OSU hoops looks for second straight win
Published: Friday, February 15, 2013
Updated: Friday, February 15, 2013 01:02
Fresh off a one-point victory over Washington State, the Oregon State men’s basketball team will look to win consecutive conference games for the first time this season when it takes on the University of Washington on Saturday. Here are 10 notes on the game:
1. The Huskies’ last win against the Beavers happened over a year ago — a three-point victory back on Feb. 12, 2012 in Corvallis. Since then, the Beavers are 2-0 against the Huskies, including an upset win in last year’s Pac-12 Tournament that essentially prevented Washington from getting into the NCAA Tournament.
2. The Beavers’ win over UW on Jan. 23 was their first Pac-12 win of the season and snapped a season-long, five-game losing streak.
3. After Wednesday night’s 17-point performance, Roberto Nelson has now led the Beavers in scoring in seven of their last nine games. Jared Cunningham left Nelson some big shoes to fill, and the junior guard finally seems to be filling them, averaging 21.8 points over the last five games and 17.1 on the season — sixth-best in the Pac-12.
4. Playing the Huskies exorcised some sort of shooting demon from Nelson, who only shot 21.4 percent against Washington the last time these two teams met. Since then, he has made 57.9 percent of his field goal attempts.
5. Washington has lost its last three games, and seven of its last eight after starting off Pac-12 play 4-0. The Beavers know a thing or two about losing streaks and would love nothing more than to impart their knowledge on the Huskies.
6. Aziz N’Diaye, Washington’s seven-foot center, is one of the best big men in the Pac-12. N’Diaye averages 10.6 points and 9.8 rebounds per game while leading the conference in field goal percentage — making 61.6 percent of his shots from the field. OSU forward Eric Moreland, who averages 10.7 boards per game, will definitely have his hands full.
7. Although both teams have the same record, Washington has a better RPI (86) than the Beavers (166).
8. Washington may be in a downward spiral, but it is still important for Oregon State to come out with intensity in the second half. When these two teams last met, Oregon State saw a 10-point halftime lead dwindle down to a one-point lead with 10 minutes to go in the game. The Beavers have struggled at the beginning of the second half all season.
9. Though the Beavers are coming off a win in Pullman, they’re still a team that’s struggled on the road most of the season. Finishing in the top half of the conference is out of the question, but the Beavers could still string together a few victories and end the regular season on a high note. To do that, they will have to win on the road though, as four of their final six games will be played away from Gill Coliseum.
10. Speaking of road struggles, the last time OSU won in Seattle, Joe Burton was in sixth grade. The Beavers haven’t beaten Washington on their court since the 2002-03 season.
Alex Crawford, sports reporter