CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State coach Scott Rueck believes his team gained some confidence and played their best game of the year despite falling short against No. 2 Notre Dame.
"This team competed for 40 minutes, just laser focus. . We know we can play with anybody," Rueck said after the Beavers lost 70-58 to the Irish on Sunday.
Jamie Weisner led Oregon State (8-4) with 18 points, and Ruth Hamblin added 12 points, eight rebounds and tied a school record with nine blocks.
"They definitely have elite athletes on the perimeter, so I was just there as our second line of defense," she said, adding that the game was the best of her life.
Weisner was also pleased with her team's play.
"We had a lot of turnovers down the stretch. We totally could have won that game," Weisner said.
Kayla McBride had 20 points for the Irish (11-0) and Natalie Achonwa had 16 and eight rebounds.
Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw felt her unbeaten Notre Dame squad hadn't been tested this season before this game.
"It's a huge win for us," she said. "It's great to be behind and have a close game at the end and see how we respond."
Notre Dame trailed at halftime for the first time this season, 31-33.
McBride said the road game before a hostile crowd of more than 4,000 people felt like an NCAA tournament matchup.
"I know we have a target on our back and everybody is going to bring us their best game," she said. "They played so hard, and I respect that a lot."
McBride added that she expected the Beavers to make "a lot of noise" in the Pac-12.
Oregon State didn't trail in the first half afterAli Gibson 3-pointer with 13:06 left. The Beavers led 26-33 after Hamblin's put-back with 55 seconds left.
The Irish scored the next five points to pull within two at the break, and then scored the first six points of the second half to take the lead for good.