Oregon State pulled off the upset of the Pac-12 women’s basketball tournament’s first round, as the 11th-seeded Beavers rallied from an eight-point, fourth-quarter deficit to stun No. 6 seed USC 56-48 Wednesday in Las Vegas.
Trailing 43-35 with seven minutes left in the game, Oregon State outscored the Trojans 21-5 to advance.
Raegan Beers scored 18 points and Adlee Blacklock 15 to lead OSU (13-17). The Beavers’ defense dug in and held USC to 29% shooting (18 of 62).
Oregon State advances to the tournament quarterfinals, facing No. 3 seed Colorado at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. In the lone meeting between Colorado and Oregon State this season, the Buffaloes won 67-48 in Corvallis.
Kadi Sissoko scored 16 points to lead USC (21-9). The Trojans must now wait to see if they’ve done enough to earn an NCAA Tournament berth.
USC led 22-21 during a defensive-minded first half. The Trojans led for most of the opening two quarters, but never by a large margin. USC’s 12-11 lead after one quarter swelled to 20-14 after three-pointers by Destiny Littleton and Taylor Bigby seven minutes before halftime.
The Trojans led 22-15 with 5:51 left when the Beavers’ defense stepped up. USC didn’t score the rest of the half, missing its final six shots. OSU cut the deficit to one by halftime, with Jelena Mitrovic scoring four points down the stretch.
USC’s offensive woes continued in the third quarter. Going back to the second quarter, the Trojans had a 12½-minute stretch where they scored one basket. OSU wasn’t lighting it up, but the Beavers were scoring, and eventually took a 30-26 lead.
The Trojans got the pace going, and started to get some offense. But Oregon State matched USC, and took a 34-33 lead late in the third quarter on a fast-break layup by Mitrovic.
Sissoko then took over. She scored eight points during the final 3:30 of the third quarter to help the Trojans to a 37-34 lead heading to the fourth.
USC took its largest lead at 43-35 after threes by Okako Adika and Kayla Williams.
The Beavers didn’t flinch. Blacklock hit a three, helping OSU peel off 11 consecutive points to take a 46-43 lead with 3:14 remaining.
OSU took at 50-45 lead on a layup by Beers with 45 seconds left. Oregon State defense and free throws carried the Beavers to the finish line.
— Nick Daschel reported from Las Vegas.