Another halftime wake-up call helped Oregon State to a win that looked easy by the final score but really wasn’t.
At least for a half.
The Beavers held onto the ball, got more aggressive on both ends of the floor in the second half and the score took care of itself.
A 15-0 second-half run and another strong game from Devon Collier helped the OSU men’s basketball team to a 98-66 win against Maryland Eastern Shore at Gill Coliseum on Sunday.
With the Beavers leading 34-33 at halftime against an undersized and underdog opponent, OSU senior guard Roberto Nelson talked with Collier about the changes that needed to be made.
“Berto got at me and said we need to start picking it up. I took it to heart and that’s what we started doing. We started playing more aggressive,” said Collier, who had 17 of his game-high 24 points in the second half and added a season-high 12 rebounds.
Collier produced his fifth straight 20-point game shooting 10 of 16 from the field to follow Friday’s 9-of-10 performance in a home win against Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
The Beavers (5-2) opened the game with an 11-4 lead but were sluggish the rest of the half with a slow offensive start by Collier and Nelson. OSU’s two leading scorers also combined for four of their team’s seven turnovers, helping the Hawks (2-5) to nine points.
The Beavers wanted to be more assertive in the second half, and that was evident right away.
Nelson and Collier each finished conventional 3-point plays in the first two minutes of the half to put their team up six. Challe Barton soon after found Collier at the basket to cap an 8-0 run.
Nelson later scored six points and Collier five as part of a 15-0 run that helped OSU put the game out of reach.
Nelson, who came into the game averaging 25.5 points, shot 1 of 8 in the first half but finished 6 of 16 for 20 points to go with four rebounds and four assists.
“Sometimes it’s going to be like that,” Nelson said of his first half. “You can’t make every shot. That’s basketball.”
Coach Craig Robinson said the halftime message was a simple one.
“I let the guys know we were doing everything correctly except for turning the ball over,” he said, believing the turnovers came from overpassing. “We got every single shot we wanted, and how many times are you going to see both Roberto and Devon not be able to finish, and that’s what was happening.”
OSU continued to bring the defensive pressure in the second half as it had in the first, and the visitors were unable to adjust.
The Hawks came in as a sub-40 percent shooting team for the season and the Beavers helped them stay there.
MES played just one player taller than 6-foot-6 and had problems getting much easy close to the basket.
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The Hawks, who have now lost 26 straight nonconference road games, shot 11 of 33 in the first half and 11 of 32 in the second. The Beavers were just 11 of 30 but shot better than 60 percent in the second half and finished 35 of 68 (51.5 percent).
Helping the cause was a total of two OSU turnovers after halftime.
The Beavers tried to get the ball down low as much as they could, and it paid dividends.
Senior center Angus Brandt had another strong game for the Beavers after missing all but four games last year with a serious knee injury.
Brandt provided some needed offense in the first half with 10 points and finished with 17. The Australian has shot a combined 9 of 12 the past two games.
“He’s fighting some aches and pains you fight when you’ve not played for a year. I think he’s feeling other parts of his body,” Robinson said.
Sophomore forward Olaf Schaftenaar got into double-digit scoring for the second time this season with 10 points off the bench.
Schaftenaar had 10 points and a career-high five assists in 14 minutes.
He played just one minute in Friday’s win, and Robinson called it his fault.
The lanky 6-10 Netherlands product had a good practice Saturday, and that showed his coach he was ready to play.
“And he responded right away,” Robinson said.
The OSU bench shot a combined 11 of 18, with Malcolm Duvivier scoring seven and Langston Morris-Walker six, both season highs.
Duvivier, a reserve freshman guard, had scored just five total points in the Beavers’ first six games.
Oregon State 98, Maryland Eastern Shore 66
MARYLAND EASTERN SHORE (2-5) — Snyder 2-4 0-2 4, Ezeiru 2-6 0-0 4, Baxter 3-11 6-8 12, Pitt 0-1 2-2 2, Smith III 5-11 0-0 13, Johnson 0-2 0-0 0, Bell 0-4 0-0 0, Trim 1-2 0-0 2, Walker 1-3 1-2 4, Randall 2-5 0-0 4, Choice 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 6-16 4-4 21. Totals 22-65 13-18 66.
OREGON STATE (5-2) — Robbins 1-6 0-0 2, Collier 10-16 4-6 24, Brandt 6-9 5-6 17, Barton 1-3 2-2 4, Nelson 6-16 6-7 20, Moyer 0-0 0-0 0, Cooke 1-4 0-2 3, N’diaye 0-0 0-0 0, Jones 0-0 0-0 0, Duvivier 3-4 0-1 7, Morris-Walker 2-2 1-1 6, Gomis 1-3 0-2 2, Mitchell 0-0 0-0 0, Schaftenaar 3-4 1-2 10, Reid 1-1 1-1 3. Totals 35-68 20-30 98.
Halftime — Oregon St. 34-33. 3-Point Goals — Md.-Eastern Shore 9-22 (Jones 5-8, Smith III 3-4, Walker 1-3, Randall 0-1, Baxter 0-2, Bell 0-4), Oregon St. 8-15 (Schaftenaar 3-3, Nelson 2-5, Morris-Walker 1-1, Cooke 1-1, Duvivier 1-2, Barton 0-1, Robbins 0-2). Fouled Out — Ezeiru. Rebounds — Md.-Eastern Shore 38 (Pitt 9), Oregon St. 45 (Collier 12). Assists — Md.-Eastern Shore 14 (Bell 3), Oregon St. 24 (Schaftenaar 5). Total Fouls — Md.-Eastern Shore 26, Oregon St. 16. A — 2,404.