It was a match up of two teams coming off disappointing losses for different reasons. The Buffs were coming in 5 and 8 in Pac-12 play and 12 and 13 overall, and were coming off a win over Stanford to then lose to Oregon in a game that got away from Colorado in the first half. The Beavers were coming off a loss to the Utah, in a game that saw Oregon State give the #9 ranked Utes a battle but a battle that saw both offenses struggle. Oregon State was also coming in with a three game losing streak and was looking to get back on pace for post-season consideration. For Colorado it was a possible game to gain some momentum going into the last part of the season and into the Pac-12 tournament.
To start the game was OSU's standard lineup of Malcolm Duvivier, Daniel Gomis, Gary Payton II, Langston Morris-Walker, and Olaf Schaftenaar.
After both teams traded a series of misses, Colorado was able to strike first with a Wesley Gordon basket. In the opening three minutes Oregon State struggled getting their offensive rhythm, but a breakaway Payton II dunk off a Buffs turnover got the Beavs right back into the game. And at the 16:39 mark a pair of Gomis free throws gave Oregon State their first lead, which they did not relinquish the rest of the game.
Gomis was the go to player early as he scored the next OSU four points to put the Beavers up 8 to 2. Cheikh N'diaye though came in to give Gomis a break, which did seem to give the Buffs an advantageon the inside with strong rebounding but Colorado just could not find the bottom of the net on any of their second, third, or fourth chances.
A Duvivier 3-pointer gave OSU a big lead 11 to 3, and even though Colorado kept pounding the paint their 1 for 10 shooting in the first eight minutes was a key factor for Oregon State being able to pull away in the first part of the half. Oregon State also struggled on offense in the first ten minutes, but a big time N'diaye bank-shot from outside the paint did help the Beavs get a bit more space on the scoreboard.
The Oregon State zone defense continued to give Colorado fits on offense, and going into the 9:00 mark the Buffaloes were only 1 for 13. This lack of Buffs offense allowed the Beavs to go on a 18 to 2 run after Duvivier's drained another 3-pointer to put OSU up 18 to 4. Colorado finally broke out of their scoring drought with a pair of Xavier Johnson free throws.
The game for a time did settle in with both teams exchanging turnovers and poor shooting. Out of a Beavers' timeout Gary Payton II was able to hit a 3-point shot to up the OSU lead to 21 to 8 at the 5:42 mark. The final five minutes continued the trend of Colorado not being able to break the OSU zone defense. Oregon State's offense was then able to finally break it open. With highlights coming on a catch-and-shoot 3-point basket by the walk on Dylan Livesay, and then a clock-winding-down-high-arching 3-point basket by Gary Payton II. When the horn blew the scoreboard showed the score 34 to 12 in Oregon State's favor.
The Beavers shot in the first half 52% (13 for 25) from the field that included hitting 6 of 15 of their 3-pointers, they made both of their free throws, grabbed 15 rebounds, turned the ball over 7 times, and blocked 9 shots (vs. only one Colorado blocked shot). The leading scorers were Gary Payton II with 10 points and Daniel Gomis with 8 points. Colorado made only 3 of their 21 field goals (14%), did not make any of their five 3-pointer attempts, hit 6 of 10 free throws, grabbed 17 rebounds, and turned the ball over 11 times. Wesley Gordon led the Buffs with 6 points.
Colorado came out of the halftime break with a bit more urgency and a Josh Scott long-range 2-point basket cut into the OSU lead, but Langston Morris-Walker hit a nice turnaround shot at the top of the key to reestablish the Oregon State control. Indeed with the huge halftime lead, the exchanging of baskets was too much for Colorado to make up any ground in the early part of the second half.
The Buffs though picked up the pace on both sides of the ball and with some OSU turnovers and missed shots were able to cut slightly the lead to 40 to 23 at the 13:55 mark, but a "get me out of my slump" 3-pointer by Olaf Schaftenaar cranked the lead back up to twenty points, 43 to 23. Jarmal Reid also saw his first time on the court in the second half.
Colorado was able to hit more of their shots and play a bit more aggressive defense as the game moved on, and behind a Dominique Collier 3-point basket cut the Beavers lead to eleven points, 50 to 39, at the 6:09 mark, and with a couple of Askia Booker free throws brought the OSU lead down to single digits and to 52 to 43. Things looked even bleaker after a Payton II offensive foul, but Colorado could not convert on their side of the ball, and two Duvivier free throws got the lead back up to double digits at 54 to 43. But Payton II continue to control the game on the defensive side keeping the Colorado offense off-balance for the game.
Colorado was not quite done yet though, and a Xavier Johnson 3-pointer bounced the lead back down to eight points. It took a long-range Duvivier 3-pointer to finally close the deal, but in a game that was for 35 minutes well in control for Oregon State, it was a bit of a shaky time of the game. In the end though it ended pretty much as it started, and the 78 to 52 final score well reflected the dominant OSU play, and was punctuated by a pair of Payton highlight video dunks.
The Oregon State final stats also nicely reflected much of their dominant play as the Beavs shot for the game 49% (23-47) from the field, hit 8 of 21 of their 3-pointers, made 18 of their 24 free throws, had 27 rebounds, turned the ball over 16 times, and blocked 13 shots (again vs. only one Colorado blocked shot). The leading scorers were Gary Payton II with 24 points, Malcolm Duvivier with 17 points, and Daniel Gomis with 10 points. Payton II also had a school record 7 blocked shots.
Even though Colorado improved in the second half, their game stats still had the Buffs making only 18 of their 52 field goals for 35%, made 7 of their 22 3-pointer attempts, hit 15 of 22 free throws, grabbed 38 rebounds, and turned the ball over a season high 22 times. The Buffaloes leading scorer was Xavier Johnson with 12 points, Tre'Shaun Fletcher with 11 points, and Wesley Gordon with 10 points.
Oregon goes to 8 and 7 in Pac-12 play and 17 and 10 overall, and will hit the road for their first match up against the Bay Area schools, playing Stanford (8-6/17-9) this Thursday night at 8:00pm. Colorado drops to 5 and 9 in conference play and 12 and 14 overall, and will be hosting the Arizona schools next week.