The Beavers were eliminated from the Pac-10 Tournament on Thursday after a 78-69 loss against the Arizona Wildcats. With the win, Arizona advanced to the Semfinals of the tournament.
Jared Cunningham led the Beavers with 23 points, one of just two Beaver players in double figures. Ahmad Starks followed him with 17 points off the bench.
The first twenty minutes couldn't have gone better for the Beavers, as the Wildcats looked to only be half-interested. Oregon State took advantage of this and quickly built a 17-11 lead. Unfortunately for the Beavers, Arizona did eventually wake up. Led by Derrick Williams, who finished with 22 points, Arizona found their jumper and blistered the Beavers from behind the arc.
Arizona got the lead for the first time at 24-22 and never looked back. Oregon State was able to cut the deficit down to three points after a Devon Collier tip-in at the buzzer, but Arizona had all the momentum going into the final half.
All 13 Beaver players got into the game, not counting Rhys Murphy and Eric Moreland, who are out for the year with injuries. Cunningham, Omari Johnson, Joe Burton, Angus Brandt, and Roberto Nelson got the start for the Beavers. Following Cunningham and Starks, Burton and Collier added 9 points a piece for Oregon State.
For the Wildcats, Derrick Williams led the way minutes-wise with 35. Following Derrick Williams and his 22 points were Kevin Parrom an Lamont "Momo" Jones, who both had 13. Solomon Hill led everyone on the glass with 11 rebounds. Arizona came into this game as the one seed in the Pac-10 Tournament with a record of 25-6.
Most teams stats were fairly even, but the Beavers did outscore yet another opponent in bench points, 28-14.
The Beavers got the second half started on a good note with a Joe Burton layup to cut the deficit to 40-39, but it was all Arizona from there. A 15-4 run over the course of four minutes gave Arizona a 12 point lead, and a comeback looked out of reach for the fatigued Beavers. Oregon State was able to pull within seven at 58-51, but the Wildcats responded with a 10-3 run to take a 14 point advantage.
Flames that were ignited last week in Tucson reappeared mid-way through the second half. Joe Burton was ejected from the game after hitting Kevin Parrom in the face with his off-hand, which earned chants of "Throw Him Out" by members of the Zona Zoo that made the trip up from Tucson. The officials agreed with the students and ejected Burton. Hopefully there will be no extra suspension to start next season for Burton, but when something like that looks intentional, there usually is.
The rest of the game stayed in the 11-15 point range, with Oregon State cutting the lead back to nine with just ten seconds left on a Lathen Wallace layup. The Beavers were able to empty the bench in the final minute, putting in Daniel Deane, Chris Brown, Daniel Jones, and all of the Seniors on the Beaver roster. It was the last game together in orange and black for Calvin Haynes, Lathen Wallace, Daniel Deane, and Omari Johnson.
With the loss, the Beavers ended their season with a 11-20 record. Arizona improved to 26-6, and are since 27-6 after their Semifinal victory over USC earlier tonight.
The Beavers and Wildcats got a good crowd of 10,780 for their final game, even though 95% of the fans were dressed in red and white.
All in all, it was a disappointing season for the Beavers. An 11-20 record was not what fans were hoping for in Craig Robinson's third season, and expectations will be even higher next year.
There were some good times though, like our 20 point victory over UIC, just four days after they had defeated Illinois on the road. Then there were the Pac-10 season opening victories over the Arizona schools, including Jared Cunningham's dunk that brought Oregon State some national attention.
Of course, there was the upset over Washington, just when it seemed fans were ready to jump ship for the year. And there was the Pac-10 Tournament 1st Round over Stanford just two days ago, giving Beaver fans their first taste of March Madness in Los Angeles since Oregon State last won a game there in 2005.
All in all, a disappointing season with some great memories. And the countdown clock says just 217 days until Midnight Madness.