Collier Has Career Night In Homecoming To Lead Beavers To Victory
Nov. 16, 2012
NEW YORK, N.Y. - It was the Devon Collier Show at the World's Most Famous Arena on Friday night, as the junior forward had career highs with 27 points and 14 rebounds to lead Oregon State to a hard-fought 66-58 win over Purdue in the consolation game of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Wounded Warrior Project at Madison Square Garden.
With the win, Oregon State (3-1) finishes in third place in the 2K Sports Classic after suffering its first loss of the season against Alabama on Thursday night in the semifinals.
"I couldn't be more proud of this team," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "To come back from a tough loss like we had yesterday and to fight it out in a very physical game, very rough game, to be able to weather the storm that a good Purdue team put on us there in the second half. And to hold on to our guts and make plays down the stretch, we want and have changed the culture of the program."
Collier came off the bench for the fourth consecutive game and quickly went to work, scoring 13 straight points to turn a 7-6 deficit into a 19-13 Beaver lead that became a 22-13 advantage when Ahmad Starks drained a long three-pointer. The lefty had three three-point plays and a monster dunk right-handed during his personal 13-point run, and took 17 points and eight boards to the locker room at halftime with the Beavers leading, 39-28.
The Bronx, N.Y. native made his return to the New York area a memorable one, finishing with his fourth career double-double and back-to-back 20-point games after going for 21 against Alabama. He averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds and made 18-of-24 free throws in the two games and was selected to the 2K Sports Classic All-Tournament Team.
"This means a lot, especially coming from a bad loss yesterday," said Collier, who attended St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, N.J. "Coach (Robinson) got us ready, told us to brush the game off, to come up with a new mentality and just make up for the mistakes that we made yesterday. And that's what we did."
The Beavers built a 15-point lead early in the second half before Purdue started chipping away to cut it to 54-51 when Angus Brandt went down with an injury. The Boilermakers tied the game at 56 but Collier made two free throws and Eric Moreland nailed a three-pointer, his first of the season and second in his career, to give Oregon State a 61-56 lead.
After a 30-second timeout by Purdue, Collier threw down a dunk, and Roberto Nelson and Starks combined to make three free throws to complete a game-ending 10-2 run for the 66-58 win.
The Beavers outrebounded Purdue 47-36 and controlled the ball better than they did against Alabama in Thursday's three-point loss.
"We've always been outrebounded, and we have a frontcourt that takes rebounding very seriously, very personally, and they took this as a challenge," Robinson said.
Collier agreed: "They're a very aggressive team and we weren't going to let them push us around, so we responded well and played physical with them."
Nelson had 10 points, Moreland finished with seven points and nine rebounds and Brandt had nine and nine a day after recording his first career double-double.
"The difference in the game was rebounding in the first half by Oregon State," Purdue head coach Matt Painter said. "I thought they came out and had their way with us on the interior and (Devon) Collier was the player of the game. He was quick to the basket and physical.
"We came back and tied the game but I think it took a lot out of us to fight to get back in the position, and they were able to make plays down the stretch. But we were in the position to win the game and we didn't."
Brandt injured his right knee and will be evaluated by team doctors when the Beavers return to Corvallis.
Oregon State has eight days off before playing Montana State at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 25 at Gill Coliseum in the Third Annual Nike N7 Game presented by Spirit Mountain Casino.
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