HOOPS: OSU goes into Pac-12 play on high note

ONE WEEK REMOVED from a scary looking injury, Angus Brandt returned from a hyper-extended knee to not only start but score 21 points and lead Oregon State over Quinnipiac, 76-68. The Beavs were cruising right along in this one in the second half when a Quinnipiac second-half 15-0 run saw the lead change hands.

A tip-in by Devon Collier at the 16:34 mark in the second half had the Beavers up 47-35, but Quinnipiac responded with the 15-0 run.

And the Beavers didn't score for nearly five minutes, until a Challe Barton 3-pointer tied the game at 50 with 11:29 left.

But Oregon State entered the game with the nation's fifth most efficient offense, and the Beavers answered with a 12-1 run that ended with a flagrant 1 foul on Oregon State's Langston Morris-Walker for accidentally striking Ousmane Drame with 7:05 remaining.

Drame had 11 points and 12 rebounds for the Bobcats but missed more than five minutes of the game late due to a bloody nose after being inadvertently struck in the face as he faked a shot near the basket, drawing Morris-Walker into him.

"That was huge. He was playing very inspired. We were sort of drawing energy from him, both from his play and from his enthusiasm," said Quinnipiac Coach Tom Moore.

Shannon made both of the free throws for the Bobcats to make the score 59-53, but Drame didn't return until there was only 1:30 left.

The Beavers held the Bobcats to 35 percent shooting.

Morris-Walker started for the first time for the Beavers at small forward, replacing the slumping Victor Robbins. And it sounds like that's going to continue.

"Our entire team's energy was up because he was in the starting lineup," Robinson said.

Roberto Nelson added 17 points for the Beavers (8-4) and freshman Hallice Cooke came off the bench to score 12.

"Those guys have a lot of confidence in me," Cooke said.

Eric Moreland will sit out two last games in Robinson's suspension for a violation of team rules before he returns.

Oregon State went up 39-29 after a 3-pointer by Nelson with 2:09 left, and that was the score at the half.

Brandt scored 17 of his points in the first half.

The Bobcats outrebounded the Beavers 43-36 to continue a streak in which Quinnipiac has not been outrebounded by an opponent in its last 43 games, by far the longest streak in the nation.

Quinnipiac joined the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference this year had never played against a Pac-12 opponent before Sunday's game.

"It feels good," Angus Brandt said of his knee, adding that he was getting used to wearing a brace.

Last year, he tore his ACL in November, ending his season.

Craig Robinson said Brandt could have played the previous game. "I didn't want to put him in a position where he was out there not sure of himself, because that's when you do get hurt, when you're holding back," Robinson said.

The Beavers open Pac-12 play on Thursday at No. 21 Colorado.

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