CORVALLIS, Ore. — For Oregon State, penetrating the paint opens up the 3-point shot.
"We attack to score, and then when people have to help on us," point guard Destiny Slocum said.
Added guard Mikayla Pivec: "That's when the 3s are even more open."
Slocum made four 3-pointers and scored 22 points and No. 8 Oregon State built an early lead and cruised past Saint Mary's 89-56 on Saturday night. Pivec added 19 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, and Aleah Goodman scored 12 points off the bench, including four 3-pointers, for the Beavers (3-0).
"When this team starts to roll, there's so many weapons shooting the basketball," Oregon State coach Scott Rueck said.
Sam Simons had 16 points and Sydney Raggio added eight points and nine rebounds for the Gaels (2-1).
"They just rolled us at the beginning. ... I don't think we played the best that we could, but there's room for improvement," Saint Mary's coach Paul Thomas said.
Oregon State shot 48.5 percent, including 15 for 29 on 3-pointers, and most of the Beavers' attempts from beyond the arc were wide open. Saint Mary's was held to 34 percent shooting and Oregon State out-rebounded the Gaels 50-31.
The Beavers shot 7 for 9 on 3-pointers early, including a first-quarter buzzer-beater by Pivec, to take a 30-12 lead. Saint Mary's was held scoreless for four minutes in the quarter.
The Beavers went to the break ahead 48-26.
In the fourth quarter, Oregon State stretched the lead to as many as 36 points.
Saint Mary's: The Gaels returned 12 players and four starters off a team that finished second in the West Coast Conference and made the WNIT last season. ... Raggio averaged a team-leading 16.5 points in Saint Mary's first two games.
Oregon State: Janessa Thropay, fresh off an eight-steal game, started at center in place of 6-foot-8 Joanna Grymek. Thropay stands 6-foot-2. She finished with two points and five rebounds, while Grymek had seven points and seven rebounds.
SPACING: Saint Mary's planned to chase Oregon State off the 3-point line, but that didn't happen. "It's hard to do that when they are effective in getting the ball into the lane via the pass or the drive," Thomas said. "I mean, (No.) 24, Slocum, she's just incredible about making two guard one. And then what makes her even better is she always finds the open player. She always finds the open player. Pivec does that. They just do a good job of keeping you spaced out and we did not handle it well," he added.
DOWN UNDER: Saint Mary's has five players from Australia, including Simons, who has scored in double figures in all of the Gaels' games this season. Thomas said he knew what he was getting with the freshman guard. "With all the experience she has internationally, she's just got this savviness," he said.
ASSISTS: Through their first two games, the Beavers had 52 assists on 66 field goals. On Saturday, Oregon State had 20 assists on 33 field goals. "This team's ability to pass the ball is incredible," Rueck said. "The way that ball moves is really special to watch and it creates high percentage shots."
Oregon State plays Western Kentucky in the Vancouver Showcase in Vancouver, British Columbia, on Thursday.
Saint Mary's faces Milwaukee in the Saint Mary's Thanksgiving Classic on Friday.