KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Marie Gulich scored 21 of her 29 points in the second half
and grabbed 15 rebounds as No. 6 seed Oregon State beat No. 11 Western Kentucky
82-58 in the first round of the women’s NCAA Tournament on Friday.
Oregon State (24-7) plays the winner of the Tennessee-Liberty game in the second
round of the Lexington Regional on Sunday. The Beavers are attempting to reach their
third straight Sweet 16.
The 6-foot-5 Gulich finished 11 of 15 from the field, with a steady stream of layups
and short jumpers highlighting her second-half surge.
The national leaders in 3-point field goal percentage, OSU used its precision from
distance to build an early advantage.
The Beavers began gaining separation midway through the first quarter with an 11-0
run that gave OSU a 21-9 lead. Sophomore guard Kat Tudor sparked the outburst by
scoring eight straight points, including back-to-back 3-pointers.
OSU’s defense forced WKU into deep 3-pointers and contested jumpers to help pull
away. Tudor’s fourth 3-pointer of the first half gave the Beavers a 46-27 advantage
right before the break.
Gulich took over for OSU in the second half, running the break and getting baskets
inside to keep the Beavers comfortably ahead. She scored 17 points in the third
quarter alone to give OSU a 68-43 lead.
Despite a decided crowd advantage encouraging the Lady Toppers to make a run, WKU
was never able to threaten the Beavers and suffered its sixth straight first-round
NCAA Tournament loss.
Tashia Brown finished with 17 points on 7 of 21 shooting to lead WKU while Ivy Brown
Gulich was one of four Beavers in double-figures scoring. Tudor had 19 points,
Mikayla Pivec had 15 and Katie McWilliams finished with 10.
OSU outrebounded WKU 48-27, and limited the Lady Toppers to 32.8 shooting from the