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Christmas in Hallice: Cooke Leads OSU

Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson postgame:

Oregon State guard Hallice Cooke and forward Eric Moreland postgame:

Courtesy: OSU Sports Information

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Eric Moreland recorded his 16th career double-double, posting 17 points and 15 rebounds as Oregon State took down Stanford, 81-72 on Thursday night at Gill Coliseum.

Moreland showed why he is a matchup nightmare for opposing teams, making his impact felt on both sides of the ball. His performance marked the first time the big man has recorded a double-double this season since his return from suspension on Jan. 2 against Colorado. He also added four blocks and four assists for the Beavers.

Roberto Nelson led Oregon State (9-6, 1-2 Pac-12) in the scoring column, finishing with 21 points and five rebounds on 6-of-12 shooting from the floor. The senior was also perfect from the line, hitting all seven of his attempts.

Hallice Cooke made his first career start and showed Beaver Nation why earned his new role, ending the night with a career-high 16 points and a career-high tying four rebounds. The freshman went 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and added two assists to his memorable performance.

“Our game plan was to share the ball and make sure that everyone got a chance to touch it, making the other team have to guard every guy,” Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. “That’s what you want to do when they have a short bench. We followed out game plan to a tee and were able to get the ball inside.”

Oregon State shot the ball well in its home conference debut, cashing in on 47.2 percent of shots from the field and 53.3 percent from three-point range. The Beavers were also able to take advantage of a 13-4 second chance points differential to help put away an aggressive Stanford (9-5, 0-2) team.

Cooke made it rain from downtown, hitting his third shot from behind the arc at the 2:37 mark in the final frame, bringing the Beavers to a 71-66 lead late in the contest. On the following offensive possession, Angus Brandt found the back of the net off an assist from Nelson. Soon after, the Australian big man would foul out, but his efforts were felt on both ends of the floor as he recorded 12 points in the hard fought game.

The Cardinal were carried offensively by Chasson Randle, who scored a game-high 30 points. Dwight Powell was also productive for Stanford, tallying a double-double of 13 points and 10 boards.

Nelson got the rowdy crowd of 4,308 fired up early in the contest after nailing a three-ball at the 16:42 mark in the opening stanza. On the next offensive possession, Moreland got to the line on a hoop and harm, converting the three-point play and giving Oregon State a 10-4 advantage.

Stanford took its first lead of the night, 13-12, with 11:40 on the clock in the first half. The Beavers answered immediately, as Collier forced his way inside, cashed in on a layup and provided Oregon State with the lead once again.

Brandt elevated and slammed home a putback off a Moreland miss at the 9:37 mark, which got the Beaver Dam on its feet and energized the fans at Gill Coliseum. Oregon State would extend its lead to 24-18 after Olaf Schaftenaar banged in a triple with 8:34 remaining in the half.

The Beavers continued to pour it in, marching to a 10-0 run after Brandt got a shallow hook shot to fall. With just 6:42 left to play in the stanza, Oregon State led 27-18.

Moreland showed his versatility, converting on his second and-1, pushing Oregon State to an eight-point lead with just under two minutes to play.

At the intermission, the Beavers hung on to a 37-32 lead after cashing in on 15-of-31 shots from the field and outscoring Stanford 20-10 in the paint. Moreland powered Oregon State, posting a stat line of 11 points, six rebounds and three assists in the first 20 minutes of play.

Nelson came out hot in the second half, converting on back-to-back three point plays to power the Beavers to a 43-36 lead. Langston Morris-Walker showed his range on the next offensive possession, drilling a three of his own to extend the Oregon State advantage to 46-36 with 17:28 on the clock, forcing a Cardinal timeout.

After Stanford cut the Beavers lead to five, Cooke attacked the basket and converted on a tough lay in, absorbing contact and finding his way to the line. After cashing in on the free throw, Oregon State led 51-43.

The Cardinal narrowed the Oregon State’s lead to two, but Cooke showed swagger, drilling his second three-pointer of the evening at the 10:07 mark to bring the Beavers lead to 60-55.

With 7:48 remaining in the physical battle, Oregon State held a 62-57 lead over Stanford. The Cardinal would continue to fight, coming within two, 65-63, with just 4:27 left in the contest.

Oregon State was able to close out the game behind strong free throw shooting and a savvy steal and fast break slam by Cooke.

Up next, the Beavers go up against Cal at Gill Coliseum on Saturday at 5 p.m. PT in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.

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