Oregon St. forward Eric Moreland wanted to play a lot better than he did in his season debut on last weekend's road trip with his mother on hand to watch, and freshman Hallice Cooke wanted to make good on his first starting opportunity. It was mission accomplished for both, and as a result, the Beavers got their first conference win of the season, and the Cardinal remained winless in the Pac-12.
Moreland had a 17 point and game high 15 rebound double double, and also added 4 blocked shots and 4 steals. Cooke added 16 points, but more importantly had 3 clutch 3 pointers, each coming at crucial junctures when Stanford had threatened to seize momentum, and possibly the game.
Oregon St. head coach Craig Robinson elected to shake up the lineup, going with a 3 guard scheme for his 6th different starting unit of the season, setting Devon Collier down. Cooke earned his first start after posting double digit nights in his last 3 games, and Robinson also went with Langston Morris-Walker in place of Challe Barton.
It paid off early, as despite a slow shooting start by both teams, Oregon St. opened an early 10-4 lead, half of it from Roberto Nelson.
Malcolm Duvivier's 3 pointer stopped the run though, and Olaf Schaftenaar's only 3 of the night helped spark a 13-3 Oregon St. run that put the Beavers up 27-18 with 7 minutes left in the first half.
The strong start was a product of Oregon St. shooting above 50% from the field and from behind the 3 point line, and the Beavers getting good games from Angus Brandt and Moreland.
Brandt's put back dunk started a 10-1 run, and his hook shot finished it, as Brandt out-played Stanford's Dwight Powell in the first half. Moreland, who was a rebounding and defensive factor against Colorado and Utah, but an offensive non-factor, had 11 of his points in the first half.
Nelson opened the first double digit margin of the game, putting Oregon St. up 29-19 with just under 5 minutes left before the half, but Stanford snapped out of a 5 minute scoring drought with a 5-0 run to erase half of the Beavers' lead.
That's when Cooke delivered his first run-stopping 3 pointer, and Moreland scored 5 straight points to put Oregon St. up 37-28, only to have Randle run off 4 straight to give him a game high 12 points in the first half, and pull Stanford within 37-32 at the break. This despite the Beavers out-scoring the Cardinal 20-10 in the paint to that point.
Nelson made a pair of 3 pointers, one in the form of 3 free throws, and the other a long range bomb to start the second half, and Morris-Walker also nailed a 3 that reopened a 10 point, 46-36 lead, forcing Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins into a timeout before the first media time out of the second half.
Randle led a Cardinal 7-2 run back out of the time out to again cut the deficit in half, but the whistle happy Pac-12 officials had both teams in the bonus with 12 1/2 minutes left in the game, and that hurt Dawkins and his very short bench much more than Robinson, who used his bench much more extensively.
That would take some time to run its course though, as Barton came on and committed a pair of fouls, and Schaftenaar missed a 3, and Stanford pulled within 2 points.
Cooke again stopped the run though, hitting a 3 with just over 10 minutes to go, reopening a 60-55 Oregon St. lead.
Inconsistent officiating meant essentially the same play on one end of the floor was called a charging foul on Nelson against Powell, but a blocking foul on Brandt against Anthony Brown on the other, but Moreland reached 15 points in the game to keep the Beavers ahead.
Overall though, foul trouble was hurting Stanford much more, as Stefan Nastic, who had carried the Cardinal in the early going, and Powell both had their 4th foul with still nearly 8 minutes to go, and Grant Verhoven had long since fouled out in very few minutes off the bench.
The game that was at once a rough, physical struggle and a whistle festival saw only 1 field goal, by Moreland, for either team for nearly 5 minutes after Cooke had hit his 3 pointer, but then Powell and Brown combined for a 5 point run that pulled Stanford within 2 points, down only 65-63 with still 4 1/2 minutes to go.
Brandt and Moreland added free throws to keep the Beavers ahead, but Randle's 2 + 1 kept the pressure on.
Cooke once again delivered a clutch 3 pointer though, and Oregon St. pulled away.
"Cooke hit that big shot late, and that's what you have to do in these types of games," Dawkins felt.
Brandt opened the lead to 7 points before fouling out, and Cooke also snagged a steal for his dunk that reopened the lead to 10 points, putting the Beavers up 78-68 with 41 seconds left.
Nelson answered a Randle basket with a pair of free throws, giving him a team high 21 points, and Cooke's free throw extended the lead to 11 points, the largest of the game, before a junk basket by Powell with 1 second left prevented the Beavers from getting a double digit win, making the final 81-72, and sending the partisan Beaver crowd of 4,308 home happy.
It was still a win though, snapping a 4 game losing streak against Stanford, who had defeated Oregon St. in 7 of the last 10 meetings.
Randle finished with a game high 30 points but Powell was held to 13 points, though he did have a team high 10 rebounds, giving him a double double. Nastic finished with 11 points, 9 of which came in the first half.
Huestis fouled out with 53 seconds left, having scored 9 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
Brandt also finished in double figures, with 12 points, to go with 3 rebounds, 3 assists, a blocked shot, and a steal.
"Our game plan was to share the ball, and make sure that everyone got a chance to touch it, making the other team have to guard every guy," Robinson said. "That's what you want to do when they have a short bench. We followed our game plan to a tee, and were able to get the ball inside."
The win improved Oregon St. to 9-6 for the season, and 1-2 in the Pac-12, with California (11-4, 2-0) coming to GIll Saturday evening at 5 PM, on Gary Payton night, when the Beavers will honor their Hall of Fame alum.
Stanford dropped to 9-5, and 0-2 to start the Pac-12 race, and head to Eugene for a Sunday game against #17 Oregon (13-2, 1-2).
The Bears were Golden tonight, upsetting the Ducks 96-83 tonight at Matt Court, for California's 12th consecutive win over Oregon.