Oregon State has had an impressive run of success lately. Under head coach Scott Rueck the Beavers made a Final Four appearance last year. They have followed that up this year with an impressive season that included a Pac12 regular season title and a gaudy 31-4 record.They have compiled that record against good teams. They are 8-2 against Sagarin's top 25.
OSU features All-Pac12 first team performer Sydney Wiese. The Coach discussed her game here. Suffice to say that Wiese is the first name on the scouting report. She will be a handful for FSU as she doesn't have many weaknesses. Gabriella Hanson was the Pac12 defensive player of the year. It will be interesting to see how she does when she gets matched up with Shakayla Thomas.
Oregon State will have a size advantage in this game. All of the players who will receive significant minutes are at least 5'10. The size advantage is particularly acute in the frontcourt where OSU will start the 6'5 Marie Gulich and the 6'3 Breanna Brown. Neither player is a prolific scorer but they are both rugged rebounders and if FSU can't neutralize them on the glass it could be a long night.
This game will feature a clash of styles. Oregon State is at .987 in offensive points per possession which is 56th in the nation. The Beavers are at .795 in defensive points per possession which is 12th in the nation. FSU is at 1.070 in OPPP (10th) and .782 in DPPP (7th). These numbers support the notion that FSU is a more balanced unit but Oregon State can get after you defensively.
OSU will also try to control the pace. FSU ranks 58th in the nation in pace with 73.9 possessions per 40 minutes. OSU averages 66.9 possessions per 40 minutes which is 301st nationally. If the Beavers can turn this game into a grinder they have a better chance. The Noles have the superior athletes and OSU will not try to run with them.
Both teams are excellent rebounding teams. OSU outrebounds their opponents by 10.9 a game while FSU outrebounds theirs by 10.2 a game. If either side has a significant advantage in that area it could be the difference in the game. The Beavers are the slightly deeper team but both coaches have shortened their benches a bit in the post season.
This game will likely be won by whichever team can best minimize their weaknesses. For FSU that means avoiding a slow start and not allowing the Beaver defense to force scoring droughts. For Oregon State that means that they need to find ways to score. If the Noles are shooting well like they did in their last game against Missouri the Beavers may have serious problems keeping up. However, if FSU is cold Oregon State is easily talented enough to send the Seminoles packing.
The game will tip today from Stockton, CA at approximately 6:30pm on ESPN. It will follow the South Carolina vs Quinnipiac matchup. Sagarin has the Noles as 4.5 point favorites.
|(3) Florida State||(2) Oregon State|
|20 Shakayla Thomas||5'11 Jun F||15.2||5.8||24 Sydney Wiese||6'1 Sen PG||15.4||5|
|10 Leticia Romero||5'8 Sen G||12.3||3.9||21 Marie Gulich||6'5 Jun C||10||8.2|
|32 Imani Wright||5'9 Jun G||10.8||2.2||4 Breanna Brown||6'3 Jun F/C||7.7||5.8|
|12 Brittany Brown||5'8 Sen G||9.9||5.8||00 Mikayla Pivec||5'10 Fr G||7.5||4.9|
|23 Ivey Slaughter||6'1 Sen F||9.5||6.3||11 Gabriella Hanson||5'11 Sen G||6.5||4.3|