Thursday, December 20, 2012
CORVALLIS — Eric Moreland and Roberto Nelson scored 14 points apiece to help Oregon State defeat Howard 69-53 Wednesday night.
Devon Collier added 12 points for Oregon State (8-2), which won its fourth straight game and improved to 6-0 at home.
Mike Phillips had 15 points and Prince Okoroh 13 points for Howard (3-9).
Oregon State led by 10 at halftime and never let Howard get closer than eight in the second half. The Beavers used an 8-2 run early in the second half to go up 41-27. They held a double-digit lead the remainder of the game, eventually going up by as many as 23.
“While it wasn’t the prettiest win, it felt like one of those wins where you can see your team making progress on their own without our help,” Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said.
Moreland also had 10 rebounds for the Beavers. Nelson, coming off tying his career high with 34 points three days earlier in a home win against Chicago State, had a career-high seven assists.
“I have a bunch of threats, so it’s easy to get assists when you have guys like Eric, Joe (Burton) and Ahmad (Starks) making shots like that. I’m just out there playing my game,” Nelson said.
Both teams struggled from the field. Oregon State made 44 percent of its shots while Howard was at 39 percent. Oregon State, which had a 36-29 rebounding edge, got a scare early in the second half when Collier went down with an apparent leg injury. Collier, who collapsed to the floor, walked off the court with a limp but returned to the game within a few minutes.
The Beavers previously lost starting center Angus Brandt for the season with a knee injury.
Oregon State has three more nonconference games before opening Pac-12 Conference play at home against rival Oregon on Jan. 6.
The Beavers will look to eliminate the slow stretches they’ve had in recent games.
“I think we’ve got a couple gears we can pick it up,” Nelson said. “We all haven’t clicked on all cylinders at one time. It’s only been one or two guys at once.”
Oregon State jumped out to a 14-2 lead, with Collier and Moreland combining for all of the Beavers’ points.
Phillips then scored eight straight points to help the Bison close the gap. Howard got within three points three different times in the first half but no closer.
Oregon State ended the half on a 9-4 run, with seven points from Nelson, to go ahead 33-23 at halftime.
The teams combined to make 20 of 55 shots in the first half.