Beasley beatdown; WSU men’s basketball struggles against Beavers

Evan Baron | Evergreen men's basketball reporter

Whenever the WSU men’s basketball team found a rhythm and got the crowd involved, the Oregon State Beavers immediately fired back on the next possession to silence the crowd and WSU’s chance of a win.

Ultimately, the Cougars (8-11, 1-6) fell to the Beavers (11-7, 3-3) by a score of 55-66.

“They’ve (Oregon State) got a lot of talent, I think people saw that tonight,” WSU men’s basketball Head Coach Ken Bone said. “They have a number of kids that can shoot, a great shooting team.”  

The Oregon State Beavers started out the first half attacking the Cougars down low in the post. With a mismatch down low, the Beavers fed the ball to redshirt senior center Angus Brandt, who scored eight points in the first 10 minutes of the first half, which helped the Beavers take an early lead.

However, WSU redshirt freshman guard Que Johnson helped the Cougars stay in the game and prevented the Beavers from extending their lead. Johnson scored eight points in the first 12 minutes of the game for the Cougars, which brought the Cougars within eight points.

After WSU sophomore forward Junior Longrus laid the ball up for two points, the Cougars trailed the Beavers by five points with two minutes left in the first half. The next possession the Beavers fired back when senior guard Roberto Nelson hit a 3-pointer that killed the momentum of the Cougars. Nelson finished the first half scoring 12 points.

After trailing 27-33 at halftime, WSU redshirt senior forward D.J. Shelton decided he needed to step. He scored 18 points in the second half and was four of four from behind the three-point line.

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 “It felt pretty good, I was real confident,” Shelton said. “My teammates found me good ways to get good shots, Coach Bone did a good job at running plays for me.”

With 2:38 left in the second half, after a 3-pointer by Shelton, the Cougars once again had the momentum on their side. The crowd rose to their feet, however the next possession Oregon State senior forward Devon Collier got an offensive rebound and made a bucket down in paint while being fouled, which killed the Cougars chances of victory.

 “It was very frustrating, it would just be little things, like a rebound we couldn’t dig out and then they would get an and-one,” Shelton said. “I think if we clean that up we could’ve made a good run.”

Shelton finished the night scoring 24 points and rebounded the ball ten times Wednesday night.

 “He’s had two great games, back to back,” Bone said. “I don’t know if he made that many 3-pointers all year and then he goes four for four (from behind the three point line).”

Johnson was the second leading scorer on the team tonight with 15 points and was 7 of 13 from the field.

 “I just focused on being more aggressive with DaVonte (Lacy) out,” Johnson said. “Even when he gets back, coach and I know he’s still going to look for me offensively.”

The Cougars will host the Oregon Ducks (13-4, 1-4) at 4 p.m. on Sunday.