Beavers Bounce Bobcats Behind Burton's Career Night
Nov. 25, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - It was fitting that senior center Joe Burton scored a career-high 21 points and posted his fifth career-double in Oregon State's 78-65 victory over Montana State in the 3rd Annual Nike N7 Game, presented by Spirit Mountain Casino, Sunday afternoon at Gill Coliseum.
Burton, only the second Native American to ever earn a men's basketball scholarship to Oregon State, added 10 rebounds on a day the Beavers wore turquoise uniforms in honor of Native American Heritage Month. Ron Jones, who played for Oregon State from 1972-74, was the first.
"When Joe plays like he did today, opponents are going to have a hard time defending him and that bodes well for us as the season progresses," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "He knows how much we need his production now that Angus Brandt is out. He had a fantastic game today and I'm extremely happy for him."
The Beavers are 4-1 for the second straight season, the first time they've won four of their first five games in back-to-back years since 1999 and 2000.
While Burton was putting up career numbers, sophomore forward Eric Moreland posted his fifth career double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds, and guard Ahmad Starks nearly did so with 14 points and a career-high nine rebounds.
But it was Burton's afternoon as he knocked down 8-of-11 field goal attempts and dished out three assists in 28 minutes. It was a game he dedicated to Brandt, who will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee, and Native Americans across the country.
"I can't put into words how much this day means to me," Burton said. "It's a very special day for me and my family, and it's an honor to play for my native people.
"It was kind of weird without him by my side running down the court," Burton said about Brandt. "It was hard seeing him on the sideline with crutches and knowing that I am not going to get to play with him this season."
The Beavers once again put in a solid defensive effort, limiting the Bobcats to just 30 percent shooting from the field. Oregon State also tied a school record with 11 blocked shots after getting that many in last season's quadruple-overtime loss to Stanford.
The Bobcats did have some early offensive production building a 6-0 lead on two three-point field goals and 11-5 advantage on another three. But the Beavers chipped away at the lead to tie the game at 24 and then finished the half on a 21-7 run to post a 45-31 halftime advantage.
"This was an important game for us as it was the first without Angus (who broke a streak of 65 consecutive games played)," Robinson said. "It got a little more raggedy than I would have liked, but it was not anticipated as I was trying a lot of different lineups with our freshmen to get them ready for Pac-12 play without one of our leaders."
Oregon State built as much as an 18-point lead late in the second half on a free throw by Victor Robbins and held at least a double-digit lead for the last 8:33 of the contest.
A crowd of 5,224 witnessed the Beavers only home game in a three-week span as the team doesn't return to Ralph Miller Court until Dec. 8 against Grambling State in a game that can be seen on the Pac-12 Networks.
"I have to mention what a wonderful crowd we had for a Sunday afternoon game, especially by our students in the Beaver Dam," Robinson added. "I know everyone associated with our team is very appreciative of our fans' enthusiasm and support."
The Beavers return to the road this week with a trip to the Midwest to play the Kansas Jayhawks for the first time ever when the teams meet at the Sprint Center at 5 p.m. PT on Friday in the BMO Harris Bank Kansas City Shootout. The game will be televised on the Jayhawk Television Network and ESPN Full Court with Dave Armstrong and Chris Piper calling the action.
Click on the following YouTube link to watch the post-game press conference with Coach Robinson:
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