Eight was almost enough.
Arizona started with eight healthy, available players but ended with only six because of two foul-outs and three others had four fouls by the time Oregon State escaped with a 73-70 victory in two overtimes at Corvallis, Ore., on Friday night.
The gritty Wildcats (10-6, 2-2 Pac-12) came up short to the very end — Jada Williams missed a 3-pointer in the waning seconds of double-overtime — despite being outmanned but coach Adia Barnes is not one for excuses, especially when the Beavers dominated in rebounding 48-31.
The equalizer was Oregon State (13-2, 2-2) committing 25 turnovers that led to 22 points for Arizona.
“I know they’re tired. I know they’re trying,” Barnes said during the 1290-AM postgame interview, reflecting on her team after Oregon State’s work on the boards included 15 offensive rebounds that resulted in 18 second-chance points.
“That’s just like a little bit of a focus and effort thing.”
Raegan Beers played like a Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate with 20 points and 20 rebounds.
Her relentless play was aided by the officials failing to call a foul on her in 42 minutes of playing time, yet Arizona post players Isis Beh and Breya Cunningham each fouled out.
Fellow frontcourt player Esmery Martinez finished with four fouls as did Kailyn Gilbert and Williams.
“We win the game if we box out a little bit better,” Barnes reasoned.
The most painful example for Arizona is when Oregon State had two offensive rebounds following two missed 3-pointers before Talia von Oelhoffen nailed a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 60.
Gilbert’s fadeaway jumper against two defenders did not fall at the buzzer, forcing overtime.
Gilbert and Williams were the only two Arizona players who scored in the two overtimes — a total of 10 points with Williams’ four points coming at the free-throw line.
Arizona was 3 of 11 from the field in the two overtimes.
Veteran Helena Pueyo did not attempt a shot in those 10 minutes and finished with no points in the game while missing three shots.
“We’re getting better. We’re doing great things. We’re bearing down and playing some great defense,” Barnes said. “I thought we just got a little bit — not selfish, down the stretch, is the word — but trying to win the game on our own.
“A lot of forced shots when we don’t need to. That’s not what got us here. So I think a little bit smarter, distributing the ball better in the overtimes and then boxing out. … But I’d say boxing out was one, two and three and everything else was four to 10.”
Beh, who did not play last week against Colorado and Utah because of concussion protocol, fouled out with 2:10 left in overtime, sending Beers to the line.
Beers made both free throws to give Oregon State a 64-62 lead.
Gilbert than made a contested layup in the lane over Beers to tie the game with 51 seconds left.
Neither team scored toward the end of the overtime.
Williams missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.
Beers had seven points in the second overtime, five at the free-throw line.
Arizona made only one shot in the last five minutes, a layup by Gilbert with 1:19 left to cut the lead to 71-70.
Kennedie Shuler missed a 3-pointer, giving Arizona a chance to take the lead but Gilbert missed a jumper with 18 seconds left. She fouled von Oelhoffen after Beers grabbed the rebound.
Von Oelhoffen made both free throws with 13 seconds left to give Oregon State the 73-70 lead.
Williams then missed a contested straight-away 3-pointer as time ran down.
Martinez’s 3-pointer with 1:03 left in regulation gave her 20 points and put Arizona ahead 56-52.
After two missed free thows by Beers, Gilbert made one of two free throws with 44 seconds left to increase the lead to 57-52.
Dominika Paurova made her first shot of the night before Williams converted two free throws with 35 seconds remaining to give Arizona a 59-54 lead.
Adlee Blacklock made a 3-pointer following an offensive rebound with 21.9 seconds left.
Oregon State was in a 1-of-8 stretch from the field before the baskets by Paurova and Blacklock.
Gilbert was promptly fouled after a timeout following Blacklock’s 3-pointer, and she made one of two free throws to put Arizona ahead 60-57 with 21 seconds remaining.
That set up von Oelhoffen’s 3-pointer after two offensive rebounds by the Beavers.
Arizona took a 29-25 lead at halftime despite three players drawing two fouls in the first half — Williams, Martinez and Beh.
Gilbert made a shot in the lane at the buzzer to give the Wildcats the four-point lead at the break.
The third quarter has not been the best for Arizona. That’s the only quarter the Wildcats were outscored (265-253) all season entering the game.
The Beavers topped Arizona 16-9 in the third quarter, closing with a 14-4 run, to take a 41-38 lead into the fourth quarter.
Arizona opened its biggest lead of the game — 34-27 — with 7:59 left in the third quarter on two free throws by Gilbert.
But Oregon State rallied with a 9-2 run to tie the game at 36 with 2:27 remaining.
The Beavers shot 54.5 percent from the field and committed only two turnvers in the quarter after having 13 in the first half.
Arizona is next at Oregon (10-7, 1-3) on Sunday at noon.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.