Roberto Nelson

Beavers Control Cougars, 66-55

Photo By: Associated Press   01-22-2014

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PULLMAN, Wash. - Roberto Nelson scored a game-high 26 points and Angus Brandt added 14 of his own to power Oregon State to a 66-55 victory over Washington State on Wednesday night at Beasley Coliseum.

Nelson showed why he is the Pac-12's leading scorer, filling it up from all over the court with an 11-for-15 shooting performance. The Santa Barbara, Calif. native went 3-of-5 from three-point land and also pulled down four rebounds for the Beavers.

Brandt had his best road game of the season, going 6-of-9 from the floor and grabbing four boards on the night.

Devon Collier had a strong second half, scoring nine of his 10 points in the final frame after converting on 4-of-5 shots. The versatile big man also added four rebounds to his stat line.

"It's nice to get a couple win's in a row and build some momentum," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "The way we did it made it even better. We had to make some toughness plays even though we weren't having our best game. This might be the first time that we have been able to set the tone of a game on the road like we did."

Oregon State (11-7, 3-3 Pac-12) shot the ball well for the majority of the contest, hitting 52.5 percent of its attempts from the field (21-of-40). The Beavers were also able to outscore the Cougars 10-6 on second chance points, which helped Oregon State maintain its lead down the stretch.

The Beavers made it clear from the tip that they would be in control of the game's tempo and never surrendered the lead after taking control at the 17:44 mark in the first stanza. Washington State (8-11, 1-6) would bring the game to within six on numerous occasions late in the contest, but Oregon State would answer each time, not letting the scrappy Cougars back into the game. 

D.J. Shelton was lights out from deep for Washington State, finding the back of the net on all four of his attempts from three-point range. He finished the night with 24 points and 10 rebounds.

Que Johnson also played a large role for the Cougars, scoring 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the floor.

Nelson drilled his first three at the 16:55 mark, giving Oregon State an early 7-4 lead in the contest.

Brandt was on fire early in the first frame, cashing in on 4-of-4 shot attempts inside, and pushing the Beavers to a 14-9 advantage with 13:14 on the clock in the opening period. 

Hallice Cooke, the Pac-12's leading three-point shooter nailed his first three-ball at 10:59. On the following defensive possession, Langston Morris-Walker snatched a steal, sped down court and finished at the rim, bringing the Oregon State edge to 19-11.

Eric Moreland extended the Oregon State lead to 21-11 after knocking down his first jumper of the evening at the 9:26 mark.

Nelson showed his ball handling ability, crossing up his defender and cashing in on a tough off-balance jumper to put the Beavers' on top 23-15.

Morris-Walker stretched the Oregon State lead to 10, 27-17, after getting a three-pointer from the corner to fall off a flashy assist from Nelson.

The hot shooting continued after Nelson converted on his second three of the night at the 2:00 mark of the first half, providing Oregon State with a 31-23 advantage.

Going into the locker room, the Beavers led 33-27 over Washington State after shooting an impressive 63.2 percent (12-of-19) from the field. Oregon State also made it count from behind the arc, getting 4-of-7 to find the back of the net in the first 20 minutes of play. 

The Cougars came out on a mission in the second half, narrowing the Beavers' lead to 35-32 with 16:20 remaining in the contest. On the next trip down floor, Brandt dropped in a left-handed hook, cutting into Washington State's momentum.

Nelson had seen enough at the 13:14 mark, pulling up from deep in transition and getting the distant three-ball to fall, reclaiming a seven point lead, 41-34.

Collier extended the Oregon State edge to 47-36 by posting up his defender, bullying his way to the hoop and dropping in a layup with 9:56 on the clock.  

After a 5-0 Washington State run, Nelson attacked the basket, absorbed contact and got the shot to fall. The senior converted his shot from the line and put the Beavers on top by nine, 50-41.

Shelton made the Beavers pay from behind the arc with 3:50 remaining in the contest, narrowing the Oregon State lead to 54-47. On the following offensive possession, Barton missed a three, but Brandt stuck around near the hoop, poked out a steal and got the layup to fall.

For the fourth time of the evening, Shelton nailed a three-ball to bring the Cougars within six, 56-50, with just 2:45 to play. On the other end, Collier answered by converting on a hoop and harm to push the Oregon State advantage to 59-50.

With just under a minute to go, the Beavers maintained a 63-53 lead after Nelson got two shots to fall from the line after being fouled. Oregon State would close out the night from the stripe, taking home the victory on the Palouse. 

The road trip up north continues on Saturday, as the Beavers go head-to-head with Washington at 2 p.m. PT in a game televised on the Pac-12 Networks.