Hoops: Beaver D falls flat at home

THERE WAS A point at the end of the first half in the Oregon State-Washington game that offered a prefect preview of what was to come in the second half. The Beavers produced all the defensive strength of a wet paper towel as the clock wound down, allowing lots of room and an open look. UW cashed in on that occasion, and many more times against the Beavers in the 86-62 loss at Gill Coliseum.

Oregon State allowed the UW to shoot a scalding 57.4 percent from the field.

And had the Huskies not gotten stuck on 84 points towards the end, long after the outcome had been decided, it would have been worse.

Washington was 1-7 in Pac-12 road games coming into this one, and the Beavers were 5-1 in Pac-12 home games. But that doesn't matter when you allow the opponent the kinds of looks Oregon State did on Saturday.

But Oregon State's Craig Robinson wouldn't go so far as to say the focus this coming week would be on the defensive end.

"No, I think the focus in practice is going to be on winning the next game," said Robinson. "And that might include work on defense...the focus is going to be on everything, it's not just going to be on defense."

IT WAS THE Huskies first win on the road since the Pac-12 season opener on Jan. 2. The 24-point win was Washington's largest margin of victory this season. And Washington (15-13, 7-8) had six players score in double figures.

All of that combined for a body blow of a game once the Huskies began to pull away about 11 minutes into the game. Oregon State fell to 14-12, 6-8 in Pac-12 play. Washington improved to 15-13, 7-8.

The Beavs actually looked good for a while. The Beavs led 25-19 with 9:19 remaining in the first half and were shooting 64.3 percent from the field. Senior guard Roberto Nelson, the Pac-12 scoring leader, had just tallied 11 of his 13 first-half points.

BUT THE Oregon State defense, which to that point wasn't exactly great shakes, was about to get seize up completely. Washington scored 11 unanswered points and reclaimed the lead 30-25. It was part of a larger run, as Washington closed out the half with a 25-8 blitz to take a 44-33 lead into halftime.

Washington out-rebounded OSU 23-14 in the first half. For the game, the smaller Washington squad outrebounded the Beavers by a 43-23 margin.

"We just lost our blue-collar mojo in this game," said Robinson. "We're more a of a scrappier team when it comes to (rebounding)."

Nelson finished with 17 points while Devon Collier and Angus Brandt each had 10 for Oregon State.

When three Beavs have three players hit double figures, they usually win. And they usually win at home.

But all bets are off when OSU has a defensive outing like this one.

  • UW outscored Oregon State 52-36 scoring in the paint.

  • Oregon State made only 9-of-22 attempts from the free-throw line. Washington, despite winning by 24 points, had very few trips to the charity stripe, making 4-of-6 tries.

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