Another big man went missing for the Oregon State men’s basketball team.
This time it was sophomore Eric Moreland, who did not play for the Beavers on Thursday evening in their 72-62 Pac-12 loss to Arizona State at Gill Coliseum.
Moreland was suspended for violation of team rules. Freshman Victor Robbins was also suspended.
Coach Craig Robinson would not go into specifics about the suspensions. The players will practice with the team and Robinson said he expects Moreland and Robbins to be able to return at some point.
“We’ll just say suspended for now and we’ll find out exactly how long they’re suspended for violation of team rules,” Robinson said. “I wish they weren’t, but life happens to these young guys.”
Robinson said the issue came about right before the game.
“It’s one of those things that you never can be prepared for,” Robinson said. “This is the first time this has happened to me. But you can’t prepare your players for that and I know it’s a big letdown when it’s a player like Eric, who is a big part of the production of the team.”
Moreland brings boundless energy and relentless rebounding work to the games and the Beavers definitely missed him on the boards. ASU outrebounded the Beavers 49 to 35.
How much did the Beavers miss Moreland?
“About 14 rebounds worth,” Robinson said.
The Beavers were at a significant size disadvantage without Moreland, but Robinson made up for it in part by going to his bench and sticking with those players throughout the game.
In the end, the Sun Devils (14-2, 3-0) had too much size and plenty of Jahii Carson. Carson, a whippet-quick freshman point guard who nearly landed in Corvallis, slashed through OSU time and again on NBA-style drives to the hoop.
The Sun Devils seemed in complete control early in the second half, taking a 50-36 lead. But Robinson went with a lineup of Devon Collier along with Olaf Schaftenaar, Jarmal Reid, Challe Barton and Langston Morris-Walker.
The Beavers (10-5, 0-2) promptly went on a run and cut it to 55-49.
“The reason was they were the ones who were playing the way we needed to play in order to come back at that time,” Robinson said. “I didn’t predetermine that I was going to put that lineup in, I went by the feel of the game and those were the guys that were getting the work done. And they did a fantastic job. They got our crowd back into it, they got our bench back into it.”
Reid came through on the boards, finishing with 11 and Collier had eight to go with 18 points. Ahmad Starks added 10, but the regulars struggled from the field. Joe Burton did not score and Roberto Nelson finished with eight points.
Collier said the Beavers clearly missed Moreland.
“He’s a great rebounder,” he said. “But we didn’t have (him), so we have to pick it up.”
Sparked by solid defense and Collier, the Beavers put together an 11-1 run to take a 26-18 lead in the first half. But Carson took over and the Sun Devils worked their way back into it. ASU took the lead on a 3-pointer by Jonathan Gilling and went into the break with a 36-30 lead on a 3 by Carrick Felix.
Arizona State 72, Oregon State 62
ARIZONA STATE (14-2)—Felix 7-14 2-7 18, Gilling 6-13 1-1 14, Bachynski 3-8 4-9 10, Carson 9-19 1-1 20, Gordon 1-3 0-0 3, Colvin 2-5 0-0 5, Jacobsen 0-2 0-0 0, Barnes 0-1 0-0 0, Pateev 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 29-66 8-18 72.
OREGON STATE (10-5) — Reid 3-5 0-0 6, Collier 6-15 6-8 18, Burton 0-4 0-2 0, Starks 3-11 2-2 10, Nelson 2-7 4-7 8, Moyer 1-1 0-0 3, Barton 3-4 0-0 6, Morris-Walker 1-3 1-2 3, Schaftenaar 3-9 0-0 8. Totals 22-59 13-21 62.
Halftime — Arizona St. 36-30. 3-Point Goals — Arizona St. 6-20 (Felix 2-5, Gordon 1-1, Colvin 1-2, Carson 1-5, Gilling 1-6, Barnes 0-1), Oregon St. 5-22 (Starks 2-7, Schaftenaar 2-8, Moyer 1-1, Burton 0-1, Morris-Walker 0-2, Nelson 0-3). Fouled Out — Reid. Rebounds — Arizona St. 49 (Felix 14), Oregon St. 35 (Reid 11). Assists — Arizona St. 12 (Carson 4), Oregon St. 17 (Reid 5). Total Fouls — Arizona St. 14, Oregon St. 18. A — 4,796.