5:00 pm in Tempe, followed by the regular season finale against Arizona on Sunday at 2:00 pm.
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- Web Extra: Aleah Goodman speaks before Wednesday's practice.
- Web Extra: Aleah Goodman on Vancouver Showcase (11/19/18)
- Web Extra: Aleah Goodman on finishing out non-conference schedule (12/19/18)
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- OSU torches Arizona with balanced offense
- OSU picks up marquee win against UCLA
- OSU Baseball Pitcher Heimlich claims innocence
- Pat Casey before OSU Super Regionals (6/5/18)
- Arica Nassar Joins OSU Volleyball Staff