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Oregon State Prepares for 331st Civil War

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Just a week after completing a season sweep of both of the Bay Area teams, the Beavers will return to action on Sunday when they'll do battle with Oregon in the 331st Civil War game at MacArthur Court in Eugene. 

The Beavers, who have won three straight games and seven of their last ten, beat the Ducks 57-54 earlier this season at Gill Coliseum. In that game, the Beavers overcame an early 12-point deficit and a 35-30 halftime defecit to overcome the Ducks in the second half.

Oregon point guard Tajuan Porter, who had 19 points and five three-pointers in the first half, was held to just three points in the final half. The Beavers outscored the Ducks 27-19 in the second half, holding off the Ducks down the stretch to win by three. 

Oregon State's win in the first Civil War gave them their fourth Pac-10 win in the first half of the conference schedule. A win tomorrow would give the Beavers their eighth Pac-10 win, and their fourth win in the second half of the Pac-10 season. A win would also move the Beavers to 8-8 in the Pac-10, a .500 winning percentage, with two games remaining on the regular season schedule.

The Beavers, who sit at 7-8 in Pac-10 play, have already made a seven game improvement from a year ago. That margin gives Craig Robinson's team the fifth-best single-season turnaround of all time. Oregon currently sits at number one on the list for their 10-win improvement between the 2000-01 and 2001-02 seasons

Oregon State's 1-3-1 zone defense, which has been wreaking havoc on opponent offenses throughout the season, will need to be effective against the Ducks. Oregon plays at the fastest tempo of any team in the Pac-10 except for Washington, and they'll be looking to push the ball and take as many shots as possible. Oregon State, who plays at the fifth slowest pace in the nation, will be looking to do exactly the opposite: pass the ball, set screens, make back-cuts, and hit open shots.

The Ducks are led by Tajuan Porter, who is averaging 15 points per game and shooting 38 percent from three-point range this season. LeKendric Longmire, the sophomore from Mississippi, is scoring ten points per game. Freshman center Michael Dunnigan scores nine per game. 

The Beavers are led by Cavin Haynes, but will need other guys to play well in order to beat the Ducks in Mac Court. Haynes averages 15.5 points per game, but Rickey Claitt's assists, Seth Tarver's steals, and Roeland Schaftenaar's leadership at the top of the offense will likely be the difference on Sunday night. 

Game-time is scheduled for 7:00 PM tomorrow night on FSN HD.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com