With a smattering of games left, the Oregon State men’s basketball team was looking to make a late-season push.
The starting point, of course, would be Thursday night’s Pac-12 home game against Stanford.
The plan was dashed, at least until Saturday, when the Beavers fell apart in the second half in an 82-72 loss to the Cardinal.
The Beavers were outscored 48-37 after the break.
Coach Craig Robinson said the game wasn’t the typical loss for the Beavers this season, in which they play a solid 38 minutes and fail to make a few plays at the end.
“This was a little different,” Robinson said. “I’m supremely disappointed in the way it came about because I thought it came down to rebounding and toughness, something we typically do pretty well.
“This was one where we let them beat us with our effort in the second half as opposed to losing it on some key plays down the stretch.”
After winning the rebounding battle in the first half, the Beavers struggled to keep the Cardinal off the boards for the rest of the game.
Stanford outrebounded OSU 27-13 in the second half.
The Beavers had more offensive rebounds but Stanford’s 11 did more damage, often coming at key moments.
“You make these guys miss when you’re only down two or one or four and they get put-back after put-back,” Robinson said. “Those are important second-chance points.”
In the last meeting, it was Stanford’s 3-point shooting that made the difference.
On Thursday, it was OSU’s lack of ability to hit from the arc that proved to be costly.
The Beavers hit 2 of 15 3s, with Roberto Nelson going 1 of 9.
Nelson said he’s got a shooter’s mentality and confidence in his shot, but the long ones weren’t falling for him Thursday.
“You’ve got to just have a short memory and just play,” he said. “I’m just playing. I’m playing to win and if I have an open shot, I’m going to take it. A lot of my 3s in the second half were wide open and I missed those. I wouldn’t say I forced it, they just didn’t go in.”
The long-range shooting woes were particularly tough down the stretch. The Beavers struggled to patch together positive possessions while the Cardinal opened the gap.
Nelson was the lone OSU offensive weapon throughout the final minutes. He finished with 28 points on 10-of-26 shooting.
Joe Burton, sporting a freshly cut mohawk, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds and Eric Moreland had 11 points and 11 rebounds.
That wasn’t enough to counter balanced scoring by the Cardinal. Stanford had five players in double figures. Josh Huestis had 20 points and 11 boards and Dwight Powell had 14 and 11.
Nelson knocked down a bank shot over tight defense to give the Beavers a 35-34 halftime lead.
The Beavers put together an 11-2 run to take a 29-27 lead and the teams traded baskets the rest of the way.
OSU hurt the Cardinal inside, putting together a 26-18 advantage in the paint with Burton and Collier doing the bulk of the damage. Burton hit 6 of 9 shots for 12 points and Collier had eight at the break.
Robinson told the media during the week that he intended to get his four freshmen more playing time. Olaf Schaftenaar and Jarmal Reid played in the first half for six minutes each.
Schaftenaar wound up with 16 minutes and Reid with 12. Victor Robbins came in late for one minute.
Stanford 82, Oregon State 72
STANFORD (16-11) — Brown 5-11 3-5 13, Huestis 7-13 6-8 20, Powell 5-11 4-4 14, Bright 5-11 0-0 12, Randle 5-10 1-4 13, Nastic 0-0 0-0 0, Lemons 1-1 0-0 2, Allen 1-3 0-0 2, Harris 0-0 0-0 0, Verhoeven 0-0 0-0 0, Gage 2-4 0-0 6. Totals 31-64 14-21 82.
OREGON STATE (13-14) — Moreland 4-8 3-5 11, Burton 8-14 0-1 16, Starks 0-2 0-0 0, Barton 1-6 0-0 2, Nelson 10-26 7-8 28, Robbins 0-0 0-0 0, Schaftenaar 2-2 2-2 7, Reid 0-2 0-0 0, Collier 3-5 2-4 8. Totals 28-65 14-20 72.
Halftime — Oregon St. 35-34. 3-Point Goals — Stanford 6-16 (Gage 2-4, Randle 2-4, Bright 2-4, Allen 0-1, Brown 0-1, Huestis 0-2), Oregon St. 2-15 (Schaftenaar 1-1, Nelson 1-9, Starks 0-1, Barton 0-2, Moreland 0-2). Fouled Out — Randle. Rebounds — Stanford 40 (Huestis, Powell 11), Oregon St. 37 (Moreland 11). Assists — Stanford 10 (Bright 6), Oregon St. 12 (Burton 4). Total Fouls — Stanford 17, Oregon St. 18. A — 4,649.