Men’s basketball hits Oregon trail

WSU looks to pick up second conference win against OSU on Thursday

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Men’s basketball hits Oregon trail

Freshman forward CJ Elleby attempts to lay up the ball to the basket against Stanford senior center Josh Sharma in the second half of the WSU Men’s basketball game against Stanford on Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.

Freshman forward CJ Elleby attempts to lay up the ball to the basket against Stanford senior center Josh Sharma in the second half of the WSU Men’s basketball game against Stanford on Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Freshman forward CJ Elleby attempts to lay up the ball to the basket against Stanford senior center Josh Sharma in the second half of the WSU Men’s basketball game against Stanford on Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

BENJAMIN MICHAELIS | DAILY EVERGREEN FILE

Freshman forward CJ Elleby attempts to lay up the ball to the basket against Stanford senior center Josh Sharma in the second half of the WSU Men’s basketball game against Stanford on Saturday at Beasley Coliseum.

SIGMUND SEROKA, Evergreen reporter

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WSU men’s basketball will take on Oregon State in Corvallis Thursday, looking to rebound from a tough home loss to Stanford on Saturday.

The Cougars (8-10, 1-4) still look for their first victory away from Beasley Coliseum this season. The team is 0-5 on the road and 0-3 in neutral site games.

Head Coach Ernie Kent said he is focused on preparing his players for the intensity of competing in an opponent’s arena.

“This is the first time this season we have had our entire team with us healthy and ready to play,” Kent said, “so the main thing this week is to get them on their game.”

In the Cougars 78-66 loss to Stanford on Saturday, freshman forward CJ Elleby led the way as he scored 18 points on 38 percent shooting from the field. He also grabbed nine rebounds.

Most of the game against the Cardinal consisted of several runs and scoring droughts for both teams.

Kent said the Cougars haven’t been able to score consistently due to poor rebounding and missing easy buckets.

“When you turn the ball over,” Kent said, “you don’t box out and you don’t take good shots, you aren’t going to win the game and score consistently.”

Oregon State (11-6, 3-2) comes off of an 11-point road loss to Arizona on Saturday. Leading the way for the Beavers was junior forward Tres Tinkle who collected 25 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

Oregon State took the lead in the first two minutes but would spend the rest of the game trailing Arizona. The Beavers struggled to take care of the ball against the Wildcats, committing 15 turnovers.

After competing against the Beavers, WSU will battle Oregon in Eugene on Sunday. The Ducks (11-7, 2-3) are coming off a close 78-64 road loss to Arizona State University on Saturday.

The first half of the game for Oregon went very much like a tug of war match with both teams trading baskets back and forth. A standout performer in the Ducks defeat was junior guard Payton Pritchard who racked up 20 points, six rebounds and three steals.

Kent has a special connection to the Ducks. He graduated from Oregon in 1977 and spent 13 years as the head coach of the basketball team from 1997-2010.

Kent said he is looking forward to going back to his alma mater, but he’s focused more on having his team ready to play.

“Half of my adult career has been spent in Eugene from my playing days to my coaching days to living there and having [my] kids raised there,” Kent said, “so … this is a different kind of feel than any other road trip.”

WSU will play Oregon State 8 p.m. Thursday at Gill Coliseum and Oregon 5 p.m. Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena. The Beavers game can also be seen live on Pac-12 Networks.