It wasn't pretty, but the first game of the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament is in the books at Staples Center in Los Angeles, with the Oregon State Beavers outlasting the Stanford Cardinal, 69-67. It started off slow, with Stanford shooting just over 11 percent in the half as Oregon State took a 26-18 lead at the break.
Stanford recovered in the second half, finishing the game shooting 32.8 percent from the field. Oregon State was just a bit better, shooting at a 25.7 percent clip for the game. The damage was done at the free throw line with Oregon State and Stanford combining to shoot 63 free throws. Oregon State hit 25 of 35 while Stanford connected on 19 of 28.
Stanford narrowed the deficit to three with a minute to play, but Dwight Powell missed a point-blank lay-in, following the mistake up with a foul that sent Jared Cunningham to the line for two shots. Cunningham hit one of two from the charity stripe to make it a two-possession game with under a minute to play. With the shooting night the Cardinal were having, a four-point deficit seemed insurmountable.
It became a free throw shooting contest for the Beavers as Stanford frantically tried to close the gap with quick three-pointers as time wound down. Stanford was content to trade twos for threes, with Jeremy Green almost single-handedly keeping the Cardinal close with his shooting.
Stanford caught a break down two after Cunningham missed his second free throw as the Beavers fouled Mann on the rebound, sending him to the line with a chance to tie. He couldn't convert, however, and Oregon State was able to seal it at the line as the Beavers hung on down the stretch.
It was all about bench play for the Beavers as Devon Collier, Ahmad Starks and Jared Cunningham led the way in a reserve role. The three were the only Beavers in double-figures, combining to 58 score of Oregon State's 69 points on the night. Cunningham scored 24 points, including crucial free throws down the stretch. Collier added 15 points and Starks chipped in 15. Joe Burton was the only starter to contribute significantly, finishing with seven points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
It was the other way around for the Cardinal, with the bench contributing next to nothing -- seven points to be exact -- as the starters took on the scoring burden. Jeremy Green scored a team-high 25 points, 20 of which came in the second half. It was his late three-point shooting -- Green set Pac-10 Tournament records for three-pointers attempted (15) and made (seven) -- that kept Stanford in the game.
Oregon State moves on to face the Arizona Wildcats in the quarterfinals at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday at Staples Center.
First round: Wednesday, March 9
No. 9 Oregon State Beavers def. No. 8 Stanford Cardinal, 69-67
No. 7 Oregon Ducks vs. No. 10 Arizona State Sun Devils, 8:30 p.m., FSN
Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 10
No. 4 USC Trojans vs. No. 5 California Golden Bears, noon, FSN
No. 1 Arizona Wildcats vs. Oregon State, 2:30, FSN
No. 2 UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon/Arizona State, 6 p.m., FSN
No. 3 Washington Huskies vs. No. 6 Washington State Cougs, 8:30 p.m., FSN
Semifinals: Friday, March 11
USC/California vs. Arizona/Stanford/Oregon State, 6 p.m., FSN
UCLA/Oregon/Arizona State vs. Washington/Washington State, 8:30 p.m., FSN
Finals: Saturday, March 12
Semifinal winners, 3 p.m., CBS
For more on the tournament, including the latest news and bracket updates, check out the rest of our 2011 Pac-10 tournament StoryStream.