Beavs blocked out in L.A.

CRAIG ROBINSON NEEDS a reset button. Something he can push after Oregon State digs themselves a deep hole that cuts the just-produced deficit in half. After OSU went down by 18 in the first to UCLA on Saturday, they made a spirited run. But in the end, as is so often the case, a team just can't sustain after so much effort to get back to within shouting distance.

And so it was at UCLA, who dealt Oregon State a 69-61 setback.

It wasn't that close.

Oregon State (9-15, 4-9 Pac-10) fell behind by 19 points in the first half, and then by 20 in the second. UCLA logged 16 blocks in the game. And OSU shot 32.9 percent from the floor, after being in the high 20's much of the game.

The most interesting parts came in the last 10 minutes of the first half, when OSU used an 18-5 run on the way to intermission to make it a five point game at halftime.

They did it with defense, harassing UCLA into turnovers and errant, rushed misses from the floor. Oregon State forced 26 UCLA turnovers, yet still couldn't turn things in their favor for very long.

UCLA cruised by OSU to open the game -- the Beavs mustered all of six points for the first 12 minutes of the game, trialing 25-6 with 7:54 left. After OSU cut it to five at the break, UCLA made it a 10-point margin about five minutes in, and then a 20-point gap with 7:40 left in the second half.

Jared Cunningham had 14 points, and Devon Collier and Roberto Nelson chipped in 10 each. OSU has now lost three in a row and nine of 11.

Oregon State has a week to shake off a three game losing streak and get back to playing how they were when they bested Arizona and Washington earlier this season -- the Beavs remain the only Pac-10 team who has accomplished that this season -- with stout defense and an offense that plays with more precision.

The Beavs, put simply, have looked sloppy in their play of late, particularly in passing and rebounding, and that just won't do in the Pac-10. And that's got to be frustrating for Beaver fans because Oregon State has shown themselves to be quite capable of beating anyone in-conference this season -- if they play their game.

They don't need everything to go perfectly, but they do need to play a more focused brand of basketball, something that has been lacking and was again on this road trip to L.A.

Next Saturday, Oregon faces the suddenly surging Ducks (12-12, 5-7 Pac-10), who beat OSU 63-59 on Jan. 22. It would be great time to right the ship.

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