PULLMAN, Wash. - Roberto Nelson scored 17 points, Challe Barton added a career-high 11 and Eric Moreland had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds to help Oregon State hang on and defeat Washington State, 67-66, Wednesday night at Beasley Coliseum.
Oregon State (13-12, 3-9 Pac-12) had lost its last five games by eight points or less, and this one came down to the wire once again. But the Beavers didn’t panic, made big plays down the stretch and held on despite keeping it interesting.
“Part of the reason that it’s interesting is because we haven’t won one like this,” Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. “So we are all trying a little too hard so you make some aggressive mistakes out there. I thought we were a just a tiny bit hesitant, but we have been through this enough where we were able to gather ourselves right there at the end and make that play down here that made it hard for them. That offensive rebound (by Roberto Nelson) was just unbelievable. Three games ago we wouldn’t make that play. Shoot, one game ago we wouldn’t.”
The Beavers turned a 33-26 halftime advantage into a 46-31 lead by going to the 1-3-1 defense and forcing six quick turnovers. The Cougars fought back to cut the lead to 64-63 with 1:14 to play. Ahmad Starks missed a jumper with 39 seconds to play, but Nelson grabbed the offensive rebound, made a layup and was fouled.
Nelson missed the free throw, and after a series of Oregon State fouls, D.J. Shelton had a three-pointer almost bank in that would have tied it before Langston Morris-Walker grabbed the big miss. Morris-Walker made the first free throw and missed the second, and DaVonte Lacy made a triple as time expired for the final margin.
The Beavers out-rebounded Washington State 34-24, with 12 of them coming on the offensive end, which was a complete turnaround from the first meeting between the two schools this season when the Cougars cleaned up the glass 39-27.
“Another thing we did this time around that we didn’t the first time we played them was rebound better,” Robinson said. “We have been a pretty good rebounding team this season, and they killed us on the boards at our place, and we wanted to make sure that didn’t happen this time around.”
Nelson had his streak of 20-point games stopped at four, but still finished with 17 points to lead the Beavers in scoring for the seventh time in the past nine games. Moreland attacked the boards all night to post his first double-double since a 74-66 win over Washington on Jan. 23.
Barton started for the fourth straight game and had his best game at Oregon State with 11 points, for his first career double-figure scoring game, and a career-best three three-pointers.