Oregon St.'s Devon Collier had only 2 points and 3 rebounds in the Beavers' first game against Washington St., and wasn't able to stop the Cougars' Brock Motum defensively. If Collier can come up with a better game this time around, Oregon St.'s chances of winning will increase substantially. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
Washington St. (12-11, 4-7) at Oregon St. (15-8, 5-6) at Gill Coliseum at 7:00 PM PST / No TV (Again) / KEJO 1240 AM / KPAM 860 AM (Streamed - Enjoy it while you can)
Oregon St. returns home after 3 games in 7 days on the road, having won 2 of them.
The Cougars come into Corvallis after what would be a heart-breaking 63-60 loss to UCLA, except they are so used to being beaten by the Bruins. Saturday's loss was Washington St.'s 19th straight at home against the Bruins. That's a mind numbing number.
UCLA didn't score from the field in the last 5 1/2 minutes in Pullman, but the Bruins made 7 free throws to thwart the Cougars, and negate Brock Motum's 25 point, 11 rebound double double, both game highs.
The Beavers bounced back from a bad outing in Boulder to beat Utah 76-58 in Salt Lake City last Saturday. Jared Cunningham had a game high 20 points, but Joe Burton's overall effort, 11 rebounds, 8 points, 5 assists, and a game high 6 steals, drove the win over the Utes.
The 18 point win was Oregon St.'s largest margin of victory in a conference game since a 20 point win in 1990, ironically over Washington St..
Oregon St.'s win over Utah means coach Craig Robinson has now matched Ralph Miller for most wins in their first 4 years as coach of the Beavers. Both have 58 victories, one more than Slats Gill got in his first 4 seasons.
After upsetting both Stanford and California, Washington St. appeared to be on a roll. But their season's prospects took an unplanned turn off course when Faisal Aidn tore his ACL against Arizona, and the Cougs have dropped 3 of 4 games starting that night, with only the near-automatic win that comes with playing USC brightening an otherwise unpleasant most recent 2 weeks.
The first meeting this season was back on New Year's Eve, and it was in the Spokane Arena. It was a close game, but Motum was too much for Oregon St., scoring the first 9 points for Washington St., and finishing with 26, enough for the Cougs to claw out an 81-76 win.
Washington St. coach Ken Bone surprised Oregon St. with a liberal dose of zone defense, and as a result, the Beavers, slow to adjust, got off to a slow start, and it was too much to overcome.
The Cougars have played well in Palouse, and not just in Pullman, where they have only lost once, with wins in Moscow and Spokane as well, but Bone ball hasn't traveled well. Washington St. is 0-5 on the road in conference, and their only wins outside the Palouse are over Portland, and Pepperdine, in Seattle, where the Cougars were the home team.
Once again, there is no TV coverage of this game, so unless you subscribe to Beaver Nation Online, if you can't get to Gill, you aren't going to get to see it. Here's hoping the Pac-12 gets a deal signed for carriage of the Pac-12 network on satellite and cable carriers other than Comcast.
And speaking of BNO, if you are in an area not well served by area AM radio (and there are lots of those areas), and count on the KPAM streamed radio, enjoy it while you can. Come baseball season, and for all of next year's football and basketball games, BNO is where you will have to get an audio stream as well, as though KEX, the new Portland area radio host streams their signal, they won't be including their game audio.
Here's the place to discuss what you imagine is happening in this contest, one crucial for both the Beavers and the Cougars.