Just wanted to share some quick thoughts from OSU’s 66-55 victory over Washington State on Wednesday. It was a big win for the Beavers — as it moved them to .500 (3-3) in Pac-12 play. And they will need the momentum of two straight wins when they face Washington on Saturday.
Wednesday’s game wasn’t pretty, but the Beavers shot 52 percent from the field. Largely due to the fact that they didn’t force too many shots. Instead, they made the extra pass to get high percentage shots. Roberto Nelson (26 points), Angus Brandt (14), and Devon Collier (10) led the way for the Beavers by proving a nice mix of inside-out on offense.
Defensively, the Beavers had several embarrassing breakdowns, which led to easy baskets for WSU in the paint. However, their perimeter defense again was solid and didn’t leave shooters wide open as often. Several of the 3-pointers the Cougs made were kind of lucky shots.
I wouldn’t be surprised as the players get more comfortable playing man defense to see the Beavers’ defense really improve. Even Nelson appears to be playing better defense when he’s playing man to man.
And considering subpar nights from Eric Moreland and Hallice Cook, it’s impressive that the Beavers were in control early on in the game and were never really threatened the rest of the way. Yes, the Beavers were expected to beat WSU, but as we all know nothing comes easy for this team, especially on the road.
Just as important, it was great to see no letdown from the Beavers after their big Civil War win on Sunday. In past seasons, the Beavers have played well enough that it seemed as if they had finally turned the corner, only to falter.
So a victory against the Cougs, no matter if they are one of the bottom teams in the league, was big for the Beavers. And Saturday, they will be trying for their first 4-3 conference start since the 1992-93 season.