SEATTLE – Deven Hunter posted her third double-double of the season with a career-high 19 points and 11 rebounds, Sydney Wiese added 17 and Ruth Hamblin set the tournament’s blocks record, but USC rallied past Oregon State 71-62 in the Pac-12 Tournament Championship at KeyArena in Seattle on Sunday night.
The loss was OSU’s first in more than five weeks and snapped a string of 11 consecutive victories, tied for the second-longest streak in school history and best since 1982-83.
The Beavers were going for the first conference title of any type in school history to cap a magical turnaround season. Oregon State, the first team outside California or Arizona to reach the conference title game, could very well be headed to the NCAA Tournament a year after finishing 12th in the conference. OSU has not earned a berth since 1996.
"I think this team certainly deserves it. I don't know why we wouldn't be in the tournament. I don't see that argument," Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck said. "I've looked, of course, and I think this team has earned the right to play in it. But it's not up to me."