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Oregon State loses to South Carolina, leaving USC as only Pac-12 team left in NCAA Tournament

The Oregon State Beavers represented themselves and the Pac-12 quite well on Sunday in the Albany Regional of the Women’s NCAA Tournament. They pushed the unbeaten and No. 1 South Carolina Gamecocks for 38 minutes in an Elite Eight game. USC women’s basketball players and coaches were probably watching on television.

Few teams have been able to challenge coach Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks that well for that long. The Beavers trailed by 13 at one point but were down only four, 62-58, with 3:30 left. They were right there with a chance to win. That’s all they could ask for as they pursued the Final Four.

However, South Carolina is unbeaten — and No. 1 — for a reason. The Gamecocks continued to crash the offensive glass. The Gamecocks collected 22 offensive rebounds, not always scoring but crucially denying OSU added possessions, which reduced the Beavers’ chances of making a comeback. South Carolina didn’t shoot especially well — 4 of 20 on 3-pointers — but rebounding and defense carried the Gamecocks to a fourth consecutive Final Four.

USC is now the only Pac-12 team left in the Women’s NCAA Tournament. The Trojans face UConn Monday night in Portland at 9 p.m. Eastern, 6 Pacific, on ESPN.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire