Jared Cunningham led the Beavers with 21 points, one of five Beaver players in double figures. Calvin Haynes followed him with 14 points off the bench.
For fans that tuned in for the first five minutes, they saw more of the same basketball that the Beavers have been playing all of February. Slow, bad defense and sloppy offensive possessions. After trailing 14-6 early on, Oregon State finally settled down and pulled within two at 14-12.
But the Cardinal immediately built the lead back up, going on a 13-2 run to quiet the small Gill Goliseum crowd, held down by the day's snowy driving conditions.
Trailing by 13, Roberto Nelson scored five straight points by himself to cut the lead to eight, and the Beavers hung in that four-ten point range for the remainder of the first half. The Beavers cut the lead to 39-35 with 20 seconds left, but two Anthony Brown free throws before the final buzzer gave Stanford a 41-35 lead at Halftime.
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, Ahmad Starks, Angus Brandt, and Devon Collier got the start for the Beavers. Starks contributed eleven points, continuing a streak of solid games for the freshman out of Chicago.
Roberto Nelson had arguably the best game of his young Oregon State career, scoring twelve points off the bench. And following Nelson was Joe Burton, who had eleven points along with the aforementioned Starks.
For the Cardinal, Jeremy Green led the way minutes-wise with 34. Green led Stanford with 24 points, followed by Aaron Bright with 15. Bright, who came into the game shooting just 29% from beyond the arc, went 5 for 5 from three-point range. Stanford came into this game with a record of 13-13, 6-9 in the Pac-10.
The biggest stat of the night was in bench points, where the Beavers outscored Stanford 42-29.
Trailing by fourteen at Halftime, the Beavers knew that they would have to make a move quickly if they wanted to compete in this one. But instead of making runs, the two teams traded baskets and Oregon State finally cut the USC lead to eight points with 13 minutes remaining.
Stanford got the first two points of the second half, but the Beavers then went on a 15-2 run to take a 50-47 lead. It truly was a game of runs, as the Cardinal answered that with a 13-2 binge to regain an eight point advantage.
Slowly this time, the Beavers got back into the game. Oregon State tied the game at 65 with 9:25 remaining on a Calvin Haynes layup, but the Cardinal got the lead back and extended it to six with five minutes to play. But just when you thought Oregon State was going to drop their fifth game in a row, a match was lit in Gill Coliseum and the Beavers played with energy that hasn't been seen since the Arizona game on the second day of January.
After going on a 10-2 run to take a brief two point lead, Stanford tied the game back up with 1:45 left to be played. But spurred on by a ruthless full court trap and two high flying dunks in the final 30 seconds, Oregon State went on a 10-3 run to get the 87-80 victory.
With the win, the Beavers improved to 10-16 (5-10) and Stanford dropped to 13-14 (6-10) as they head to Eugene to play Oregon on Saturday. Oregon St. snapped a 4 game losing streak, while the Cardinal are now on one.
As far as the crowd goes, the lack of attendance was mostly due to the early start time and morning snow throughout the state.
Next up for the Beavers is California, Saturday at 3:00 PM in Corvallis. The game will be televised by FSN NW.
California defeated Oregon 81-71 tonight at Matthew Knight Arena. Oregon (14-13, 7-8 in the Pac-10) led the Golden Bears (15-3, 8-8) by as many as 16 points in the first half, but California outscored Oregon by 21 in the second half en route to their 10 point victory.