Oregon State comes out flat and then puts on the 1-3-1 to pull away from Portland State, but nothing came easy for the Beavs as it went to the 2:54 mark in the first half for OSU to take their first lead. The Beavs were down 12 to 3 and later 22 to 13 to a Viking squad that was over-matched but hung tough until the end.
The first half was incredibly flat as OSU went into the half with a 32 to 26 lead. The Beavs shot 11 for 23 for 48% in the first half but only were 1 for 3 from beyond the 3-point line with Roberto Nelson making the only three of the game. Ahmad Starks was basically non-existence in the game only with 4 points (scored on last minute FTs) and making some key turnovers it just was not Starks' night. Without a dominating inside game by Devon Collier (26 points), Eric Moreland (14 points), and Joe Burton (20 points) the Beavs would have struggled even more to pull this win out of the fire of an uninspired offensive display of outside shooting.
The second half looked more promising as the tempo picked up and the Beavs were able to get out to a 59 to 45 lead at the 8:13 mark. That lead continued to hover around the double digits mark, but OSU could not put the foot to the floor and Portland State chipped away at the lead cutting it to five points with 1:19 remaining. The Vikings even ended up outscoring the Beavs in the second half 48 to 47. The inside game continued strong for Oregon State as the guard play continued to struggle, but even with the dominating inside match ups the Beavs only out-rebounded the Vikings 26 to 24. Oregon State finished 30-59 for 51% and Portland State 33-59 for 56%.
The end of the game basically came down to who could make the least amount of mistakes and it came down to Collier's strong inside play with a game capping 3 point play off an offensive rebound at the 56 second mark left in the game to really get the final separation the Beavs needed to go home with a 6 and 2 record. But even then Portland State wouldn't let the Beavs off easy with a couple 3 point plays of their own on some sloppy fouls by Oregon State players in the last 30 seconds of the game.
Pulling out the win meant head coach Craig Robinson reached the 100 career win level, and 70 wins at Oregon St.
It was a game that just felt like it should have been won by the Beavs by twenty or more. Portland State was feisty and hung tough, but so did Grambling State this weekend. But we saw in that much easier win over Grambling St. the difference when the OSU guards have their games going. It definitely was the worse played games so far this year and one hopes this was an overlook type of deal with the Vikings coming in 1 and 4 overall, and that the Beavs pick up the pace again against the Chicago State Cougars this coming Sunday at Gill.