The Oregon State Women’s Basketball team won the 2019 Women’s National Invitational Tournament, defeating the Missouri Stateby a score of 80-69 on Nov. 17. With the win, OSU went undefeated in the four game tournament.
“I couldn’t be more impressed by the way they approach the game, the toughness that they play with, the confidence they play with and then just a great scheme,” head coach Scott Rueck said of Missouri State. “I thought that everything they did made sense today, they made life hard on us, made us really have to work, (and) made us have to grow up on the fly.”
Senior guard Mikayla Pivec won the tournament’s Most Valuable Player award, averaging 17.8 points, 10.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists per game. She shot 59.5% from the field and connected 41.6% of her 3-point attempts.
Before defeating Missouri State, the Beavers had to go win three other games, with those victories coming against UC Irvine, Pacific and DePaul across the eight-day tournament. With the 80-point outburst in the championship, OSU outscored opponents 333-260.
During the third game of the tournament, OSU was bolstered by the return of senior guard Kat Tudor who missed the last 10 months with a torn ACL. Tudor, who played 10 minutes against DePaul in her first game action since January, went 0-3 from the field and grabbed three rebounds in her return. She improved, however, by scoring 4 points on 4-5 from the three-point line during her 19 minutes of game time.
“I’m super happy to have Kat back, she brings so much energy, so much confidence to our team. How confident she is out there just spreads out to the rest of our teammates,” Pivec said after the game. “She came in and hit a lot of big threes today and got us a momentum when we really needed it.”
Also impacting the team throughout the tournament was freshman forward Taylor Jones who averaged 16 points and seven rebounds per game.Jones also shot 61% from the field and 73% from the free-throw line. In the final game against Missouri State, she finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks.
“It’s definitely been different than highschool. Here we completely learn teams we are playing,” Jones said of her college experience so far. “It’s hard picking up the tendencies of different players and picking it up that fast but it’s definitely helped in my game.”
In a 95-45 home win against Southern Utah on Nov. 21, six players scored points in the double digits including Jones, redshirt freshman guard Noelle Mannen, redshirt junior guard Destiny Slocum and junior guard Aleah Goodman.
Pivec achieved a double-double with 10 points and 18 rebounds. Tudor continued her return to the team with 18 minutes of playing time and 14 points. The Beavers held the lead for the game’s entirety.
The Beavers will next hit the road for two games. They return to Gill Coliseum on Friday, Dec. 6 for a matchup with the Hawaii Rainbow Wahine.