The Oregon State men’s basketball team salvaged an up and down season last week with a strong run in the Pacific Life Pacific-12 Conference Tournament in Los Angeles, earning the Beavers the right to play in some post-season basketball.
The Beavers came into the tournament as the No. 9 seed and faced the No. 8 seed Washington State in the opening round.
Behind a game-high 19 points by Devon Collier the Beavers were able to hold off the Cougars for a 69-64 victory. It was Collier’s best shooting game of the year, making 7-of-8 field goal attempts to go with 5-of-9 free throw attempts.
Joe Burton added 15 points and Ahmad Starks had 13 points to help the Beavers to victory. Eric Moreland grabbed 12 rebounds to go along with his nine points setting the Oregon State freshman rebounding record with 205, passing Lonnie Shelton who had 204 in 1973-74.
The victory set up a pivotal matchup against the No.1 seed Washington Huskies.
No team seeded ninth had ever knocked off a No. 1 seed in the history of the Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament and no Oregon State team had ever beat a No.1 seed regardless of what they were seeded.
The Beavers absolutely stunned the heavily favorite Huskies in an 86-84 thriller last Thursday in the quarterfinal matchup.
Coach Craig Robinson said it was “the biggest victory of my basketball career!”
Devon Collier again led the way with 19 points, while Jared Cunningham and Joe Burton each had double-doubles. Cunningham had 18 points, a career high 10 rebounds and eight assists. Burton was able to score 14 points and 10 rebounds for his fourth career double-double.
The Beavers went on to eventually loose in the semi-finals to the No. 4 seed Arizona Wildcats, 72-61.
Oregon State led 34-27 at half time, but a 20-3 second half run by the Wildcats put the Beavers away for good ending an amazing tournament run by the Beavers.
The Colorado Buffaloes eventually beat the Wildcats in the final to earn their first ever Pacific Life Pac-12 Tournament title.
The strong end of season play however, was good enough to earn the team an invite to the College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen. The Beavers won this tournament back in 2009.
The Beavers will host Western Illinois at 7 p.m. on Wednesday the 14, in the opening round. Student tickets will be free of charge with valid OSU student ID and can be picked up at Gill Coliseum beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Ticket prices for non-students will be the same as regular season games, $25 for chair back seats and $15 for bench seats.