Beavers Bounce Bison To Extend Winning Streak To Four
Dec. 20, 2012
CORVALLIS, Ore. - Eric Moreland had his fourth double-double of the season with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Roberto Nelson continued his strong play with 14 points and a career-best seven assists to lead Oregon State to a 69-53 win over Howard at Gill Coliseum Wednesday night.
The Beavers used one of their strongest defensive efforts of the young season to win their fourth consecutive game and eighth of the season by overpowering a Bison team that scored an Oregon State opponent low 53 points by shooting just 38.5 percent from the field.
"We've come a long way, because the guys in the locker room - you would have thought we did not win this game," Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. "I told them to look at the stats. We held them to under 40 percent shooting from the field and we shot over 80 percent from the free throw line, which has been a worrisome problem for us. Outside of the turnovers, I was pretty happy the way they melded together tonight."
Oregon State jumped out to a 14-2 lead as Moreland had eight quick points and Devon Collier, who made his first start of the season, got his sixth on a layup at the 14:47 mark of the first half. The Beavers' offense stalled, going more than eight minutes without a field goal, as the Bison closed the gap to 18-15. Moreland broke the drought with a layup at the 6:14 mark that sparked another Oregon State run to help take a 33-23 lead to the locker room.
The Beavers took control of the second half to lead by as many as 22 points when Collier made two free throws with 4:46 left. He threw a scare into the Gill Coliseum crowd in the second half when he went to the floor with a knee injury before returning to the game minutes later to a loud ovation.
"I'm sure the faithful, as did I, thought this game was going to be over early with the start we had," Robinson said. "I give a lot of credit to Coach (Kevin) Nickelberry for picking players to leave open on defense. But I thought we handled it relatively well because that was not something we were anticipating. When they switched to man-to-man to zone it caused us some problems and we had to make an adjustment."
Moreland equaled his career high with 14 points, the fifth time he has reached that total in a game, and added 10 boards for his seventh career double-double and fourth this season. It's the sixth time he has grabbed double-digit boards in a game this season.
"He has been playing just so consistently and if we can count on his play in conference to be like this, then we're going to go into all of our games extremely confident," Robinson said of Moreland. "His rebounding per minute has got to be extraordinary, so we are really happy for him."
Nelson had a career-high seven dimes a game after equaling his career best with 34 points against Chicago State. He took only nine shots in the game but got to the free throw line eight times and knocked down seven of them.
"Tonight he passed up a lot of shots that he could have taken, but that's Roberto for you," Robinson said. "I am sure he is the only guy in the country who feels guilty about getting 30-something in the game before, and I mean that in a good way. He's such a conscientious teammate that he was thinking the way they were guarding our guards, which was sort of denying our guards and leaving the front court guys open, that he was going to help those guys get going. I thought he passed up some shots but it's always nice when one of your most prolific scorers doesn't mind not scoring as much and helping others out."
Oregon State also got a strong effort from freshman Jarmal Reid with a career-high seven points and Ahmad Starks broke out of a slump by knocking down 3-of-4 shots from beyond the arc to finish with nine points.
Howard (3-9) got 15 points from Mike Phillips and 13 from Prince Okoroh. The Bison will jet across the country for a game on Friday against Rutgers in New Brunswick, N.J.
The Beavers return to action when they travel to Las Vegas, Nev., to face the San Diego Toreros (6-6) at 6 p.m. on Saturday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in a game that will be televised nationally on the Pac-12 Networks. The Pac-12 Conference is hosting the game, and three others, as a prelude to the Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament that will be held in Vegas for the first time beginning in March 2013.
Click on the following YouTube link to watch the post-game press conference with Coach Robinson:
Click on the following YouTube link to watch the post-game press conference with Nelson and Moreland:
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