TV: Pac-12 Network
This is gonna be tough. Oregon State may be diminished without senior guard Sydney Wiese, but this is still a team that has only lost three games - by 3 points to Tennessee, by 1 point to Notre Dame, and by 20 to UCLA . . . wait, they lost by 20 to UCLA? TRANSITIVE PROPERTY WIN COMING UP!
Oregon State has played four Pac-12 games against above-average offensive teams, and held their opponent to below 50 points in three of those games. Granted, pace has something to do with that, but the bottom line is that Oregon State defends really well.
G Katie McWilliams, 6'2'' Freshman
G Jamie Weisner, 5'10'' Senior
G Gabriella Hanson, 5'11'' Junior
F Deven Hunter, 6'3'' Senior
C Ruth Hamblin, 6'6'' Senior
F Samantha Siegner, 6'3'' Senior
F Marie Gulich, 6'5'' Sophomore
F Kolbie Orum, 6'3'' Junior
G Jen'Von'Ta Hill, 5'8'' Senior
OSU has a weirdly unbalanced roster, with 6 total guards and 7 true post players 6'3'' or higher. Two of the guards played very limited minutes prior to Wiese's injury, so now OSU has to choose between going deeper into their bench than they would prefer, or playing their starting guards heavy minutes. Sound familiar, Cal fans?
You know all about Weisner and Hamblin - one a sharpshooting guard, the other a high-efficiency, 3-block-per-game monster inside. In Wiese's absence OSU has been playing point-guard by committee, and they have had turnover issues.
But they do two things very well. They outshoot almost everybody (50.7 eFG% vs. 33.4 eFG% allowed) and they dominate on the glass with their collection of post talent (a crazy +16/game, although that's influenced by the number of missed shots their defense forces).
Our Computer Overlords Predict
Sagarin Predictor: Oregon State by 14.2 points
The computer overlords are cruel dictators who have no sympathy for an imbalanced roster due to unexpected personnel changes.
Keys to the game
Some semblance of glass equity - Not particularly likely considering OSU's depth advantage in the post, but necessary if we want to entertain a big road upset.
Anigwe draws fouls on Hamblin and not vice-versa - Hamblin does occasionally get into foul trouble, and I suspect that the quicker Anigwe could give her fits . . . If Hamblin doesn't muscle her way into a couple of fouls called on Anigwe before she gets the chance. Meanwhile, OSU's back-up posts are pretty good, but not in the same league as Hamblin on both ends.
OSU has a miserable night from deep - OSU takes plenty of 3s, a few times per year they have a miserable shooting night. Hope for one tonight.
Force a ton of turnovers, maybe? In theory, throw a bunch of weird zones and ball pressure at OSU's collection of guards playing point guard - UCLA crushed OSU by forcing a ton of turnovers. UCLA also has the depth, personnel, and speed to execute that type of defensive game plan. I don't think that Cal can do the same thing that UCLA did, but it's worth noting that it's a possible avenue to attempt.