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Game 11 Preview + Open Thread: Oregon State vs. Fresno State

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Impact-freshman Joe Burton has been a pleasant surprise for Craig Robinson's team this season, averaging 6.4 points and five rebounds in fifteen minutes per game. (Photo by Ethan Erickson)
Impact-freshman Joe Burton has been a pleasant surprise for Craig Robinson's team this season, averaging 6.4 points and five rebounds in fifteen minutes per game. (Photo by Ethan Erickson)

Oregon State vs. Fresno State - 5:30pm, Gill Coliseum - TV on FSN

Craig Robinson and Oregon State can make history tonight with a win against Fresno State-- it would be the program's 1,600th win, and put them in a elite class of only 15 other programs who have accomplished the feat.

But more importantly, the Beavers need this win in order to climb back above .500 and clean up some issues before Pac-10 play starts December 31 with a showdown with Washington, a team expected to be a high seed in the NCAA tournament this season.

The Beavers recently bounced back from a Chicago road trip which featured two disappointing losses to beat Mississippi Valley State, a team that is now 1-11 and struggling heading into their Southwestern Athletic Conference schedule.

The Beavers should get a stiffer test tonight from Fresno State, which enteres the game at 6-5 on the year. From my research, they seem better than their record indicates. In their last game, they lost to a good Montana team after holding a sizable lead but then going cold, making only one basket in the final nine minutes of the game. Like the Beavers, they have two bad losses this season, one to Seattle and the other to Santa Clara. Oregon State's two bad losses have come to Sacramento State and Illinois-Chicago. Throw in the season opener down at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and these two teams have both had their setbacks this year.

--Jake | (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)