HOOPS: ASU puts thin Beavs on ice

CORVALLIS -- Oregon State dropped their fifth game of the season on Thursday night to Arizona State by a score of 72-62. And the Beavs are now officially the owners of their second straight conference loss. But the loss indicates a deeper issue may be at the root of the Beavs 0-2 conference record.

Do the Beavers have the talented depth necessary to be a legitimate contender in the Pac-12?

Eric Moreland didn't see any action tonight, and Angus Brandt is out for the season with a knee injury. The list of healthy players is getting smaller, and the spread is getting wider in the Beavs last two losses.

Thursday night's showdown at Gill Coliseum demonstrated that Oregon State does indeed have talent – but when the talent gets tired, where can the Beavs turn?

The first half was anyone's game. Arizona State came out slowly and had a fair share of difficulty getting their offensive legs underneath them. The Beavers did the exact opposite, starting off hot and keeping the roll going for the majority of the first half, despite an ugly attempt at shooting beyond the perimeter. Ahmad Starks claimed the Beavs only three pointer in the first half – and the Beavers attempted ten of them.

Regardless, strong play in the paint and some key rebounds courtesy of Joe Burton led to fast break points for Devon Collier, who was the driving force behind keeping the crowd alive and momentum in the orange corner.

Collier posted 12 points and collected six boards through the first 20 minutes (two offensive, four defensive). Roberto Nelson only put up three total points in the first half, but he handled the ball to near perfection and only sat out for a minute before the buzzer sounded to signify that it was half time.

And that is when it hit the fan.

Never mind the fact that the Beavers trailed by six points at the half- they still had momentum. Then they trotted out for the second half and it seemed like eighty pounds had been added to every players shoulders.

Joe Burton couldn't buy a rebound, and neither could Collier. Oregon State ended the night with a mere 30 rebounds – 15 shy of their opponents. These same missed opportunities under the net for second chance points were what killed the Beavers in the long run. ASU dominated inside the paint, and drew numerous fouls from just about everybody on the OSU roster tonight. The Beavs ended the night with 18 total.

ASU's sheer advantage in height and agility when it came to their big guys -- Jordan Bachynski, Jonathon Gilling and Ruslan Pateev off the bench -- gave the orange and black little weight to throw around in the paint. And it resulted in Craig Robinson instead of turning to the inside game, looking to the perimeter.

The result? OSU shot a dismal 22.7 percent from beyond the arc, hitting but 5-22 attempted three pointers throughout the course of the game.

Overall, the Beavers only claimed a shoddy 37.3 percent from the floor. Arizona State, led by the electric guard tandem of Jahii Carson (38 minutes, 20 points and four assists) and Carrick Felix (37 minutes, 18 points and two assists) lit up the scoreboard for the Devils – both young men wreaked havoc upon the fatigued Beaver starters as the game drew to a close.

In the short term, the prevailing hope is that a burnt out and no longer undefeated Arizona squad will enter Corvallis on Saturday with a little less gusto following their heartbreaker in Eugene on Thursday.

In the long run, maybe a win against ‘Zona is the very spark this team needs to stop grasping at straws, and start grasping some conference wins.

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