Coming off Finals Week, the Beavers were able to turn in a complete team-oriented game on Saturday night, beating Nebraksa in front of an exuberant Gill Coliseum crowd of 3,359. The Cornhuskers were picked to finish ninth in the Big 12 by the media. Iowa State, who the Beavers lost to by 13 in their last game, were picked to finish eleventh.
Neither team led by more than six points in the game-- it was Oregon State who took that big of a lead midway through the first half after an 8-3 run. There were 11 ties and 20 lead changes in the game.
Many things finally fell into place in this game for the Beavers. Fans finally got to see two players-- Daniel Deane and Omari Johnson-- emerge as leaders of this team. Both had double-dobules. Also, Calvin Haynes became academically eligible before the game, and added 14 points.
Down the stretch, it was Deane and Johnson who led the Beavers to victory. After Nebraska's Paul Velander made a three pointer with 2:28 to put the Huskers up by one, it was Deane and Johnson who scored OSU's final six points.
First, it was Johnson who pulled in an offensive rebound and scored on a layup, putting Oregon State ahead by one. However, after a timeout, Nebraska countered with a layup to regain the lead.
On Oregon State's next possession, Roeland Schaftenaar missed a jumper, put Daniel Deane came through with an offensive rebound and was fouled. He made both free-throws, putting OSU ahead again. Daniel then fouled Ade Dagunduro, who converted both of his foul shots.
With Nebraska leading by one with under 0:15 remaining, Cookie Miller fouled Deane, giving Daniel two free-throws with his team down by one. He made them both, giving Oregon State the lead. Then, with the clock ticking towards 0:00, Ade Dagunduro's arcing shot from the baseline hit off the back of the rim and bounced away at the buzzer.
Oregon State held on for their second win in three games. "Not only did they close out, but they had to close out with shear toughness" Head Coach Craig Robinson said after the game. That was the beauty of this game. And for us, toughness is just as important as rebounds, turnovers and foul-shots."
Some other notes:
A stat that demonstrates how Oregon State out-hustled the Huskers is rebounds. Oregon State had 40 to Nebraska's 25, with Daniel Deane and Omari Johnson both coming through with ten.
I eluded to this a little bit earlier, but Daniel Deane and Omari Johnson both turned in double-doubles. It was the first time two Beavers had a double double since Marcel Jones (17 points, 19 rebounds) and Roeland Schaftenaar (12 points, 10 rebounds) did so in November of last year against Iowa State.
If there was one thorn in Oregon State's side last night, it was turnovers. The Beavers had 24 turnovers, the most they've had all season. However, in both their wins, the Beavers have had more turnovers than their opponents. Deane and Johnson both had five turnovers. Nebraska had 30 points off of turnovers, Oregon State 9. Nebraska only turned over the ball eleven times.
More more postgame quotes:
Calvin Haynes, On the first playing time of the season:
"It felt great to come back on a win. It was a big relief off the team's chest, a big relief off my chest. I didn't enjoy sitting on the sidelines, watching us lose. I just felt like we had to get this one. I feel like we are finally buying into what coach is saying. We've got to win close games like tonight and it's going to be like this the rest of the year."
Craig Robinson, On handling the pressure down the stretch:
"I think for the first time I was more nervous than they were, because it was a lot of pressure and they just remained so calm. There were a couple times there were some turnovers that I thought were questionable, but I thought they handled the pressure just fine."