FACTS & STATS: Site: Beasley Coliseum (11,671) -- Pullman, Washington. Television: Pac-12 Network. Home Record: Oregon State 9-6, WSU 8-5. Away Record: Oregon State 1-5, WSU 1-6. Neutral Record: Oregon State 2-1, WSU 2-2. Conference Record: Oregon State 2-9, WSU 2-9. Series Record: Oregon State leads, 164-123.
GAMES NOTES: Two struggling Pac-12 squads will be matched up on Wednesday night when the Oregon State Beavers travel to Beasley Coliseum to take on the Washington State Cougars.
After grabbing just their second win in league play last Wednesday, Oregon State fell short, 72-68, against Colorado on Sunday. The Beavers have now lost four of their last five games to fall into a three-way tie with Washington State and Utah for last place in the Pac-12 standings at 2-9. Overall Oregon State is an even 12-12 but that was largely aided by the non-conference schedule the Beavers played. On the road the Beavers are just 1-5.
Prospects haven't been much better for Washington State which is riding into this game on a four-game losing streak after a 76-62 setback against UCLA on Saturday. The Cougars are a game worse than Oregon State in terms of overall record (11-13) but have an identical 2-9 mark against league foes. At Beasley Coliseum the Cougars have been decent with record of 8-5 on their home floor.
These long-time rivals already met once this season when Washington State took a 71-68 victory on the road on Jan. 26. The win was the sixth in the last seven meetings for the Cougars, but Oregon State still leads the all-time series, 164-123.
A trio of free throws from Roberto Nelson pulled Oregon State to within a single point, 67-66, against Colorado on Sunday. However the Beavers missed 2- of-3 from the floor from there as they were unable to complete the rally. Nelson (21 points), Ahmad Starks (20 points) and Joe Burton (15 points, 12 rebounds) all had exceptional games, but the Beavers got little anywhere else.
That trio has largely been responsible for keeping Oregon State afloat offensively. The Beavers rank third in the Pac-12 in both points (74 pg) and field-goal percentage (.457), while sitting second in assists (15.5 pg) and rebounds (38.1 pg). Nelson (17.1 ppg) is the most dangerous scorer, while Starks (12.2 ppg) is a 3-point marksman. He knocked down 6-of-11 shots from beyond the arc last time out. Burton (11.6 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is solid in the frontcourt as is Eric Moreland (9.3 ppg, 10.5 rpg), who is nearly averaging a double-double. Devon Collier (13.5 ppg, 6.4 rpg) needs to bounce back from a rough outing if the Beavers have any chance of salvaging the season.
Though Brock Motum kept his streak of games in double figures going with 17 points, Washington State was rather punchless on both ends against UCLA. The Cougars shot just 40.7 percent from the field and allowed UCLA to connect on 62 percent of their field-goal attempts. The 19 turnovers the Cougars committed didn't help either.
Motum (18.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg) is putting in an almost carbon copy of his season a year ago as he continues to be one of the most consistent players in the conference. The 6-foot-10 forward isn't an elite rebounder but he has scored in double figures in every game this season. Motum is the lone bright spot on the conference's worst offensive team. The Cougars are netting only 63.6 points per game, and rank second to last in both assists (11.8 pg) and field-goal percentage (.421). The Cougars are also the worst rebounding team in the conference (34.3 pg) though they have managed to put together some solid defensive efforts, holding teams to 61.6 points per game on 41.9 percent shooting. Other than Motum, only Mike Ladd (11.4 ppg) is averaging in double figures though he has failed to do so in two of the last three games.
In a battle of two teams that have found wins rather difficult to come by, Washington State's questionable homecourt advantage might be what proves to be the difference.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Washington State 68, Oregon State 66
02/13 10:35:59 ET
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