Beavers back in the Sweet 16 after 64-52 win over Creighton
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Sydney Wiese celebrated her final game at Gill Coliseum by blowing kisses to the crowd and dancing to Abba.
She got a win, too, so her senior season lives on.
Wiese scored 13 points and second-seeded Oregon State moved on in the NCAA Tournament with a 64-52 second-round victory over No. 7 seed Creighton on Sunday.
Oregon State (31-4) will go on to face third-seeded Florida State in Stockton, California. The Seminoles defeated six-seeded Missouri 77-55 earlier Sunday in Tallahassee, Florida, for their third straight trip to the Sweet 16.
Fellow senior Gabriella Hanson also had 13 points for the Beavers, who are making a fourth consecutive appearance in the tournament. Last season the Beavers advanced to the Final Four before falling to eventual champion UConn.
At center court after the game, Wiese and her teammates celebrated with the home crowd. Wiese danced to "Dancing Queen."
"There's a lot of emotions because we have poured so much into that place," Wiese said. "It will always have a special place in our hearts and it will always be home."
Hanson, who matched her season high for points, said: "It still hasn't hit me yet." In the postgame huddle, coach Scott Rueck handed Hanson the ball.
Sydney Lamberty had 19 for Creighton (24-8), which trailed by as many as 15 points.
Lamberty's layup pulled Bluejays within 54-48 with 6:42 left, putting Creighton's bench on its feet. Hanson and Mikayla Pivec each hit jumpers to answer for the Beavers.
Marissa Janning's jumper got Creighton back within single digits, but Kolbie Orum's baseline jumper gave the Beavers a 60-50 lead with 3:04 to go.
After a pair of Creighton free throws, Marie Gulich made consecutive layups for a 64-52 Oregon State lead — and the Bluejays couldn't catch up.
Lamberty said when the Creighton came within six, the team believed they were going to win.
"We all looked at each other and we even said when we huddled up, 'We can do this. This game is still ours. We've come back from deficits bigger than this with less time,'" she said.
Oregon State eked out a 56-55 victory over surprisingly tenacious Long Beach State in the opening round. The 49ers' chance at becoming the first-ever No. 15 seed to defeat a No. 2 seed were dashed when Raven Benton's shot from out front with five seconds left bounced off the back rim.
The Bluejays routed 10th-seeded Toledo 76-49 in the opening round. Janning scored 15 points in less than six minutes to start the game and finished 19.
Creighton was making its sixth overall NCAA Tournament appearance and first since 2013, when they played into the second round. The Bluejays' seeding matched its best in school history.
"We trailed nine times at half this year and won, which is one of the things that I love about our team, which is we are resilient and we compete and we fight and tonight was no different," Creighton coach Jim Flanery said. "We played from behind the whole night, but we were never out of the game.
The Beavers, who had a distinct size advantage, jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the first quarter on Gulich's jumper. Hanson's 3-pointer gave Oregon State a 22-14 lead.
The Bluejays got within 23-17 but Hanson and Breanna Brown each hit layups to extend it again and the Beavers went into halftime with a 39-27 lead. Hanson led all scorers with 11 points.
Wiese, a senior and one of the players who helped bring Oregon State to national prominence, hit a step-back 3-pointer to put the Beavers up 48-35.
Gulich finished with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Beavers claimed the Pac-12 regular season title but fell in the conference tournament final to Stanford.
Creighton: The Bluejays beat the Beavers 70-62 in Las Vegas the last time they met in 2013. It was Creighton's fourth straight win in five total meetings. The Bluejays cracked the AP rankings for a week at the end of the season at No. 23 after claiming a share of the Big East regular-season title. They had not been ranked in the AP Top 25 since 1992.
Oregon State: The seniors are Oregon State's first class to have gone to the NCAA Tournament in each of their four years. The game marked the seniors' final appearance at Gill, where they finished 60-6. ... A booster donated free tickets for the first 600 students through the door.
WIESE'S FINALE: Wiese put her name in Oregon State's record book several times over the course of her career. She broke the Pac-12 career record for 3-pointers earlier this season, surpassing Stanford's Candice Wiggins, and currently has 373. She also set Oregon State's career assist record this season and now has 624.
SECOND SENIOR DAY: In addition to Wiese and Hanson, Orum is also a senior and Breanna Brown is graduating but still has a year of eligibility left.
"That ovation at the end. That gives you chills. It gives me chills right now just thinking about it. That's all a coach can hope for these girls," Rueck said.
Oregon State: The Beavers move on to play Florida State in the Sweet 16.
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