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Game 31 Preview: Pac-10 Tournament, Oregon State vs. Washington

Oregon State vs. Washington  //  Pac-10 Tournament, Round 2 

8:30 PM, Staples Center // TV on FSN

The Pacific Life Pac-10 Tournament got underway last night without the Beavers, which was refreshing to see after what seems like years of Oregon State being stuck having to win a play-in game to advance to the field of eight, with Oregon's 82-80 overtime win over Washington St.

While the slightly higher seed for OSU means it'll take less games to get to the coveted championship game, the fact of the matter is that the Beavers need to get by the Washington Huskies before they can even start to think about a monumental run.

Washington presents several challenges. For one, they're one of the three teams in the conference that the Beavers haven't beaten this season (UW, UCLA, ASU). Their transition game is hard to stop when it gets up to speed, and the combination of Quincy Pondexter and Matthew Bryan-Amaning inside on the glass is hard for the Beavers to match up against. They like to get out and run, but they're also tough and physical-- they'll get into you defensively.

Last week when these two teams met at Gill, the Huskies did just those aforementioned things: Bryan-Amaning went off for a twenty point, eleven rebound double-double, and a wave of transitions buckets in the waning minutes of the first half that turned a back-and-fourth game into a nine point Husky lead at the half. Washington would continue to build in the second half, taking a 20 point lead at one point down the stretch. The Huskies would end up winning by twelve.

Here's some of what Coach Robinson had to say following Saturday's game:

Those players are tough, but there not bad kids, they know how to bring it. They are also very athletic, as well as they have a little bit more skill than people like to give them credit for. There were some plays where we were just outmanned. Right now, we are trying to be that team. I thought for probably 3/4 of that game, I was pleased with what I saw."

The Huskies defeated the Beavers by just six points when the two teams met to open the Pac-10 conference schedule way back on New Years Eve in which the Beavers simply didn't make the plays necessary to beat a team like Washington.

If the Beavers want to advance in the Pac-10 Tournament with a win tonight, they'll need to be able to do the things they weren't able to do previously against the Huskies: stop the transition game, play with an extreme level of toughness, and finish the game down the stretch.

The odds are definitely stacked against the Beavers, who haven't even won a game at the Pac-10 Tournament since they beat Arizona State back in 2006. Washington has had OSU's number all year-- plus, the Huskies are 12-2 against the Beavers dating back to the 2003-2004 season.

It's definitely not the most favorable matchup for Oregon State, but as we all know, it's difficult to beat a team three times in the same season. Oregon did it with an overtime win over Washington State last night. Can the Beavers make it so the Huskies don't become the second team to accomplish that feat in the Pac-10 this season?

--Jake | (