When Oregon State coach Craig Robinson faced the media on Sunday afternoon, he didn’t rant and rave about a tough loss to Washington.
The Beavers did lose 75-72, true enough, but Robinson was not devastated.
In fact, while not elated, he was in pretty good spirits.
Robinson said the game could be a turning point for the Beavers.
He pointed out that the Beavers executed their game plan, played tough defense and took a Huskies team that is at the top of the Pacific-12 Conference to the wire.
“I hope the players feel the same way that I do,” Robinson said. “Because that effort against the team which I think is probably the best team in this league, they’re the most talented team in this league, to be able to just stick with them and fight and execute our game plan, I thought the guys did a terrific job executing our game plan. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
It was a big change from Thursday night’s effort against Washington State.
Unfortunately for the Beavers, they are on the losing end of a home sweep and head to the Bay Area at 15-10, 5-8.
“I wish we had won the game and I wish we had played better on Thursday,” Robinson said. “Because if you win that game on Thursday then you’re feeling a little bit better about yourself today.”
The Beavers had a chance for a comfortable lead at the half but settled for a 31-31 deadlock.
They allowed 16 offensive rebounds and were outscored by the UW bench 24-7, mostly due to C.J. Wilcox’s 17 points.
They missed 10 of 26 free throws while the Huskies hit 24 of 35.
“We have to shoot a better percentage from 3 and make some foul shots,” Robinson said. “You make some foul shots and it makes them a little bit more nervous and maybe they miss some stuff.”
Robinson’s game plan worked for the most part.
He started Challe Barton in place of Joe Burton and went to a three-guard lineup for much of the game.
“I was worried about their three-guard lineup, which is chock full of potential NBA guys,” Robinson said. “So I wanted to make sure we could stay in front of them.”
Barton was successful but found himself in foul trouble.
Eric Moreland bounced back from a tough game on Thursday. He had five blocks, altered several more and also had nine rebounds.
“I think coach was happy with the defense and I think we are with our effort,” Moreland said. “I think we executed, it just was a tough loss. I wish we could have gotten this one. It wasn’t because of effort or defense like in the other games. I think this game we did a good job on defense. They got a couple of open 3s but I think our effort was there on offense and defense.”
The Beavers stayed close late in the game on two 3-pointers by Ahmad Starks.
The first cut the UW lead to 65-63 with 2 minutes, 12 seconds to go.
That was bumped to four when OSU left Terrence Ross open for a jumper.
The second came with 25 seconds left to make it 70-68, but the Huskies hit their free throws to put it away.
The Beavers struggled with Washington’s defense all afternoon.
OSU went without a field goal from 16:52 in the second half to 10:17 when Jared Cunningham drained a 3.
Cunningham finished with 23 points, Devon Collier had 16, Starks 14 and Angus Brandt 12.
The game came to a halt for about 10 minutes in the second half when some Dippin Dots were spilled on the floor.
It took some serious scrubbing — even two officials went to work — before action could resume.
Washington 75, Oregon State 72
WASHINGTON (17-8, 10-3): Simmons 0-1 4-4 4, N’Diaye 2-3 2-6 6, Gaddy 3-10 0-0 8, Wroten 4-12 4-7 12, Ross 7-21 6-7 21, Wilcox 4-11 7-9 17, Seferian-Jenkins 0-2 0-0 0, Kemp Jr. 2-2 1-2 5, Gant 1-4 0-0 2. Totals 23-66 24-35 75.
OREGON STATE (15-10, 5-8): Collier 6-8 4-8 16, Brandt 6-9 0-0 12, Cunningham 7-20 7-8 23, Barton 0-1 0-0 0, Starks 6-15 0-0 14, McShane 0-0 0-0 0, Burton 0-0 0-0 0, Moreland 1-4 4-8 6, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 0-6 1-2 1. Totals 26-63 16-26 72.
Halftime: Tied 31-31. 3-Point Goals: Washington 5-17 (Gaddy 2-3, Wilcox 2-7, Ross 1-5, Wroten 0-1, Gant 0-1), OSU 4-16 (Starks 2-5, Cunningham 2-6, Barton 0-1, Nelson 0-4). Fouled Out: Gant. Rebounds: Washington 47 (Ross 13), OSU 41 (Moreland 9). Assists: Washington 9 (Gaddy 4), OSU 13 (Starks 4). Total Fouls: Washington 21, OSU 21. Att: 8,027