It's Senior Day for Oregon St.'s 3 time team captain Kevin McShane, seen above setting up Ahmad Starks for a 3 point opportunity. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
Colorado (19-10, 11-6) at Oregon St. (16-13, 6-11) at Gill Coliseum at 1 PM PST / Fox Sports Net & ROOT Sports Northwest / KEJO 1240 AM / KPAM 860 AM (Streamed)
Colorado and Oregon St. conclude their regular seasons with an afternoon encounter at Gill Coliseum. It's senior day for former walkon turned 3 time team captain Kevin McShane, who concludes a second generation of Beaver basketball (his dad Bill played back in the Ralph Miller days, from 1977-81), after having been in on the ground floor for the "Robinson era".
"Kevin and I got here at the same time, a time when things weren't so good," coach Craig Robinson said. "I've had to ask him to do a lot of things way above his pay grade."
Thursday night, the Buffs came up short in a shootout in Eugene, dropping a 90-81 decision to Oregon. Colorado got 20 points from Carlon Brown, and a dozen apiece by both Spencer Dinwiddie and Andre Roberson, but were the victim of the Ducks' backcourt duo of Devoe Joseph and Garrett Sim (Beaver fans will recall those guys), who both shot above 50% against the usually stout Buff defense, posting 24 and 19 points respectively.
Joseph and Sim had Oregon's last 2 baskets from the floor, and then the Ducks sank their last 10 free throws of the game to close out the win.
Meanwhile, the Beavers were disposing of Utah, opening as much as a 31 point lead, before coasting home to a 77-67 win, which ensured Oregon St. only their second winning record in the regular season in the last 22 years. Jared Cunningham led a quartet of Beavers in double figures, with 17 points, and both Joe Burton and Ahmad Starks added 13 more apiece.
When Oregon St. visited Colorado back on Groundhogs's Day, the more than mile high elevation was no help, despite Robinson playing 9 players at least 18 minutes, and no one more than 25, and the Buffs trampled the Beavers 82-60. Andre Roberson led the way, with a 16 point, 15 rebound double double. In all, 5 Buffs were in double digits, and Colorado as a team shot 52%.
Meanwhile, Oregon St. was only shooting 36%, and only 3 Beavers were able to reach double figures, led by Devon Collier and Cunningham, both with just 12 points.
Colorado overwhelmed Oregon St. on both ends of the floor, and the Beavers will have to improve at every matchup to turn the tables today.
The telling stats from Colorado's loss in Eugene were that the Buffs shot 55% from the field, and made 16 of 19 free throws, and still lost. The reason was 29% shooting on 3 pointers, as Colorado made only 5 of 17. The morale of the story is Oregon St. must stop Colorado from penetrating, and make the Buffs try to beat them by out-shooting them from the perimeter.
As far as the Pac-12 Tournament goes, today's action won't affect anything other than jersey color unless Arizona St. upsets Arizona tomorrow, and either Oregon St. loses or Washington St. loses to USC. Without an Aztec upset of the Wildcats, who will be well motivated to improve their seed, the Beavers and Cougars will rematch on day one at Staples.
Here's the place to share McShane stories, new and old, celebrating a good "lifetime Beaver", discuss how the game is going, and assess the outlook heading to the Pac-12 tournament, which starts Wednesday at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.