Beavs look to bust streak in Civil War

PERHAPS OREGON STATE's best chance for their first conference win comes in the next two games, if the Pac-10 standings are any indication. OSU goes up against the two teams directly above them in the conference standings -- No. 8 Oregon and No. 9 Cal -- the next two times out on the hardcourt. The big question is this: Can the Beavs finish what they start in the first half?

And if the Beavs (6-14, 0-8 in conference) cannot claim their first league win against the Ducks on Saturday, OSU will set a program low. The Beavs are currently riding a 10-game losing streak, one that ties an 87-year-old school record for futility.

But the Beavers have, for the most part, played competitively the first 20 minutes. It's coming out of the locker room to start the second half that has been the problem.

Against No. 5 ranked UCLA, a team many picked to win it all this year, the Bruins held but a four point advantage at the break. But UCLA won by 23.

Playing USC two days earlier, the Beavs opened with a disastrous start in Kevin Mouton's first game as interim coach. But then OSU rallied and was flying high heading into the lockerroom, trailing 27-25 after a closing 15-2 run.

Momentum was on their side to close out the half but the game, ultimately a 24-point loss, was quickly decided in the second half's opening minutes.

Oregon State, simply put, looks like a team trying to learn to win -- hoping to win. They do have their moments, however, with the first half scores against UCLA, USC and Washington -- the Beavs' past three games -- providing the evidence.

And they'll have to string enough of those moments together to best the Ducks on the road Saturday, the tip is slated for 3 pm in Eugene.

OSU does have all this week to prepare for their in-state rival -- the Beavers have a rare Thursday off this week.

Oregon has dropped their last four games to fall to 12-8 overall, 3-5 in Pac-10 play.

Sophomore Seth Tarver leads the Beavers in points and shooting percentage, with 12.2 ppg and a .442 clip, respectively. Senior Marcel Jones paces the Beavs on the glass with 6.1 rebounds per game.

Tarver also leads the team in assists, at 3.0 per game.

Jones has 1,063 career points in three-plus seasons with the Beavers, currently 26th on the all-time scoring list.

Meanwhile, frosh Omari Johnson is the leading scorer for the Beavers since Pac-10 play began, the forward scoring 8.4 points per game in eight league tilts.


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