SALT LAKE CITY — Ruth Hamblin scored 14 points and Jaime Wesiner added 13 to help No. 7 Oregon State clinch at least a share of the Pac-12 title with a 52-42 victory over Utah on Sunday.
Oregon State can win the title outright with either another victory in its final two games or a loss by Arizona State and Stanford.
The Beavers (25-2, 15-1 Pac-12) shot just 38 percent from the field , but were able to survive behind a strong defensive effort against Utah.
Joeseta Fatuesi had 12 points to lead the Utes and Taryn Wicijowski added 10 points and eight rebounds. It wasn't enough to help Utah (9-18, 3-13 Pac-12) overcome its own offensive woes. Facing the Pac-12 leader in field goal percentage defense, the Utes shot just 34.7 percent from the field and missed all five 3-pointers they attempted.
Fatuesi gave Oregon State a little trouble inside early. She scored layups on back-to-back possessions to help Utah jump out to a quick 6-2 lead.
The Beavers struggled to generate offense early, missing nine of their first 12 shots to open the game. Those shooting struggles soon proved insignificant to the drought Utah suffered later in the half. After a promising start, the Utes went just over 10 minutes without scoring. During that stretch, Utah turned the ball over five times and missed 10 consecutive shots.
Oregon State did not waste the chance to create a little breathing room. Samantha Siegner converted a tying layup and Ali Gibson followed with a go-ahead 3-pointer a minute later to spark an 11-0 run for the Beavers. Siegner capped the spurt with another layup to put Oregon State ahead 20-11 with 3:40 left before halftime.
Utah finally got on track offensively just before halftime. The Utes trimmed their deficit to four early in the second half when Tanaeya Boclair drained a jumper and converted a three-point play a minute apart to make it 26-22. Devin Hunter and Hamblin each scored on layups to keep Utah from overtaking the Beavers.
The Utes cut the deficit to four twice more and only trailed by five after Wicijowski hit a jumper to cut the lead to 37-32. That's as close as Utah could get the rest of the way.
Oregon State used an 11-4 run to shut the door on a comeback, culminating on a 3-pointer from Weisner that gave the Beavers a 48-36 advantage with 5:04 remaining.