CORVALLIS - The No. 7 Oregon State Beavers are the 2019 Preseason WNIT champions. But it wasn't easy.
A few nights after blitzing No. 18 Depaul 98-77 in the semifinals of the tournament, they got to host the Missouri State Lady Bears at Gill Coliseum. The Lady Bears had won 13 consecutive road games dating back to last season heading into the contest and upset Oklahoma earlier this week.
Junior Aleah Goodman felt the win will help the Beavers in the long run:
To play in a tournament like this in November is huge for our team, huge for our confidence.
The Lady Bears led by four points at halftime, 39-35, and then extended that lead to as high as eight in the third quarter. In response, Beavers head coach Scott Rueck changed up the Beavers defense away from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone, which worked to great effect limiting the Lady Bears to 26.7% shooting in the third quarter.
The Beavers went on to double the Lady Bears in the third quarter, 20-10. Redshirt junior guard Destiny Slocum hit a three pointer to close the third and give the Beavers a six-point advantage. In the fourth, the Beavers continued to push the pace for open three-pointers and came away victorious.
After the game, Slocum felt proud of her team:
We talk about championship mindset here a lot of the time, and [this] is the first net I've got to cut down...it feels good to start the season this way.
You can watch Aleah Goodman and Destiny Slocum react to the win in the video above.