Coppin St. (0-1, 8-24, 5-11 [T-9 in MEAC] last year) at Oregon St. (14-18, 4-14 [T-11 in Pac-12] last year) / Gill Coliseum / 5 PM PST / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon St. opens their regular season tonight against Coppin St. The Eagles, from Baltimore, MD, and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, opened their season Friday night in Berkeley, before moving up the west coast for tonight;s second ever meeting with the Beavers.
The first 1,000 Oregon St. students to show up for the Beaver Dam get a free Beaver Dam T-shirt.
Oregon St. won the only other meeting between the teams, a 59-53 victory at Gill back on DEc. 28, 2002. It's not the only adventurous road trip Coppin St. will be making. The Eagles are headed to Michigan at the end of November, a stop-off on their way out west again, for a visit to the Dawg Pound in Spokane, and a game against Gonzaga.
The Beavers won both of their pre-season "exhibition" games against area NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference opponents Corban (from Salem, OR) and Concordia (From Portland, OR). The Beavers pulled away from Corban in the second half for a 69-42 win back on Oct. 29, and then had a much longer lasting challenge this past Tuesday, when Concordia hung with Oregon St. to the finish, before the Beavers pulled out a 104-94 shootout victory.
Roberto Nelson led the Beavers to both wins, with a co-game high 15 against Corban, and then a game high 36 in the firefight with Concordia.
Oregon St. was without forward Devon Collier in both exhibition games, and will be again tonight, as Collier completes a suspension for violating undisclosed team rules this past off-season. Collier will return Wednesday, when the Beavers host the Portland Pilots.
Oregon St. was also without Jarmal Reid, who was feeling ill, against Concordia. Reid expects to return to action tonight.
Freshman guard Malcolm Duvivier impressed against Concordia, with a 17 point effort in 25 minutes off the Oregon St. bench.
Coppin St. is led by guard Andre Armstrong, who provides the Eagles their best outside threat, and was second on the team in scoring, with 12 points per game last year. Armstrong hit 72 3 pointers last season, out of 202 attempts (compare with Nelson's 56 of 141 last year). Armstrong had 9 points against Cal, after hitting only 2 of 9 3 pointers.
6'4" sophomore guard Sterling Smith, who averaged 5.2 points and 4.1 rebounds per game last season, led Coppin St. against the Golden Bears, with 16 points and 7 boards.
The Eagles finished in a tie for 9th last season in the MEAC, after a 14-16 campaign, and a 9-7 MEAC record that produced a 6th place finish, in 2011-12.