Oregon St. was unable to build on the momentum of their Sunday night upset of then 7th ranked Arizona tonight in Seattle. Washington, and Robert Upshaw, blocked (literally) the Beavers' attempts to end an 11 game losing streak, now 12, and the Huskies snapped a 4 game losing streak of their own, with the 56-43 win.
With Jernard Jarreau will also be out for several games with a sprained ACL, Upshaw, who was already the NCAA leader in blocked shots, made his first career start, and dominated the game, with a double double, on a co-game high 12 points, and a game high 15 rebounds, as well as 6 blocked shots. The only thing that kept him from a triple double was Oregon St. consciously avoiding his presence in the paint.
The insertion of Upshaw, and the removal by Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar of Andrew Andrews from the starting lineup, with Quevyn Winters staring instead, the first shakeup of the season in the Husky starting lineup, caused Washington to get off to a slow start, and Malcolm Duvivier drained a pair of 3 pointers wrapped around a dunk, below, to score Oregon St.'s first 8 points of the game, and the Beavers opened an early 10-4 lead, that would turn out to be their largest of the game.
Washington woke up, with an 11-0 run, while Oregon St was going over 8 minutes without scoring, until Jarmal Reid finally found the basket. Olaf Schaftenaar added a 3 to tie the game at 15 with just over 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half, but that would be the last points the Beavers would score in the half.
The Huskies were in the midst of their own scoring drought that would last for 9 2/3 minutes though, and neither team scored at all for over 6 minutes!
Sean Kemp Jr. finally managed a basket, and Andrews added a pair of free throws to make it 19-15 Washington at the break.
There was some decent defense, as demonstrated by Upshaw's 5 first half blocks, which made him the single season Washington record holder before halftime in just the 16th game of the season. But overall, it was more a matter of awful offense.
Oregon St. shot only 21% from the floor, even worse than their 3 of 10 3 point shooting, and never even got to the free throw line.
Washington was only a little better, shooting only 33%, but made only 1 of 8 three point shots.
The result was the lowest first half scoring of the season for both teams.
Both offenses improved a little in the second half, and Daniel Gomis opened the half with a personal 5-0 run in a minutes' time to put Oregon St. back ahead. It was the first of a half dozen lead chages over the next 5 minutes.
Gary Payton II countered Upshaw with 4 blocks of his own, one of which led directly to a length of the floor break that culminated in Langston Morris-Walker's basket that answered an Andrews 3, making it a 1 point game, and the next led to Reid's basket that put Oregon St. up 29-28 with just under 14 minutes left.
But Washington answered with an 8-0 run, and Oregon St. would never catch up again.
A big part of the problem was Payton didn't score until there was less than 6 1/2 minutes left in the game, and finished with only 4 points, and just 1 basket from the floor.
That basket came just after another Andrews 3 pointer had opened a 9 point Washington lead, and the Huskies opened the first double digit lead of the game on a pair of Andrews free throws after Payton had missed a 3 pointer, and the last media timeout, with just 2:12 to go.
They were the first of what would be 7 of 8 free throws the Huskies hit down the stretch, extending the lead to as many as 15 points as the Beavers didn't score for nearly 3 minutes, and got only a pair of late free throws by Reid to produce the final score.
It was Oregon St.'s lowest scoring game of the season.
"Our guys gave a great effort," Oregon St. coach Wayne Tinkle said, "but in the second half we didn't defend, in part attributable to frustration and fatigue. We had too many turnovers, and with what we are dealing with, we can't have that. We had too many turnovers (15), and we missed too many shots, but sometimes you just miss shots."
Duvivier only added 2 second half free throws after his early scoring spurt, but still co-led Oregon St. in scoring, along with Reid, both of whom had 10 points, and Gomis added 9.
Payton had a busy night overall, with a team high 8 rebounds, 4 blocks, 3 assists, and 2 steals. But the Beavers needed more scoring from their leading scorer, especially with Victor Robbins, Oregon St.'s 3rd leading scorer, who averaged 10.3 points per game in the first half of the season, absent.
Robbins was serving the first game of a 10 game suspension for violation of some athletic department policy, which will keep him sidelined through the 2nd USC game.
Andrews matched Upshaw, with 12 points, and Mike Andersen was right behind, with 11 for the Huskies.
Kemp Jr. and Nigel Williams-Goss both had 8 point evenings.
Oregon St.'s offense managed to bounce back to 32% shooting for the game, but the Beavers were only 4 of 16 from 3 point range. They did make 9 of 10 free throws in the second half, but the Huskes got to to the line 21 times, and making 14 of them combined with the loss of Robbins' point production produced the difference in the game. This despite Washington shooting only 42%, and only 33% on 3 pointers, making 6 of 18.
No way around it, it was an awful evening offensively in the 296th meeting between Oregon St. and Washington.
The highlight of the night was watching Gary Payton and Sean Kemp sharing stories and comparing the play of their sons.
Oregon St. dropped to 11-5 for the season, and to 2-2 in the Pac-12. The Beavers head to Pullman in the morning, and will take on Washington St. Saturday night at 6 PM.
Washington's snapping their 4 game losing streak improved their record to 12-4, and they got their first conference win of the year, after 3 losses. The win also improved Washington Coach Lorenzo Romar to 20-7 in his career against the Beavers. The Huskies host Oregon Sunday evening at 5 PM, in the midst of the post-game commotion after Seattle hosts Green Bay in the NFC Championship game earlier in the afternoon.