SEATTLE (AP) — Sydney Wiese kept shooting because eventually one had to fall. Because all season she was the one coming up with the shots Oregon State needed in a stunning turnaround for the program.
By the time Wiese finally hit — with 90 seconds left in the game — South Carolina was on its way to the Sweet 16 and the Beavers were left to analyze what was a special season.
"Losing is the greatest teacher," Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said. "I'm motivated right now to get back at it. There's lessons. I think that's the biggest one, confidence. They got a taste of it."
Aleighsa Welch had 21 points and 11 rebounds, Tiffany Mitchell scored all 20 of her points in the second half, and top-seeded South Carolina used its size and athleticism to overwhelm No. 9 seed Oregon State 78-69 on Tuesday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
Jamie Weisner led Oregon State (24-11) with 21 points, including five 3-pointers, before fouling out. Gabriella Hanson added 16 points.
But the tone was set when Wiese was unable to score because of South Carolina's rotating defense and missing open looks.
Coming off a career-high 26 in the first round win over Middle Tennessee, Wiese struggled. She missed her first 12 shots before hitting a 3 with 1:30 left that cut the South Carolina lead to 66-57. She finished with eight points.
"I don't know why that bothered her tonight, but that's basketball. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't," Rueck said. "That's not taking away from them in any way, I'm just saying that she's been everybody's target all year and she's managed to play through it. She still got some good looks, but they're such good athletes on South Carolina's team."
Oregon State's rally came far too late and the Beavers were unable to join a select list of No. 9 seeds to reach the round of 16. Notre Dame and Arkansas in 1998 and Michigan State in 2009 remain the only No. 9 seeds to reach the Sweet 16.
There is plenty of promise ahead in Corvallis. The Beavers have only one senior on their roster and now the experience of the NCAA tournament just four years after the program was in shambles.
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