Quinnipiac (6-4, 1-1 in the MAAC) at Oregon St. (7-4) / Gill Coliseum / 8 PM / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon St. returns home for their last non-conference contest of the year, against Quinnipiac. It's a late night affair, on a Sunday night, no less, with tip-off after 8 PM. It's also the first meeting ever between the two teams.
The Bobcats are from the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, and have already split a pair of league games, beating 2-9 Fairfield 83-79 but losing to 5-5 Rider 90-78. Both games were back at the beginning of December.
Quinnipiac's last outing was a 69-58 loss at Lehigh over a week ago, back on Dec. 21. The Bobcats, it should be noted, have bounced back from each of their 3 previous losses to win their next game, a couple of them by double digit margins.
In that last loss to the Mountain Hakws, the Bobcats were led by 6'7" senior forward Ike Azotam, who had 18 points and 8 rebounds. Azotam is Quinnipiac's season leader in both scoring and rebounding, averaging 1601 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. Junior forward Ousmand Drame added 14 points, and a game high 9 boards.
The first important to know about Quinnipiac is that they are #2 in the country in rebounding. The other important fact in that is that a substantial number of them are offensive rebounds, made necessary by the number of misses that result from not being in the top 300 in the country in field goal percentage; the Bobcats average just .412 shooting. So they get a lot of put-back attempts.
Oregon St. lost 2 of 3 games in the Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, including their last outing, the tournament 5th place game on Christmas day, when the Beavers fell 79-73 to host Hawaii.
Oregon St. was led as was usually the case by Roberto Nelson, who had a game high 24 points, which moved him past Scott Haskin and Brent Barry into 10th place on Oregon State's career scoring list, with 1,320 points.
A major scoring drought early in the second half, when Hawaii outscored Oregon St. 25-8, sealed the Beavers' fate though.
Angus Brandt, who suffered a sprained and bruised knee in the Beavers' tournament opening loss 83-71 to Akron, and missed the middle game of the series, a 58-54 win over George Mason, suited up for the Hawaii game, but did not play, as Oregon St. head coach Craig Robinson elected to not chance stressing Brandt's knee so soon after the injury.
Brandt will be back in action tonight.
With their Pac-12 conference play opening road trip to Colorado and Utah next week, in which Oregon St. still won't have Eric Moreland back (Moreland is suspended for violating team rules until winter term starts, which is after the first weekend of January.), its important for the Beavers to re-establish some momentum.