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Game 22 Open Thread: Washington St. at Oregon St.

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Ahmad Starks made his first career collegiate start against Washington, and is seeing an expanded role for Oregon St. of late.

<em>(Photo by Andy Wooldridge)</em>
Ahmad Starks made his first career collegiate start against Washington, and is seeing an expanded role for Oregon St. of late. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)

Washington St. vs. Oregon St. - 5 PM - Gill Coliseum - FSN NW

Washington St. (15-7, 5-5) visits Oregon St. (9-12, 4-6) tonight at 5 PM.

The Beavers broke a three game losing streak Thursday night, with a 68-56 upset win over 20th. ranked Washington. It was Oregon St.'s first win over a ranked opponent in 5 years, and snapped an 8 game losing streak against the Huskies.

Jared Cunningham led everyone in scoring with 19 points for the Beavers, and Omari Johnson grabbed 11 rebounds, which helped Oregon St. to a 44-31 advantage on the boards over the Huskies.

At the same time, the Cougars"Couged" it in Eugene, getting run out of Matthew Knight Arena by Oregon to the tune of a 69-43 score. (Slightly more details at the QuackFix link.) Klay Thompson as usual led Washington St., but with just 12 points, and Reggie Moore, the only other Cougar in double figures, only had 10.

Poor shooting against the Duck defense was the Cougars' demise, as they hit only 26% of their shots, and just 16% from beyond the three point line.

Oregon St. coach Craig Robinson changed up three starters for the Washington game compared to recent contests, giving Ahmad Starks his first start at the point, and returning both Joe Burton and Angus Brandt to starting roles, to go along with Cunningham and Devon Collier, who is becoming one of the Beavers steadiest players. Collier played 35 minutes Thursday night, more than anyone else on either team, and almost got a double double for his effort. (Collier finished with 9 of each.) What the rotation against the Cougars will be will be one of the things to watch.

The Cougars downed the Beavers 84-70 in Pullman on Jan. 6, behind a 29 point performance by Thompson. Of course, WSU whipped the Ducks by double figures that weekend too, and that obviously didn't transfer a month later.

Thompson is still generally the most dangerous offensive player in the Pac-10, though, and Faisal Aden represents a serious offensive threat at times for the Cougars as well.

Cunningham led Oregon St. with 18 points, and only he and Lathan Wallace, who had 12, scored in double figures for the Beavers.

Another Oregon St. defensive effort, similar to what they had against Washington, could give the Beavers the chance to turn the tables on their other rival to the north.

Fox Sports Northwest has the broadcast.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com