HOOPS: Beavs start slow, twice, in loss

OREGON STATE's slow starts in both the first and second halves were the difference in the loss at Oregon to open Pac-12 play. The Ducks opened on a 10-0 run to start the game but the Beavs battled back to trail just 29-27 at the break. But in a little more than five minutes in the second half, Oregon had pushed it to a double-digit lead as OSU lost the Pac-12 opener 71-59 on the road.

The Beavs' entered the game tops in the conference in scoring defense (56.5) and ranked No. 11 nationally in field goal percentage defense (35.5).

So much for that.

The Ducks shot 48.9 percent from the floor for the game, hitting on 11 of 20 (55.0 percent) shots in the second half.

Oregon State meanwhile was 19 of 54 (35.2 percent) from the field, its poorest shooting effort in the last nine games.

Add in the fact Oregon enjoyed a 35-28 rebounding advantage and it's surprising the game was anyone's to win after Malcolm Duvivier hit a jumper to make it 38-25 early in the second half.

But the Beavs were living dangerously all night and it finally got away from them.

The Ducks' Joseph Young scored 11 of his 27 points in the first five minutes of the second half to help Oregon start to pull away for good.

Langston Morris-Walker scored 16 points to lead the Beavers (9-4, 0-1), and Gary Payton II finished with 12 points. It was the ninth time Morris-Walker reached double figures this season for Oregon State (9-4, 0-1).

Payton also had five rebounds and four assists, reaching double figures for the 11th time in 13 games. Junior forward Olaf Schaftenaar added 10 points, all in the second half.

“The thing we’re disappointed about was we lacked a little focus and fire at the start,” OSU coach Wayne Tinkle said. “We did a great job of battling and showing some character to get back in it but in the second half we just kept shooting ourselves in the foot with defensive mistakes.”

Oregon State made its last run at the Ducks with five straight points to cut the deficit to 60-52 on Morris-Walker's layup with 7:26 left to play. Then the Beavers switched to a 1-3-1 zone that pressured Oregon to find a good shot.

But Oregon hit a trey and more importantly, they looked to be more aggressive on defense all night.

The Beavers, who made only two of their first 18 shots from the field, stayed close because Oregon kept fouling them and putting them on the line.

Oregon State closed the half on an 18-9 run, pulling even at 27 on Morris-Walker's banked 20-footer with less than a minute to go.

They finished the first half down only 29-27 despite shooting just 29.6 percent.

  • The Beavers were outrebounded for just the fifth time this season, 35-28. They shot just 26.7 percent from the three-point line and had 12 turnovers to Oregon’s 14.

  • The rematch is set for March 3 at 8 p.m. at Gill Coliseum in the regular season finale for both teams.

  • UP NEXT: Oregon State hosts Arizona State on Thursday night.

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