In what was shaping up to be a comeback battle, the Beavers let late turnovers turn the tide tonight, marking a 72-68 loss to Colorado. They’re now 2-9 in conference play.
The team had a total 21 turnovers tonight, letting loose balls get the better of them.
"We can’t play against a team this good and turn the ball over that many times. And we missed about seven point blank shots around the basket. But I was proud of the effort. I think they got off to a hot start," said Coach Robinson.
“Everybody was rooting for us. We were right there,” said Roberto Nelson. “It always comes down to who’s getting the loose balls. Turnovers cost us. We were getting over that hump. I had crucial turnover in the game. That’s the kind of stuff that can’t happen.”
Ahmad Starks chimed in to drive the point home, “We were just a little too careless with the basketball...we have to be able to take care of it in crucial times.”
Crucial moments. Crucial decisions. Crucial carelessness.
How would Robinson describe it? “Nerves. Youth. Bad decisions.”
Regardless, the Beavers had a lot to be proud of in this game. They out rebounded the Buffs 39-30 and used a 1-3-1 zone to create some havoc for the Buffs. But when they switched into the zone, Colorado decided to shoot their way out of it.
“The 1-3-1 was working so well in the first. And then in the second half, the zone was putting us in a better position to rebound. We based it on what was working,” Robinson explained.
Colorado's best player, Spencer Dinwiddie had 24 points and went 5-5 from the free throw line. He played a nearly perfect game and didn’t miss a shot all night. Andre Roberson, the best rebounder in the nation, had 10 here at Gill.
Joe Burton had 15 points and 12 rebounds tonight. Roberto Nelson had 21 points and Ahmad Starks walked away with 20 points, with 18 of those from three-balls.
From the start, the Beavers were on the comeback trail, down 6-19 in the first five minutes. Rather than hit the panic button, the shifted gears. Forged ahead.
The Buffs were getting good looks early, taking advantage at nearly every possession. They were up 14-6 with just over 16 minutes to go in the first half.
Starks stopped an 8-0 Colorado run with a jumper and Moreland worked hard on the glass to get fouled and split a pair of free throws.
Midway through the first half, the Buffs had a solid lead, up 23-12.
Two inside hoops by Burton cut the lead to 23-18 with eight minutes left.
Stark was on fire tonight, with back to back threes that the Beavers on par w Buffs, 31-31 w under two minutes to go. Starks would have six three-balls on the night, tying him for third on the all-time list with Gary Payton.
By halftime, Oregon State had fought to lead Colorado 34-33 at halftime. Ahmad Starks with 17 points.
In the second half, they came out hot, with Nelson starting things off with a three.
Beavs had 3 assists on their 13 baskets in the first half, a display of excellent teamwork.
With 7:25 to play, OSU was up Beavs lead 58-54.
But the Buffs were shooting their way out of the zone.
The Beavers had four turnovers in last five possessions, trail 65-63 with 2:13 left. From there, it slipped away into a two possession game with 14 seconds to play. The clock wound down, and the Sound and Spirit of OSU played “Satisfaction.” .
No. No. No..... Perhaps the Beavers just aren’t mentally prepared for these types of critical end-game situations. They've got to be tougher. Make better decisions.
“I’ve tried calling time outs. I’ve tried not calling time outs. I’ve tried calling the plays. I’ve tried not calling the plays,” said Robinson. “ Now, in practice, I’m going to work on the actual execution of these situations. We do it a lot. But we are going to do it more.”