Close losses are often the toughest to take.
Particularly when wins have been few and far between.
This season, the Beavers have lost five games by three or fewer points. Three of those defeats have been in conference play, including the last two.
The Beavers lost 71-68 at California on Thursday and to Washington State last week by the same score.
The loss to the Golden Bears left coach Craig Robinson searching for answers.
The Beavers lost a double-figure lead in the second half and were unable to get off a shot in the final seconds.
“We felt like we were past the moral victory-type things and where we have to take solace in a loss,” Robinson said.
“It’s just so hard for these guys because they’ve gotten so used to winning games and I just don’t want them to feel like we’re moving backward.”
Statistically, the Beavers put together a pretty good game.
OSU outrebounded Cal 36-29, committed six fouls and had more second-chance points, fast-break points and points off turnovers.
“You look at the fouls, you look at the turnovers, you look at the rebounds ,” Robinson said. “You’d think we’d win the game.”
“I have to do a better job of getting us to be solid down the stretch in these close games.”
Robinson took the blame for not calling a timeout before OSU’s final possession.
Roberto Nelson came through with 25 points, most coming on drives or short-range shots, but the Beavers got little offensive production from the bench.
Challe Barton and Olaf Schaftenaar went scoreless, as did starter Jarmal Reid. Langston Morris-Walker hit a 3 in the first half and Eric Moreland finished with four points, although he did have nine rebounds.
Robinson and the Beavers had an extra day to shore up weak spots and get ready for Stanford at noon today.
The Cardinal are coming off a 76-52 dismantling of No. 10 Oregon on Wednesday.
Chasson Randle scored 17 points and Josh Huestis added 14 points and 13 rebounds for the Cardinal.
Stanford played suffocating defense, throttling what had been a high-scoring UO attack. The Cardinal held the Ducks to 35 percent shooting and forced 20 turnovers.
On offense, the Cardinal hit 8 of 14 3-pointers.
“Stanford played really well (Wednesday),” Robinson said. “Everybody in the league is capable of beating everybody, us included. We just haven’t been able to execute, I truly feel that in my heart.
“But Stanford is going to be another tough game. They are playing well. They are playing at home. They are starting to shoot the ball well, which they hadn’t done in the nonconference. It’s going to be another tough game, but all of these road games are tough.”