Beavers Drop Heartbreaker To Oregon, 74-73, In 337th Civil War
Feb. 26, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Ahmad Starks scored a team-high 18 points and Angus Brandt added 16, but Oregon State lost a heartbreaker to Oregon, 74-73, Sunday night at Gill Coliseum before a sellout crowd of 9,604 in the 337th Civil War Series presented by the Northwest Ford Dealers and PacificSource Health Plans.
The Beavers (15-13, 5-11) rallied from 10 points down and had an opportunity to tie the game, but a Challe Barton three-point attempt with three seconds left bounced off the rim.
"That was a classic rivalry battle and we came out on the losing end," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "I don't think it was because of effort. I was really pleased with our intensity, our effort and our hard work. We finally came out matching the other team's effort. The crowd was terrific. I think what it came down to was intangibles. It was the loose balls and the rebounds that you have to get."
Devon Collier, who missed most of the first half after suffering a knee injury, made a rebound-layup with 40 seconds remaining to close the gap to 73-71. On the ensuing Ducks possession, OSU played solid defense but after a missed three attempt by E.J. Singler, Beaver forward Eric Moreland was called for a foul while battling for position for the rebound. The Ducks' Olu Ashaolu made one of two free throws setting up the final seconds.
"Our play depended on whether he was to make it or miss it," Starks said about the final Beavers' possession. "He missed the shot so we wanted to run the ball up and try to find myself, or someone else, for a three-point shot. Challe had the ball and he had the best look at that moment. Jared was being denied and I was being denied. Challe was wide open and it was a good look. He didn't make the shot but it was a good possession I thought."
OSU played much of the first half without the Pac-12's leading scorer Jared Cunningham, who was pinned with three early fouls, including picking up one on a double technical foul. Cunningham scored 13 points for the game, including a rebound slam dunk near the end of the game to close the scoring.
Collier tied a career-high with 11 rebounds and Moreland added nine points on 3-of-3 shooting from the field, including his first career three-pointer, and 2-of-2 from the line.
"It was massive," Brandt said about Collier returning in the second half. "No one likes to see a teammate go down, especially when it's the knee. For him to come back and play like nothing had happened shows not only his toughness, but also what he is willing to put himself through for this team and how much he wants to win. I think the whole team got a boost from him coming back in the second half."
The game featured 12 lead changes and 11 ties.
"The way I look at them is they get worse," Robinson said about the close losses. "You would have thought the four-overtime loss would have been the worse, but each time you get close it gets harder. My job is to keep these guys' confidence up and have them understand that we are not that far away from competing with absolutely everybody in this league. I really like the fight in these guys, I like their preparation and I just have to work on their execution."
The Ducks (20-8, 11-5) were led by Garrett Sim's game-high 25 points.
Oregon State stays at home this Thursday at 7 p.m. against the Utah Utes in a game that will be available live to Beaver Nation Online subscribers. The 2011-12 regular season ends Saturday against the Colorado Buffaloes at 1 p.m. and will be televised nationally on FSN and regionally on ROOT Sports.
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