Hallice Cooke

Oregon State Clipped By Utah

Photo By: Dave Nishitani/Oregon State Athletics   01-04-2014

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah - Hallice Cooke and Langston Morris-Walker both scored career highs, but Oregon State was unable to slow down the red-hot shooting of Utah in an 80-69 loss Saturuday afternoon at the Huntsman Center.

Cooke, a freshman from Union City, N.J., scored a career-best 14 points, 12 of which came from a 4-for-8 effort from beyond the arc. He added four assists off the bench.

Morris-Walker posted a career-high 11 points by connecting on 3-of-4 from the field, all from three-point range, and two free throws. The sophomore from Berkeley, Calif., came off the bench after starting the previous two games, and was solid for a second straight game.

Roberto Nelson recorded a team-high 16 points after getting 6-of-11 shots to fall. He also grabbed two boards and dished out an assist.

On two occasions in the second half, Oregon State (8-6, 0-2 Pac-12) was able to narrow the Utes' lead to three, but Utah would respond on both occasions, going on runs that helped put away the Beavers.

"I'm as disappointed as my players and Beaver Nation are at our performance," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "It was just lackluster. I thought we did a great job at coming back from a deficit and the thing that is most troubling is that our second team was playing harder than our first team. They were the ones who brought us back every time."

Utah (12-2, 1-1 Pac-12) entered the game leading the nation in field goal percentage. Brandon Taylor led the Utes with 23 points and eight rebounds, while Jeremy Olsen and Delon Wright each added 14 points as the Utes finished the game shooting 58 percent from the floor.

Cooke drilled one from downtown with 14:21 on the clock, bringing the Beavers within one, 13-12. Just a few possessions later, the freshman dialed it up from long range once again, giving Oregon State a 17-15 lead with 12:40 remaining in the first frame.

Utah responded, with an 18-0 run before Nelson cashed in on a deep jumper at the 5:29 mark, bringing the score to 33-19. Morris-Walker hitt another three at 3:55, bringing the Beavers to within 10 at 35-25.

Cooke extended the Beavers' hot shooting from downtown, hitting his third three of the afternoon with just 2:46 on the clock, chipping away at the Utah lead, 35-27.

Utah led 41-32 after outscoring Oregon State 13-3 off turnovers in the first twenty minutes of play. With 5:50 left in the first stanza, the Beavers trailed by 16, but were able to cut the gap to nine at the intermission. Despite trailing, Oregon State was able to shoot 56.5 percent from the field, converting on 12-of-23 shots in the first half.

Early into the second frame, Challe Barton attacked the hoop and converted on a hoop and harm, bringing the score to 43-37. After a Utah turnover on the other end, Nelson got a three-pointer to fall at the 18:08 mark, narrowing the Utes lead to three, 43-40.

Utah answered by going on an 11-5 run behind strong three point shooting. With 15 minutes left to play in the game, the Utes held a 54-45 lead over the Beavers.

Halfway through the second period, Utah maintained a 10-point advantage, 61-51. At the 7:35 mark, Morris-Walker nailed his third three-pointer of the day, which brought Oregon State to within seven.

Malcolm Duvivier then hit a three of his own for Oregon State, narrowing the Utes lead to six with 6:54 remaining, 63-57. Devon Collier got the Beavers to within three, 63-60 after drawing contact on a lay-in and making the proceeding free throw.

Utah answered again, going on a 7-0 run to bring its lead to 70-60 with just four minutes to play. Collier broke it up, dropping in a layup at the 3:30 mark, cutting the lead to eight, 70-62.

Oregon State returns home to Gill Coliseum on Thursday to take on Stanford at 7 p.m. in the home opener of Pac-12 play for the Beavers. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.