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Beavers prep for The Big Dance in Corvallis

The Oregon State Women's Basketball team stand around their coach, with arms raised in celebration
The Beavers celebrate after a 2024 home win. Oregon State hosts the first two rounds of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament beginning Friday, March 22, 2024 at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.

Oregon State Women’s Basketball is gearing up to host the first two rounds of the 2024 NCAA Tournament.

Play begins Friday when the No. 3 seed Beavers face No. 14 Eastern Washington at 5:00 p.m.

This year’s season, which saw OSU (24-7, 12-6 Pac-12) crack the top 10 for the first time in four years, is in stark contrast to the 2022-2023 season when the Beavers went 13-18 overall and 4-18 in Pac-12 play.

Speaking to the media after the Beavers were announced as a No. 3 seed for this year’s tournament on Selection Sunday, 10th year coach Scott Rueck said this year’s team was motivated by last year’s tribulations.

“A year ago the losing fueled the work ethic and the level of focus and commitment. So I think that was evident from day one and I'm talking like last spring even before everybody arrived. It was like ‘coach we're winning next year- whatever it takes we're winning’ and that's the work ethic that they put into it,” said Rueck.

Rueck added that the team stuck with that mentality for the entire season. “I've alluded to that a lot - how coachable this group has been and remained. Even through the winning, which is sometimes difficult to stay hungry and humble and they did throughout the entire year,” Rueck said. “Even this week we were getting better this week. And so it's just beautiful to watch when a group has that mentality.”

Horn players and cheerleaders welcome smiling players into Gill Coliseum
@Beaver WBB
Raegan Beers leads teammates into Gill Coliseum for selection Sunday on Sunday, March 17, 2024. The Beavers were selected as a No. 3 seed in this year's tournament.

OSU sophomore standout Raegan Beers was selected to the All Pac-12 team this year, and has been named a second team All-American by Sporting News, and All-American third team by the Associated Press and The Athletic. She leads the Beavers with 17.7 points and 10.4 rebounds per game this year.

Beers suffered a broken nose in the Feb. 16 game against UCLA, sidelining her for four games towards the end of the season. She returned to play in the final regular season game and in the first two rounds of the Pac-12 Tournament, where the Beavers lost in the semi-finals to eventual Pac-12 Tournament champions, Stanford.

Speaking on Selection Sunday, Beers addressed the motivation factor that has fueled the Beavers after last year’s subpar season. Beers said they saw the low expectations as an opportunity to “prove everybody wrong and get better this year. Obviously, we had a lot of new pieces that we had to work with, freshmen and transfers all over the place and so it was fun to figure that out, piece it together and end up being a 3 seed in the tournament.”

The most recent NCAA tournament appearance for the Beavers was in 2021 where they entered the tournament as an 8 seed. They made it to the second round before being knocked out by No. 1 seed South Carolina. OSU made it to the Sweet Sixteen in 2019, the Elite Eight in 2018, and the Final Four in 2016.

If the Beavers take down the Eagles on Friday evening, they’ll play the winner of the No. 6 Nebraska v. No. 11 Texas match-up on Sunday. The Cornhuskers/Aggies game is at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Gill Coliseum. The winner of Sunday's game moves on to regionals.

The regional rounds of play begin March 29. Even though Portland’s Moda Center is hosting regional action for this year’s tournament, the Beavers are in the Albany regional which would have them traveling to New York. Coach Rueck said they understood the process and “while it's obviously not ideal, everybody would prefer we're in Portland, it is what it is and those are things we can't control.”

The University of Portland’s women are also in this year’s tournament. The No. 13 seeded Pilots face No. 4 Kansas State Friday at 1:30 p.m. in New York.

This year’s National Championship will be held in Cleveland, Ohio on April 7.

Love Cross joined KLCC in 2017. She began her public radio career as a graduate student, serving as Morning Edition Host for Boise State Public Radio in the late 1990s. She earned her undergraduate degree in Rhetoric and Communication from University of California at Davis, and her Master’s Degree from Boise State University. In addition to her work in public radio, Love teaches college-level courses in Communication and Sociology.
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