Slocum leads No. 8 Oregon State to 79-54 win over Cal Poly
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State is still getting used to playing with point guard Destiny Slocum, still learning to anticipate her speed and passes.
“Each day, we’re getting more comfortable together,” guard Mikayla Pivec said.
They seemed pretty comfortable in their season opener Friday night as Slocum had 15 points in her Oregon State debut, leading the eighth-ranked Beavers to a 79-54 victory over Cal Poly.
“Being able to be out there with my team today, I couldn’t ask for anything (more),” said Slocum, who made four 3-pointers and also had eight assists.
Slocum was the national freshman of the year at Maryland two years ago. She then transferred to Oregon State and had to redshirt last season.
Pivec added 15 points, nine rebounds and three steals and Kat Tudor had 14 points with four 3s for the Beavers.
Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said his squad got better as the game progressed. “I really liked the way we moved the basketball tonight,” he added.
Devin Stanback had 26 points, with four 3-pointers, and five rebounds for the Mustangs (1-1).
Slocum and Pivec sliced through the lane and kicked out to open shooters, but more than a few wide-open attempts were off for Oregon State. Still, the Beavers shot 49 percent, including 12 for 30 on 3-pointers, while holding Cal Poly to 37 percent shooting.
Cal Poly coach Faith Mimnaugh said that transition defense let her squad down, but added that Oregon State has the talent to be elite again this season.
“As good as they were last year, I think they’re even better with Slocum in their lineup. She just weaved and wiggled and did whatever she wanted on the court and set up her shooters all around her. She was fabulous,” Mimnaugh said.
The Beavers led 23-12 at the end of the first quarter thanks to an 8-0 run, capped by an Aleah Goodman 3-pointer that came 3 seconds before the buzzer.
Oregon State led 36-24 at the break.
In the fourth quarter, Oregon State pushed the lead to 27 points.
Cal Poly: Stanback, a senior center, averaged 8.2 points per game last season. But she could be in for a big year, and also led the Mustangs with 18 points in their season-opening 87-65 win over Academy of Art University on Tuesday. ... Cal Poly was picked to finish fifth in the Big West media poll and sixth in the coaches poll.
Oregon State: The Beavers return four starters from a squad that made the Elite Eight last year. ... The Beavers have made at least the Sweet 16 the last three seasons.
Cal Poly graduated seven athletes last season, when the squad finished second in the Big West, but added 11 new athletes in its latest recruiting class. There are plenty of new faces for Mimnaugh.
“We need our freshmen to act like sophomores pretty quick,” she said. “They are really going to have to step up. But that’s a great opportunity, too.”
Rueck said that one of the strengths of Oregon State is the team’s and players’ versatility.
“I think that’s just who we are. We are going to have to play both small and big,” he added.
Against Cal Poly, the Beavers went small, and 6-foot-1 guard/forward Maddie Washington ended up playing minutes at center - where she hasn’t even played at practice all season. “It just seemed like the right thing to do,” Rueck said.
Cal Poly: At Sacramento State on Sunday.
Oregon State: Hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff on Wednesday.
More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25