Leave it to the Beavs, OSU rocks UW men

Just when it looked like Washington's basketball program had finally gotten on track with a win Thursday against Oregon, they laid an egg Saturday night, falling miserably 68-53 to an Oregon State team that came into the game with only a .500 record.

OSU (10-9, 3-6 Pac-10) held an eight point lead at halftime, and the lifeless Huskies never managed to cut it down by even a single point after intermission as the Beavers outscored the home-town team 36-29 the rest of the way en route to a convincing win.

"You have to give Oregon State a lot of credit for the fact that they executed their strengths," said Washington Head Coach Bob Bender after the game. "They did a great job of controlling the tempo, which was the difference in the game."

The run-and-gun style of play that created a 97-point scoring output for the Huskies against the Ducks just two days ago already seemed like a distant memory tonight, as the Beavers forced Washington to play at its half-court tempo for virtually the game's entire 40 minutes.

The Huskies struggles in the half-court game became increasingly evident throughout, as they let the game get away from them more and more with every minute that passed.

"They lulled us to sleep with their half-court offense," explained Husky point guard Curtis Allen, "and made us play a half-court game." "We're more up-and-down."

Needing to repeat Thursday's performance, Washington (8-12, 2-8 Pac-10) came out flatter than a week-old glass of Pepsi. Luckily for the UW, though, so did the Beavers. The Huskies held a slim 10-7 lead five minutes in, but a three-pointer by guard Adam Masten tied up the score at the 14:43 mark. Another Masten three-ball, this one from Dan Majerle-like 26-foot range, went in at the 9:14 mark to give OSU the lead.

The Huskies couldn't answer as nothing they threw at the rim went in, and in fact, both teams went without a field goal for over a five minute span. It wasn't until Washington center David Dixon hit a turn-around jumper from the left baseline that the Huskies ended a 6:03 scoring drought that drew the home team to within one.

Continually looking for answers to put points on the board, Bender found none. He juggled the lineup several times, trying to get any advantage he could - all to no avail. At one time, the Huskies even went to its biggest lineup of the year, putting on the floor at one time the 6-11 Dixon, 6-9 Jeff Day, 6-7 Doug Wrenn, 6-7 Erroll Knight, and 6-1 Will Conroy. Even that didn't work.

For as bad as the Huskies were struggling, shooting just 33 percent from the field in the first half, the Beavers faired little better and failed to capitalize. Two free throws by Curtis Allen put the Huskies ahead at 20-18 with 6:30 left in the first half, but that would be the last time UW would claim the lead.

In the final 6:00, OSU finally began to find its rhythm, riding the back of junior forward Philip Ricci. After a jump-stop eight-footer in the lane by Brian Jackson tied the score, Ricci became the horse as he poured in nine of the Beaver's last 14 points of the half. Ricci's presence down low keyed a 14-4 run and allowed OSU to race ahead 32-24 as the teams headed to the locker room.

Ricci scored 12 of his game-high 21 points in the first half.

"We didn't play hard, plain and simple," said a glum Dixon in the locker room after the game. "We came to play against Oregon, but we didn't come to play against Oregon State."

"It hurt the most [of any loss this year]. This was a game that would have given us an opportunity to move up in the Pac-10 standings. Now we're stuck in ninth, and we could have been in eighth."

After half, the Huskies looked no different. Unable to get any offense going, they watched as OSU continued to extend its lead. With the Beaver lead up to 17, guard CJ Massingale laid in the ball at the 3:05 mark and Washington called for a timeout. At the deadball, many of the 6,416 in the arena took the opportunity to head for the exits.

Doug Wrenn again led the Huskies in scoring with 19. Dixon added 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Game Notes:

Brotherly Glove: While his half-brother Gary Payton played tonight in Indianapolis, Indiana in the Seattle Sonics-Indiana Pacers game, OSU senior guard Brandon Payton spent most of the evening riding the bench for the Beavers at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The younger Payton redshirted last season after transferring from UC Santa Barbara, and wasn't a factor in the game tonight during the three minutes he was on the court.

Up Next: The Huskies have only one game on the schedule next week, playing Thursday in Pullman versus Washington State. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. as the Cougars look to get their first conference win of the season, having lost their first 10 Pac-10 contests.

Husky Stats:

Points: Wrenn 19, Dixon 10, Allen 7, Knight 6, Massingale 4, Day 3, Brown 2

Rebounds: Dixon 10, Wrenn 8, Massingale 5, Allen 3, Knight 2, Day

Assists: Wrenn 4, Dixon 2, Allen 2, Brown Steals: Wrenn, Dixon, Brown, Day, Barnard

Blocks: Dixon 3

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