HOOPS: Big opportunity for Beavs

OREGON STATE FACES one of their biggest basketball opportunities in a long time when they travel to Seattle to take on Washington on Saturday. The Beavs are rising, but so are the Huskies.

Whoever wins this game is going to be stake their claim to the upper half of the conference standings.

Whoever loses gets to cite that familiar refrain of, 'Here we go again.'

A win would mark the first time Oregon State was above .500 through seven games in Pac-12 play since 1993. It would also be the first Oregon State win over Washington in Seattle since 2003.

And Oregon State (11-7, 3-3 Pac-12) would get its first road sweep over the Washington schools since 2002 when it faces the Huskies (12-8, 4-3) at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

Some are saying Oregon State and Washington are the two teams no one in the Pac-12 wants to play right now. It's not hard to see why from the Oregon State perspective.

OSU has begun to really hit their stride with Eric Moreland's return. The forward and likely future NBA draft pick has posted a double-double in three consecutive games against Pac-12 foes (Stanford, Cal, Oregon.)

Meanwhile, the Beavs have shown good scoring balance from both inside and outside and have outrebounded all all six of their Pac-12 opponents. Oregon State is ninth in the nation in field goal percentage (.496) and seventh in three-point field goal percentage (.410). Their shooting beyond the arc leads the Pac-12.

Roberto Nelson leads the conference in scoring at 21.7 points per game and has a chance to become the first Oregon State player to lead the league in that category since Gary Payton in 1990. And Hallice Cooke leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.564). Cooke has knocked down 22 three-pointers this season.

In the past four games, center Angus Brandt has averaged 15.5 points and knocked down 17-of-18 free throws (94.4 percent).

The biggest question surrounding the Beavs of late has been Devon Collier coming off the bench the past four games. His scoring has dropped off but he had his best game as a reserve last time out against WSU with 10 points. Collier (1,326) is now 11th on Oregon State's career scoring list.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • Langston Morris-Walker doesn't shoot a lot of treys but he has gone 9-for-13 (69.2 percent) from beyond the arc in the six Pac-12 games to lead the conference.

  • The Huskies are 10-2 at home this season. The Huskies shot 57.8 percent from the floor in their most recent win (Oregon) and recorded assists on 17 of their 26 field goals. They also shot well from beyond the arc 12-21.

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