Final Score: Oregon St. 93 Howard 74
Oregon St. overwhelmed their second out-manned mid-major opponent of the week, dominating Howard, from Washington, DC, and the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The Beavers were so dominant that the Bison made an 18-3 run after Oregon St. called off the dogs and still lost by 21 points.
After an early 2-2 tie, Oregon St. went on a 10-0 run, highlighted by the latest addition to Jared Cunningham's highlight video, a reverse dunk on a lob from Joe Burton. After that, Howard would put up only minutes of brief resistance here and there.
The Bison shot their way back into the game, pulling within 18-14, but the Beavers answered with a 19-4 run to go up 37-18 five minutes before the half.
Angus Brandt got off to a strong start, hitting 6 of 7 shots in the first half. Brandt's 14 first half points staked the Beavers to a 49-30 halftime lead.
With Challe Barton out with a groin injury, an indicator of just how dominant Oregon St. was came when walkon CJ Mitchell got in in the first half.
The Beavers opened the lead to 60-36 four minutes into the second half, and just 6 minutes in, both Brandt and Ahmad Starks had both established career high nights, with 19 points apiece, which extended the advantage to 23 points, 62-39.
Roberto Nelson's third three pointer gave him 16 points, and Oregon St. a 74-47 lead with 8:48 to go. Nelson and Brandt followed that up with back to back dunks.
A good sized (for winter term break) crowd of 4,189 cheered a 12-7 run that opened the largest lead of the game, 36 points, going up 90-54 with 5 minutes left, and went away having enjoyed a dominant win.
"I want to thank the students," Coach Craig Robinson said. "A week after finals and the Beaver Dam (the student section) was nearly full. Their energy made a difference."
Starks led a trio of Beavers with at least 20 points, posting a game high 22. Brandt, who shot 82%, making 9 of 11 shots, finished with 21 points, and Nelson added 20, having made 7 of 12 shots, including 3 of 5 from 3 point range. Nelson also had 8 rebounds and a pair of assists. Starks sank 5 of 6 3 pointers, and had 4 assists and 3 steals.
Cunningham finished with [only] 10 points, but had a career high 6 assists, including a couple early as Brandt was getting rolling, and 3 steals.
"It's a testament to our team that we could have 3 players with 20 or more points, and one of them wasn't our premier player," Robinson commented.
It was the first time in 7 seasons that Oregon St. had 3 players score in the 20s in the same game.
"It was a real team effort tonight," Brandt added.
Devon Collier led the Beavers in rebounding, with 7 boards. Collier also had 9 points, 4 assists, a steal, and an assist.
Despite cooling off in the waning minutes, Oregon St., who came into the game second in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage, still finished having shot 52%, making 31 of 60 shots, including 9 of 21 three pointers (43 %). The Beavers also made 22 of 31 free throws, 71%. Oregon St. had an assist on 22 of the 31 baskets.
The Beaver defense held the Bison to 39% shooting, as Howard made 24 of 61 shots, including 7 of 17 three pointers. The run in the last 5 minutes boosted both of those sets of numbers.
Oregon St. defense leads the conference in both turnover margin and steals.
Prince Okoroh and Brandon Ford off the Bison bench co-led Howard, with 13 points each, and Glen added 11.
Howard (3-8) will stop off at Indiana on their way home.
Oregon St. improved to 8-2 for the season, and will conclude their current 5 game home stand Sunday night against Portland St. The Vikings (6-4) from the Big Sky Conference out-scored Cal St. Bakersfield 91-87 tonight on the Park Blocks in Portland. Portland St. snapped a 2 game losing streak, after losing 79-70 at Oregon Monday night.
The game will be televised by ROOT Sports Northwest, with a 7:05 tip, and will be the first meeting between the Beavers and Vikings in 9 years.