Beavs lose second half focus in loss

IN EVERY GAME on the hardcourt for Oregon State this season, there's been a period where they get away from their game. On offense, defense, things go awry -- and that's growing pains. But how long that off-period lasts has determined whether the Beavs win or lose this season. At Washington on Thursday night, it spelled the difference in a close game turning into a double digit loss.

The Beavers let a close one get far, far away from them in the second half, dropping a 79-60 decision in Seattle.

Rickey Claitt's runner put the Beavs up 37-36 in the opening moments of the second half but it was all Washington from there.

Oregon State was a different team in the first half -- forcing steals and turnovers, grabbing offensive rebounds and hitting their cuts, the Beavs simply outplayed UW for most of the opening 20 minutes.

Oregon State did it in part by outscoring UW 12-0 in the paint early as he Beavs took their first lead in the opening half 16-15 with 11:28 left.

But while the Beavs were crisp on both ends of the floor, the Huskies overcame it with some early spot-on shooting from long range.

Oregon State eventually opened up a 25-19 lead with 6:35 left in the first half and pushed it to 29-22 on a backdoor cut by Josh Tarver.

Kevin Calabro, the longtime Sonics announcer, could barely contain himself on the game broadcast after one particularly sharp Oregon State cut to the rack, intoning "Look at the movement without the ball -- as things are breaking down (Seth) Tarver is still going backdoor! That's terrific. That is well disciplined basketball!"

But a late first half run by UW over the final five minutes undid much of what OSU had done right, pulling the Huskies even at 29-29 and how they erased the OSU lead was disheartening.

UW hit only 1-of-15 from the floor over a stretch of nine minutes. But they were accurate from downtown and hit 14 of 15 from the foul line in the first half.

While the UW was in the bonus early in the first half, Oregon State meanwhile saw only about half the free throws as the UW -- but they also squandered the chances they did get, going 4-for-8 from the stripe.

Seth Tarver's steal and one handed flush put the Beavs on top in the closing moments before the Huskies reclaimed the lead going into the locker room, 36-35.

Seth Tarver led the Beavs at the break with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting and had three steals. He finished with 14 points and took only three more shots on the night. Calvin Haynes led OSU with 15 points while Roeland Schaftenaar had 13 on the night.

Statistically, Oregon State dominated the first 20 minutes. Over the final five minutes, however, they had too many breakdowns. Losing Claitt to three fouls keyed the UW first half run. And when Claitt went out early in the second in his fourth foul, it was more of the same.

Despite holding a 26-6 points in the paint edge in the first half, OSU was also 1-of-6 from behind the arc. They held UW to 9-for-25 shooting over the first 20 minutes and led 7-0 in second half points -- and yet they still trailed by one at the break.

The second half never saw the crispness that the Beavs showed off in the first and the Beavs weren't nearly as active on the defensive end. Washington took advantage, methodically opening up a 51-42 edge. When the lead hit double digits at 55-44 with 8:23 left, it was too much to overcome and OSU never got closer than nine points the rest of the way.


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