HONOLULU, Hawai'i - Oregon State wasn't able to contain an energized Hawai'i team, falling 79-73 in the final round of the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on Christmas Day at the Stan Sheriff Center.
Roberto Nelson scored a game-high 24 points and added five rebounds for the Beavers. The 24 points moves him him into 10th on Oregon State’s career scoring list with 1,320 points, passing Brent Barry (1,304) and Scott Haskin (1,319). Nelson is just the 12th player in school history to reach the 1,300-point mark.
Devon Collier posted his tenth career double-double and fifth this season, contributing 13 points and 10 rebounds. The big man made 6-of-9 from the floor and added three assists to his stat line.
Challe Barton scored a season-high 13 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, three of which came from beyond the arc.
"I really felt like we came out with the right amount of energy and the right game plan," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "Once we got into the game, we just fell to the wayside and let it get away from us. I was more disappointed in our effort than anything."
Angus Brandt, who suffered an injury in the first game of the tournament on Wednesday, suited up but did not play.
“I think he probably could have gone, but if you’re looking at the big picture it wasn’t worth risking him for this game," Robinson said. "Obviously, that hurts us because as well as Daniel Gomis played last game, he played more minutes than he’s played in two-and-a-half years."
Despite trailing by 19 midway through the second half, the Beavers chipped away at the lead as Collier dropped in a layup and Olaf Schaftenaar drilled a three-ball to cut the Rainbow Warriors' lead to 69-57 with 4:36 on the clock.
Langston Morris-Walker continued the Oregon State run, finishing a three-point play after absorbing contact under the hoop with 4:07 remaining, bringing the Beavers within nine.
Oregon State (7-4) would narrow the Hawaii (9-3) lead to six, but could not recapture the advantage late in the game despite the comeback.
The Beavers were efficient from the free-throw line, cashing in on 15-of-16 attempts. They also outrebounded the Rainbow Warriors, 36-31.
Hawai'i had four players score in double-digits, led by Isaac Fotu who tallied 17 points and five rebounds. Christian Standhardinger added 15 points and Brandon Spearman posted a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Barton recorded eight of the Beavers' first 10 points in the opening frame, giving Oregon State momentum offensively, but the Beavers would fall behind.
Nelson cashed in on a deep three-ball at the 12:03 mark in the first half to bring Oregon State within two at 19-17.
Schaftenaar crossed over his defender and fed Collier inside, who finished at the rim amidst drawing contact. After converting on the free throw, the Beavers tied it up at 24 with 8:18 remaining in the first stanza.
At the 6:45 mark, Nelson nailed a tough turn-around jumper to tie the game at 26 and move him into 11th place on Oregon State's all-time scoring list past Barry.
Victor Robbins cashed in on a shot from downtown bringing the score to 40-33. Soon after, with only 36.3 seconds to go, Malcolm Duvivier converted on an and-1 in transition, narrowing Hawaii's lead to 40-38 going into the half. Despite trailing, the Beavers finished the opening stanza on an 8-0 run, carrying momentum into the second half.
Oregon State tied it up, 42-42, at the 18:24 mark in the second frame after Barton burned past his defender and dropped in a layup. The Rainbow Warriors answered by going on a 15-4 run, giving them a 57-46 lead with 12:08 remaining in the game. Hawaii's run would grow to 23-4 with eight minutes left to play.
The Beavers narrowed the Hawaii lead to 65-52 after Daniel Gomis converted on a three-point play and Barton nailed a three-pointer with 6:43 left on the clock.
With 2:07 left, Nelson converted on a jumper to bring Oregon State within seven, but Hawaii answered with a made shot on the other end. Nelson stormed back down the floor and made it to the free-throw stripe, converting on 1-of-2 shots. Hawaii wasn't phased as they got a three-pointer to fall in transition, bringing their lead to 74-63.
Oregon State continued to battle, bringing the lead to within seven with 13 seconds to go, but could not overcome the deficit.
The Beavers wore their Nike N7 jerseys in their final game of the Diamond Head Classic. Nike N7 is Nike’s commitment to bring sport and all of its benefits to Native American and Aboriginal communities in the United States and Canada.
Up next, Oregon State returns home to Gill Coliseum on Sunday to take on Quinnipiac at 8 p.m. in a game televised on the Pac-12 Networks. It's the final non-conference game before Pac-12 play begins on Jan. 2 at Colorado