(CORVALLIS)—Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams at Oregon State won their season openers this weekend in Gill Coliseum, to start each team’s unique quest for the 2015-16 season off on the right foot. On Friday night, the No. 10-ranked women beat the Longwood Lancers, 110-45, while on Saturday afternoon, the men’s squad defeated the Northwest Christian Beacons, 74-52.
The women have lofty goals this season, having won their first-ever Pac-12 Conference regular-season title last season and starting this season ranked so high by the Associated Press. The men have a simpler goal: to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1990. So far, so good—for both squads.
Against a Division I opponent from the Big South Conference, the Oregon State women jumped out to a 50-21 halftime lead and didn’t look back at all in the second half. Jamie Weisner scored 24 points to lead a balanced offensive attack, as the Beavers had six different players score in double digits. Deven Hunter led the team with 10 rebounds, as Oregon State out-boarded Longwood, 54-18, overall.
Sydney Wiese had nine assists to lead the Beavers there, while all 11 Oregon State players to see the floor scored. In fact, 10 of them even added an assist to their statistical lines. Only four players were on the floor for more than half the game, which means the team will be rested and ready for its Monday night game in Portland.
The Beavers’ 110 points was the third-highest total in school history and the highest mark since 1982. The win was the Oregon State women’s 18th-straight victory in a season opener, and for the game, the Beavers shot 64.1 percent from the floor and 85.7 percent from the foul line.
Men Overcome Slow Start
Leading by only six points at halftime against an NAIA school from Eugene, OR, the Oregon State men put it together more effectively in the second half to pull away for the 22-point victory. Gary Payton II led the team with 16 points, although three of his teammates also scored in double digits: Tres Tinkle (14), Stephen Thompson, Jr. (14) and Drew Eubanks (13).
Overall, the Beavers shot 48.2 percent from the floor, including just 30 percent from three-point range. Eubanks had eight rebounds to pace the team, but OSU out-rebounded the Beacons by just one board (32-31). That’s something that will have to improve going forward. Payton II and Malcolm Duvivier each registered six assists to lead the Beavers.
Improving the three-point shooting and rebounding effort will be top priorities for the Oregon State men on Tuesday night when the team hosts Iona on Tuesday night at Gill Coliseum (7 p.m. tip off). The Gaels have been relatively frequent March Madness participants, making the NCAAs six times out of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference since the last time the Beavers made the Big Dance.