CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Mikayla Pivec had 25 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists, and No. 7 Oregon State opened the Preseason WNIT Tournament with an 86-57 victory over UC Irvine on Saturday night.
The Beavers will host Pacific in the second round of the season-opening tournament on Monday.
Freshman Taylor Jones had all of her 20 points in the first half for the Beavers, who went 26-8 and advanced to the Sweet 16 last season for the fourth consecutive year.
Oregon State led 45-31 at the half over the smaller Anteaters (1-1), who were led by Jordan Sanders with 23 points. Sanders averaged 20.3 points per game last season and was among the nation’s top five returning scorers. Lauren Saiki added 14 points.
UC Irvine, picked to finish first in the Big West in the preseason coaches’ poll, opened with a 79-77 victory at home over San Jose State. The Anteaters return eight players from the team that went 21-11 last season. It was the first time Irvine won 20-plus games since the 1984-85 season.
Jones had 14 points as Oregon State jumped out to a 27-17 first quarter lead. The Beavers wrapped up the opening period on a 10-2 run.
Jones, at 6-foot-4, was considered a five-star recruit out of Forney, Texas, with double-doubles in all of her games in her senior year. She had 27 points and 12 rebounds in the Beavers’ opening exhibition game against Union of Tennessee.
She finished with 10 rebounds against Irvine.
The Beavers built a 24-point lead in the third quarter when Aleah Goodman’s 3-pointer made it 64-40. Oregon State led by as many as 35 points in the game.
Sixteen teams are playing in the Preseason WNIT, including five teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last year. Pacific defeated UMKC 89-60 on Friday.
UC Irvine: The Anteaters have not won against a Top 25 opponent since 1985, and they’ve never won versus a team in the top 10. … Irvine’s last victory over a Pac-12 team came in 1999, when they beat Oregon State. It was the only win for the Anteaters in the all-time series.
Oregon State: The Beavers’ No. 7 ranking is the highest in the preseason in program history. … The Beavers dropped an exhibition to the U.S. national team earlier this week, on 81-56. On Saturday No. 1 Oregon defeated Team USA 93-86, becoming the just the second college team ever to beat the national team. … The game was part of a doubleheader at Gill Coliseum, earlier in the day the Oregon men beat Iowa State 80-74.
UC Irvine was eliminated from the tournament, next up is Loyola Marymount on Nov. 19.
The Beavers will have three home games in the preseason WNIT, with Pacific up first on Monday. The next game is set for Thursday at Gill Coliseum.