CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Alissa Pili scored 23 points and No. 7 Utah withstood a furious rally to defeat Oregon State 75-73 in overtime on Friday night.
Trailing by three points with 0.4 seconds remaining in overtime, Oregon State’s Timea Gardiner was fouled on a 3-point attempt. Gardiner missed the first free throw, made the second, and intentionally missed the third, but the Beavers were unable to get the rebound as time expired.
Gianna Kneepkens scored 15 of her 17 points in the second half. for the Utes (19-2, 9-2 Pac-12), who are off to the best 21-game start in school history. Tailia von Oelhoffen added 17 points for Oregon State (11-11, 3-8), which has lost four of its last five games.
Gardiner’s inside basket with 10.1 seconds left tied the game and brought Oregon State all the way back from an 18-point second-quarter deficit. The Beavers finished regulation on a 12-2 run to force overtime.
Oregon State took its first lead of the game on Bendu Yeaney’s layup to open the scoring in the extra period.
After Yeaney’s basket put Oregon State up 70-69, Kneepkens converted a reverse layup, and two free throws on the Utes’ next possession to put Utah on top 73-70.
Beers scored inside to cut the lead to one, but Pili converted two free throws with 19.4 seconds remaining to give Utah a 75-72 advantage.
Utah: The Utes have never been past the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, but this team could have what it takes to clear that hurdle. Utah is currently projected as a No. 2 seed in the tournament. Pili has been a difference maker. The 6-2 junior forward has scored at least 20 points in the last six games.
Oregon State: The Beavers are 2-6 against ranked opponents, and that includes a three-point loss Jan. 27 at then-No. 3 Stanford. Oregon State will need to get hot down the stretch to make it back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2021.
Utes: At Oregon on Sunday.
Oregon State: Hosts Colorado on Sunday.