Final Score: Washington 76, Oregon State 70
Just a little bit short.
That was the result for Oregon State on Thursday night, as they failed to convert on several opportunities that would have made things more interesting against the nationally-ranked Huskies.
Before the game we speculated that Oregon State would have to play a perfect game in order to beat the Huskies, and even then the result would be in question. But it's safe to say that the Beavers weren't perfect at all-- they made many mistakes, be it with turnovers or failing to box out at times-- and still only found themselves trailing by one possession on several occasions late in the game.
But while the Beavers were heavily outrebounded, especially on the offensive glass, and there were turnovers aplenty-- it was the lack of playmaking that had Coach Robinson the most frustrated.
As you'll read below, he feels that his team is good enough to beat anyone, but sometimes the players lack confidence. Often, he says, it isn't until halftime that the guys will see their potential after the coaching staff has pointed out positives from the first 20 minutes.
That could partially have been the case in this game, but the first half that Oregon State played wasn't miserable by any means. The problem was that the nine point cushion built by the Beavers was erased by the Huskies, as they built a comfortable ten point margin of their own just in time for the half to end. The Beavers out-shot the Huskies from the field the entire game despite taking less field goal attempts, as was the case in the first half. The Beavers came out hot from the opening tip, as Schaftennar found Seth Tarver for a quick fast-break score just three seconds into the game. The Beavers went up 10-4 after a deep Schaftennar three, then UW battled back, then OSU built again. A 9-0 run in the next five minutes would give Oregon State it's largest lead of the game at 17-10, but OSU couldn't hang on for long.
The Beavers were careless with the basketball in the ensuing minutes, committing five turnovers as Washington worked to eventually tie the game at 22-22. The Huskies also pulled in a plethora of offensive rebounds during this stretch. That sequence, in which UW went on a 12-5 run and got back into the game, was a big reason why the Huskies were out-rebounding the Beavers by nine and had racked up ten offensive boards by the break. The Beavers kept pace on the glass in the second half, but Washington would end the game with 17 offensive rebounds. That's a lot. Thirteen of their points came off second chances.
More of my thoughts, and quotes from Coach Robinson after the break.
--Jake | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Oregon State defense was pesky, and forced turnovers, but Washington's did the same. Quincy Pondexter gave the Beavers credit in his postgame interview with FSN's Jen Mueller for putting on the pressure-- the Beaver defense forced nine steals, four of those coming from Lathen Wallace off the bench. But the Huskies did their fair share of defending as well, led by specialist Venoy Overton. Overton was a big reason that Washington's offense was able to erase the Beaver lead in the first half and build their own-- he was disrupting shots and forcing turnovers. Venoy finished with four steals, and UW had eight as a team.
Roeland Schaftennar led the Beavers in scoring with 16 points on 5-11 shooting, and came up with two steals. Cavin Haynes added 15 and was 6-13. Lathen Wallace provided a much-needed spark off the bench, not only defensively as mentioned above, but also offensively with an efficient 10 points on 4-6 shooting. Seth Tarver and Joe Burton each had eight points.
Oregon State finished the game shooting 46 percent from the field, while UW shot 42 percent.
After the Huskies had built their largest lead of the night at 11 with 17 minutes to go in the game, Oregon State fought back to get within five with 13:37 remaining. At this point, the Beavers were doing a good job of getting the ball inside to Deane, Seth, and Schaftenaar, which is part of the reason why the Beavers outscored UW in the paint. The Beavers continued to hover about six points behind the Huskies for the next several minutes, before a 9-2 run within the last four minutes of the game cut the Husky lead to one possession.
Oregon State had several looks, down three, to tie the game but failed to convert on any of them. Off a Schafenaar steal, Calvin Haynes committed a turnover of his own with 1:08 remaining in the game with the Beavers down three. Seth Tarver also had a steal and created a fast break situation, but looked to push the ball and attack the rim when he was outnumbered and his team trailing by three. If Seth pulls that out, the Beavers have a chance to get Calvin or Roeland an open look to tie with under thirty seconds remaining.
You have to applaud the defense for getting three steals within the last two minutes of the game, but conversions were necessary on the offensive end, and Craig Robinson didn't get those.
For more of his thoughts on tonight's game, continue reading.
--Jake | (email@example.com)
Head Coach Craig Robinson:
On the effort, yet lack of playmaking down the stretch...
If we want to be the team that we want to be, which is competing for championships and competing in the top part of this league, you have to finish games like this, and you have to make the plays. We fought hard and played good basketball in stretches, but this game is about making plays when you have to make plays, especially on the road.
On building a lead in the first half...
But we gave it up with unforced turnovers. This is a great team. They're a ranked teams. They're the defending champions. You can't be so careless with the ball in the first half. That stretch when we were up nine and then went down ten. You can't play good teams like that and expect to win, even if you have the run in the second half.
On the second half run...
This is going to be a theme with us until we can get the program in the direction where we want it to be. What you're seeing is confidence building. When we sat down at halftime and pointed out the things were were doing correctly, I think the guys realized that if we keep doing those things correctly, we can be in the game. That's what you saw in the second half. We made some adjustments, but with a good team like this, they're making adjustments too. I don't want to take any extra credit as a coach, I want to point out that these guys need to start believing-- as I do... that they're good enough to win games like this. I think that's what you saw in the second half-- it was more psychological than it was operational.
On the role of Daniel Deane, and the toughness that he brings to the team...
We are all still wrestling with roles, and Dan is one of those guys. That's why we have him in the game, because he's one of our tougher players. He made some key plays at the beginning of the half that made us feel like we could stay in this ball game. We can't just have that-- we have to have more. Everybody has to do more if you want to beat teams like this. We recognize that from a talent standpoint, these guys have top-tier talent and we're not quite there yet. That doesn't mean you can't win games, can't execute and can't take care of the ball-- things like that.
On the missed opportunities on several plays down the stretch...
This are the things that we have to learn. I don't think we need to learn them, we know them, we just need to execute better. Those are the types of plays that help you beat teams like this.
On the difference that Venoy Overton had on the game...
He's physical, he's tough. He uses his hands and feet well. He's playing a subordinate role when he might be the key for that team. Just from a defensive standpoint, he's the one who turned the game around in for them in the first half.
On the disparity from the free throw line in the first half. Did you feel like the disparity was addressed in the second half?
I never blame the officiating. We are the type of team that relies on cutting and spacing. If you're held, you can't play your game. I was just making a point out there. We had a great crew and I thought we got a fair whistle. The refs aren't our problem yet. We're not at that stage yet. Given all of that stuff, we had a couple of plays to be tied or go ahead, so no way am I going to say that. I really have enjoyed the refereeing in this league since I've been here. I've only had one or two games in which I thought the reffing was outright terrible. It's the way we play-- it relies on cutting-- and we're being played physically. If they don't even it out, it makes us harder for us.
On Washington State...
Last year this team played a lot like we played. They tried to dictate the tempo and were real focused on defense. Seems like this team is trying to get up and down and trying to outscore. It should be a lot like this game tonight. In some ways that should help us, in other ways, this is a first time coach so I don't know what to expect except what I've played on film.
On the relationship and handshake with Lorenzo Romar...
Lorenzo and I have a bit of a history. He hosted me on my recruiting trip when I was up here in college. He's always been a superior person, class act. He was complimenting me on how far the program has gotten. We want to be where he is... we don't want him saying 'you're doing a good job, but not enough', we want him saying 'oh shoot, I wish you hadn't beat me'. He's just a wonderful human being, a class act. His kids play hard, but they're great kids, and it's very nice of him to say that.