Oregon State (6-2) vs. Akron (5-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, December 22, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Stan Sheriff Center (10,300) -- Honolulu, Hawaii. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: OSU 5-1, Akron 4-0. Away Record: OSU 1-1, Akron 1-2. Neutral Record: OSU 0-0, Akron 0-0. Conference Record: OSU 0-0, Akron 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: For the first-ever meeting between the Oregon State Beavers and the Akron Zips, the teams are scheduled to get together in the first round of the annual Diamond Head Classic at the Stan Sheriff Center in Honolulu today.
The Beavers are currently enjoying a three-game win streak and have won six of their last seven outings after being upset by Coppin State in the season opener. Back on Wednesday, OSU hosted Towson and managed to come away with a 76-67 victory in order to move to 5-1 at home on the campaign.
As for the Zips, since suffering back-to-back defeats against Saint Mary's and Middle Tennessee on the road last month, they have rebounded to post four straight wins. The latest victory was a 79-60 romp over Detroit at home earlier this week.
The winner of this meeting will take on the survivor of the Iowa State/George Mason clash in the next round on Monday.
Ironically, there is a chance that Oregon State could meet up against the Boise State Broncos in the final round of this event a day after the football teams for both schools compete in the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu as well.
Oregon State went from 53.1 percent shooting in the first half against Towson to just 34.8 percent after the break, but the Beavers made up for the difference by attacking at the free-throw line (17-of-25) in the final 20 minutes of action. Angus Brandt converted 10-of-15 shots from the floor and 6- of-8 at the charity stripe in order to arrive at 27 points, adding six rebounds before fouling out, followed by Devon Collier with 13 points, seven boards and five assists.
Roberto Nelson, who was assessed a flagrant-2 foul after being tangled up with Towson's Marcus Damas in the first half, scored only four points in eight minutes of action, yet he remains the top scorer overall for OSU with his 22.1 ppg. Shooting just under 50.0 percent from the floor, Nelson is also first on the team with 35 assists as the unit averages more than 17 dishes per contest. Collier (21.3 ppg) and Brandt (13.3 ppg) also lend a hand to one of the top offenses in the country as OSU generates 84.4 ppg.
Trailing by as many as 14 points, the Zips opened up the second half against Detroit on a 25-6 run and never looked back. Akron, which shot 71.4 percent from the floor and 9-of-12 behind the 3-point line in the second half, was led by Demetrius Treadwell who not only scored 22 points, he pulled down a game- high 13 rebounds in order to give the hosts a 44-29 advantage on the glass. Nyles Evans added 17 points, Jake Kretzer 11 and Quincy Diggs 10 points to go with seven assists.
Treadwell leads the program in scoring and rebounding with 14.6 points and 8.7 rebounds per contest, although it is still hard to fathom how someone who has his hands on the ball as much as he does has just eight assists. Diggs (12.7 ppg) picks up some of the slack with his 23 assists, but he has more turnovers (25) which can defeat the purpose. One glaring issue for the Zips occurs at the free-throw line where the team is just 61.2 percent accurate.
With Nelson and Collier on the attack and the Beavers being one of the top overall shooting teams in the nation at 53.7 percent, the Zips can only hold their breath and hope this meeting isn't a complete blowout.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon State 93, Akron 73
12/22 11:04:32 ET