GAME NOTES: An in-state rivalry will be renewed at Matthew Knight Arena on Sunday, as the Oregon State Beavers visit the Oregon Ducks in a Pac-12 Conference duel.
The Ducks will be out for revenge in this contest, after they were defeated, 80-72, in Corvallis in the first meeting with the Beavers this season. The loss ended a three-game win streak for Oregon in the series, which it trails, 185-155.
Oregon State is finishing up a three-game homestand in this contest. The first two stops ended in losses to Arizona State (86-82) and second-ranked Arizona (76-54). The Beavers, who are now 13-10 overall and 5-6 in league play, have lost three of their last five overall. They take on Washington State and Washington at home in their next two outings.
On the other side, Oregon has been dismal since entering league play, with eight losses in 11 clashes. Those struggles have muddied a strong start to the campaign for the Ducks, who were once ranked 10th in the country, but are now 15-8 overall. They will play host to Washington and Washington State next.
Oregon State fell victim to the tough brand of defensive basketball that Arizona plays, shooting just 39.1 percent from the floor in the 22-point loss. The Beavers were also outscored, 40-12, in the paint and 16-3 off of turnovers. Pac-12-leading scorer Roberto Nelson finished with only 10 points.
Without Nelson (21.5 ppg) firing on all cylinders, the Beavers are an extremely weak team. The 6-foot-4 guard may be joined in double figures by a pair of his teammates, but he has clearly been the top option, with at least 20 points in 15 games this season. However he has gone a combined 13-of-38 from the floor in the last three games, averaging 16 ppg in that span. Devon Collier (14 ppg, 6.2 rpg) and Angus Brandt (12.6 ppg) are each reliable scoring options, but are certainly more comfortable as the second and third choices. Brandt had a team-high 14 points against Arizona, and Collier chipped in 10.
Joseph Young poured in a game-high 29 points, but Oregon's second half rally fell short in a 76-72 setback against Arizona State last time out. The Ducks hit just 25 percent from the floor in the first half and 36.6 percent from the field overall in the game.
Even if it has not led to many wins, Oregon is still the highest scoring team in the Pac-12 (83.3 ppg). However, the Ducks have not reached 80 points in seven straight contests now. Young (18.4 ppg) heads up the offensive efforts as the leading scorer among four averaging in double digits. The 6-foot-2 guard is shooting a career-best 48.2 percent from the floor and is fifth in the league in scoring. Mike Moser (12.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg) and talented reserve Jason Calliste (12.3 ppg) represent the next best scoring threats, with Moser also doing the best work on the glass. Damyean Dotson (10.3 ppg) adds depth.
Oregon has not found wins easy to come by against Pac-12 competition. However, the Ducks have been solid at home (10-3) and should be able to push past one of the most inconsistent squads in the conference.
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