Roberto Nelson led the Beavers with 13 points. Devon Collier followed him with 9 points and four rebounds.
The first half was controlled by the Bruins from start to finish. UCLA got off to a quick 9-0 lead, with Craig Robinson having to burn his first timeout before the Beavers even got on the scoreboard. Oregon State did show signs of life in the first half, but everytime they would take one step forward, they would follow it with another two steps backward. The Beavers trailed 37-22 at Halftime, gaining a little momentum off a Angus Brandt jumper as time expired.
10 of 13 Beaver players got into the game, not counting Rhys Murphy and Eric Moreland, who are out for the year with injuries. Cunningham, Omari Johnson, Calvin Haynes, Angus Brandt, and Devon Collier got the start for the Beavers. Following Nelson and Collier in points, Angus Brandt contributed eight, two of which on a beautiful sky-hook in the second half.
Calvin Haynes, who went to the locker room with leg cramps but did return for the final two possessions, added seven points. And following Haynes was Cunningham and Lathen Wallace with five points each.
For the Bruins, Lazeric Jones led the way minutes-wise with 33. Jones and Reeves Nelson led UCLA with 13 points each, followed by Malcolm Lee with 9. The Bruins came into this game with a record of 9-6, 1-2 in the Pac-10.
Roberto Nelson Watch
Nelson had arguably his best game of the season, leading the Beavers with 13 points off the bench. His biggest shot of the night came with 2:45 remaining, as Nelson buried a three to give Oregon State their first lead of the night at 57-55. Roberto went 4 of 9 from the field, 2 of 4 behind the arc, and 3 of 4 from the free throw line.
The Beavers led the Bruins in most statistical categories, except for 2nd chance points (UCLA-13, Oregon State-11), and points in the paint (Oregon State-32, UCLA-32).
Trailing by fifteen at Halftime, the Beavers tried to use the momentum they got at the end of the first half. The Beavers pulled within eleven right out of the gate, but UCLA quickly brought their lead back up to 17. But Oregon State did not panic, and the Beavers used a 21-4 run to tie the game up at 51 with 6:25 left. Oregon St. shut UCLA out for 6 minutes during the run.
The teams went back and forth from there, but Lazeric Jones ended up putting the dagger into the Beavers with a pull-up jumper to give UCLA a two point advantage with 40 seconds left. Oregon State had a chance to tie, but Haynes missed a point blank layup, Joshua Smith sunk two more free throws, Nelson missed a jumper, Tyler Honeycutt made a free throw, and just like that, the Bruins escaped Corvallis with a victory. It was the 12th. consecutive win for the Bruins over the Beavers.
With the loss, the Beavers dropped to 7-9 (2-3) and UCLA improved to 10-6 (2-2).
As far as the crowd goes, the 6,800 people at Gill were quiet throughout most of the first half. But as the Beavers came back and the game went down to the wire, the Beaver Dam was rocking. It should be a great atmosphere when the Trojans come calling for a Saturday night meeting on FSN NW.
Next up for the Beavers is USC, Saturday at 7:30 PM in Corvallis.
Oregon defeated USC 68-62 tonight at the brand new Matthew Knight Arena. USC (10-7, 2-2 in the Pac-10) fell behind Oregon (8-6, 1-4) by as much as 20 points in the second half, but the Ducks didn't hit from the field in the final 9 minutes of the game, and the Trojans fought back within 4 points, but the rally ran out of gas and time.