HOOPS: After upset win, Beavs eye Cal next

ROBERTO NELSON

IT WAS THE counterpunching Beaver fans have been waiting for this season. Each time Stanford went on a run, Oregon State made sure it was of the mini- variety. And then the Beavs answered back with some runs of their own. The result was a 87-80 OSU win, and some of the numbers from the game were noteworthy indeed..

Oregon State (10-16, 5-10) shot 61.5 percent from the field against Stanford on Thursday night.

No, that is not a misprint.

For a team that has struggled mightily from the floor, often fighting just to get into the 30s in first halves, it was both a welcome and big surprise. It wasn't the only one.

The Beavers had five players in double figures and 19 assists.

And Oregon State outscored Stanford down the stretch, 13-5, over the last 2:18.

Jared Cunningham led the way with 21 points on 6-8 shooting but before Cunningham found his range, it was Roberto Nelson who kept OSU close each time Stanford threatened to put some damaging separation between the teams.

Nelson had 12 points while Calvin Haynes chipped in 14. Joe Burton and Ahmad Starks added 11 points apiece. Starks' three treys were key in stopping Stanford runs while Haynes and Burton consistently found creases in the Stanford defense to exploit.

Stanford's biggest lead in the first half was 13, but OSU kept chipping away and fighting back, cutting it to a more manageable 41-35 at the half.

OSU hosts Cal in the final regular season home game of the season on Saturday (TV: FSN-NW, 3 p.m. PT) against California.

Cal (15-13, 8-8) comes in off a big comeback win at Oregon. The Ducks on Thursday built a 16-point lead but then got steamrolled, losing 81-71 as Cal outscored Oregon 47-26 in the second half.

NOTABLE NOTE:
With three steals against Stanford, Cunningham set the OSU record for steals by a sophomore with 74, breaking BeavGreat Gary Payton's mark of 72 set back in 1987-88.

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