Final Score: Washington 59, Oregon State 52
When Washington let Oregon State control the pace of the game, things didn't go well for the Huskies. But once head coach Lorenzo Romar applied full court pressure and urged his team not to settle for quick threes, the game changed.
Oregon State, who led by as many as 13 points in the first half, fell flat in the second 20 minutes, as they were outscored 37-21 in the second half. Washington would then go on to take a seven point victory, thereby advancing to the semifinals of the tournament.
The Beavers clicked on all cylinders for much of the first half, only allowing Washington to dictate the tempo for small stretches. There was even a nine minute stretch of the first half where Washington didn't score a single point-- and Oregon State was able to capitalize with a 10-0 run.
Trailing by nine at the half, Washington quickly erased the deficit with a monumental second half run.
Perhaps the biggest play in the game came early in the second half, when Josh Tarver was able to force a steal but missed a wide open, uncontested dunk. His brother, Seth, was able to come back and score a basket on the ensuing possession to give Oregon State at 12 point lead at 35-23, but Washington scored the next eight points of the game and took the momentum from that point on. That 8-0 burst was part of a 22-4 run for the Huskies that transpired in just six minutes of game clock.
Freshman Jared Cunningham led the Beavers with nine points in the first half, four of those coming from the line. Angus Brandt, another freshman, was inserted into the starting lineup for the game and quickly contributed two three-pointers, helping Oregon State jump out to an early lead.
The Beavers shot 45-percent from the field in the first half, and were 6-of-8 (75 percent) from three point range. The Beaers had fewer turnovers, more points off turnovers, more second chance points, as well as fastbreak points in the first half.
"I liked our courage, I liked our energy," Craig Robinson said after the game. "But that's a good team out there, and we can't afford to make the mistakes that we did."
The Beavers turned the ball over fourteen times in the game, seven in each half.
Three point shooting played a big role in the game. Washington shot a fairly consistent 33% over the course of the game, but the Huskies were able to limit OSU's open looks from deep in the second half. The Beavers still finished the game shooting 53% from three, but the deep ball didn't allow Oregon State to keep up with the Huskies in the second half.
"In the first half, we had some open looks and we got excited and then didn't make them defend" Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said. "In the second half, we did a much better job defending their three ball and not settling for the the three."
The Washington Huskies now advance to the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals, where they will meet Stanford at 8:30 PM tomorrow evening in Los Angeles.
--Jake | (firstname.lastname@example.org)