The Oregon St. Beavers got off to a rocking start in Staples Center against the Washington St. Cougars by crashing the boards and getting some huge three point production by Ahmad Starks, nailing several triples to give OSU what looked like a dominant 24-8 lead with 12:37 left in the first half.
But back came WSU. Switching back from zone to man, Washington State stifled Oregon State on offense. On the other side of the ball, the Cougars worked the ball inside as much as they could thanks to the playmaking of Reggie Moore (five points and five assists during the run), and the Cougars powered on a 24-4 run to recapture the lead, then held on to a 39-38 advantage at halftime.
Oregon State and Washington State see-sawed for most of the second half, as the teams exchanged leads and never really could pull away from each other. The defenses also stepped up, as both teams struggled to clear 70 after being on pace for 80 after one half. But WSU's offense totally stalled, as Moore shot 3 for 18 and the Cougars couldn't feed the basketball enough to Brock Motum (who took only ten shots, finishing with 16 points). Oregon State took the lead with two minutes or so left and got all the stops they needed against the Cougars the rest of the way. Marcus Capers added 14 points and six rebounds before fouling out.
Oregon State won despite getting practically nothing from Jared Cunningham, who hit only one field goal. Devon Collier kept the Beavers offense going most of the way, scoring 19 points on 7 of 8 field goals, but Joe Burton was the crucial cog, hitting 5-7 shots and finishing with 15 points and four rebounds. Eric Moreland added nine points and nine boards.
Oregon State will now take on No. 1 Washington tomorrow at noon PT at the Staples Center.
Check out the original Pac-12 tournament bracket by clicking here.
To discuss the Pac-12 Tournament in general, head to Pacific Takes. To talk about Oregon State basketball, go to Building the Dam. To discuss Washington State basketball, check out CougCenter.