KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Senior Marie Gulich posted one of the best postseason performances in Oregon State history Friday, as the Beavers topped Western Kentucky 82-58 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
"I'm so proud of this team," said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck. "I'm really proud of the way Marie played and of her leadership. Our team really competed and played with a great mindset. We were well prepared and we needed to be, because Western Kentucky is a very good team. This was a great challenge for our team."
Gulich finished with 29 points on 11-for-15 shooting, putting up the second-highest NCAA Tournament point total in Oregon State history, trailing only Jamie Weisner's 38-point showing vs. DePaul in 2016. The senior also matched OSU's NCAA Tournament record for rebounds, pulling down 15 boards. Gulich scored 21 points in the second half.
Sophomore Kat Tudor knocked down five 3-pointers to finish with 19 points. Fellow sophomore Mikayla Pivec went for 15 points and eight assists, and did not record a turnover in the contest.
Junior Katie McWilliams rounded out five Beavers in double-figures, tallying 10 points and six rebounds. Freshman Taya Corosdale pulled down eight boards.
Oregon State shot 45.6 percent in the contest, compared to 32.8 percent for Western Kentucky. The Beavers also held a 48-27 advantage in rebounding and outscored the Hilltoppers 28-8 on points in the paint.
The Oregon State offense got off to a hot start, as the Beavers used an early 8-0 run to jump out to an 18-9 lead at the game's first media timeout. The Beavers would clamp down defensively for the remainder of the period, as Oregon State headed to the second up 25-14.
OSU wasted little time in the second quarter, as the Beavers knocked down three triples in the first two minutes of the frame to go up by 17 as Western Kentucky called timeout. Oregon State controlled the remainder of the first half, heading to the locker room up 46-28.
Gulich exploded out of the break, scoring Oregon State's first seven points of the third quarter to put the Beavers in front by 23. OSU took a 25-point advantage into the closing period, on its way to the 24-point win.
The Beavers will now await the winner of this afternoon's game between Tennessee and Liberty. Oregon State's second-round game will be played on Sunday in Knoxville. Game time will be announced Friday evening.
Courtesy: OSU Athletics