Beavs drop defensive scrum to Sun Devils

OREGON STATE SCORED from downtown on their first possession against ASU on Saturday. And then it took most of the remaining half to climb into double digits. But Oregon State's defense kept them in it -- ASU didn't climb past the 10-point mark for nearly 13 1/2 minutes either. In the end, the Beavs lost 49-38 because of their inability to solve ASU's perimeter defense.

ASU's clear gameplan was to play physical defense on Beaver point-forward Roeland Schaftenaar. In the first half they bellied and bumped him, early and often, and mostly through Jamelle McMillan.

And the officials let them play.

In fact, it wasn't until 1:25 to go in the half, that McMillan was whistled for a hand check violation on Schaftenaar. By then, ASU had forged a 16-11 lead and more importantly, they had Oregon State's offensive flow stopped up.

Neither team shot well on the night but both defenses also had something to do with that. OSU did not allow ASU to get inside much in the first 20 minutes. Meanwhile, ASU squeezed Oregon State on the perimeter to such a degree that Schaftenaar could only pass the rock off rather than being able to run the offense.

The half ended with neither team able to crack the 20-point barrier, the Sun Devils up 19-13 headed into the locker room.

A three point play from Rickey Claitt closed it to 21-16 and then Claitt's strong drive to the hole cut it to 23-20. But ASU answered with a three.

In the opening minutes of the second half, OSU began to find their way inside, scoring their buckets in the paint. But so too did ASU, and a pair of Sun Devil dunks pushed the margin to 30-22 with 14:59 left.

Lathen Wallace three cut it to 32-25 but ASU slowly pulled away from there, picking up offensive rebounds and second chance points. Oregon State pulled to within seven on a few occasions but could get no closer.

OSU shot 32.6 percent from the floor, ASU was at 38.1 percent. Claitt was the Beavs' top scorer with 13 points on 5-for-8 shooting. Schaftenaar was 5-for-9 and finished with nine points.

The Beavers next travel to the Washington schools, with the UW on tap for Thursday.

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