CORVALLIS, Ore. - Angus Brandt scored a career-high 27 points as Oregon State overpowered Towson, 76-67, Wednesday night at Gill Coliseum.
Brandt displayed his versatility, spreading out the offense while also being a force to be reckoned with inside. The Australian senior grabbed six boards for the Beavers, to go with his career night offensively, converting on 10-of-15 shots from the field.
Devon Collier showed his interior abilities, powering his way to 13 points and seven rebounds. The Bronx, N.Y. native also dished out five assists on the night.
Oregon State (6-2) dominated inside, outscoring Towson (7-5) 36-22 in the paint. The Beavers also led the assist differential 18-11 over the Tigers.
Midway through the opening frame with the Beavers up 20-16, Roberto Nelson and Towson guard Marcus Damas got tangled up at midcourt, which ultimately resulted in a flagrant 2 foul call and Nelson being ejected from the game.
"It was a tremendous effort by everybody, and it didn't just start in the game, it started this week at practice," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "We had to be prepared for how physical these guys play and how well they hit the boards. First, we thought we weren't playing with Roberto (Nelson) because he was so sick and then we thought we would after he hit his first couple, but then we lost him again."
Hallice Cooke showed the ice in his veins, going 6-of-6 from the stripe late in the game to put away a relentless Towson team. The freshman finished with nine points in his crucial minutes of play for the Beavers.
Victor Robbins brought down a career-high six rebounds and was a spark plug for Oregon State, energizing possessions with hustle on both sides of the ball.
Challe Barton boasted a career-high six rebounds and a career-high tying six assists to go along with eight points on the evening.
Despite Nelson's absence on the floor, Oregon State was able to power its way to a 15-3 run behind an aggressive tempo on both ends of the floor with 5:42 left on the clock. Robbins showed grit, hustling after loose balls and grabbing boards, getting the crowd of 3,042 fired up.
Towson was led by guard Mike Burwell, who finished the game with 20 points on 8-of-13 shooting. Damas added 14 points and six rebounds, while Jerrelle Benimon ended the night with a double-double of 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Cooke hit a three-ball at the 14:47 mark in the first half, giving the Beavers a 20-12 lead early in the contest.
With 7:58 remaining in the first half, Collier found Brandt inside for a lay in that gave the Beavers a 30-20 advantage, and a 10-0 Oregon State run. As the teams went into a timeout, the fans in Gill were on their feet, feeding off the energy that the Beavers displayed on the floor.
At the half, Oregon State held a 41-29 lead over a chippy Towson squad that came ready to play in Corvallis. After 20 minutes, Brandt and Collier had each tallied 10 points for the Beavers. Six other Oregon State players found their way into the scoring column in the opening stanza, showing a balanced attack for the Beavers.
Brandt showed his range in the second frame, drilling a deep three-pointer at the 14:23 mark in the final half to give the Beavers a 47-34 lead in the game.
Barton converted on a key three-ball with 3:57 remaining to give Oregon State a 12-point lead. With only 3:33 left to play, the Tigers narrowed the Beavers' advantage to 64-54, but Oregon State would not let go, never surrendering the lead.
Coming up next, Oregon State heads to Honolulu, Hawaii to compete in the eight-team Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Sunday, Monday and Christmas Day. The Beavers will face Akron in the opening round at 4:30 p.m. PST (2:30 p.m. HST) on Sunday in a game televised nationally on ESPNU.