HOOPS: OSU faces strong defensive team in CBI

JARED CUNNINGHAM

OREGON STATE IS one of the nation's top scoring college basketball teams, ranking 10th in D-I scoring offense at 78.9 points per game. Their first round opponent in the CBI on Wednesday (TV: HDNet, 7 p.m.), is Western Illinois. They rank 19th in the nation in scoring defense (59.5 points per game).

Something has to give.

Meanwhile, Western Illinois is ranked 289th in scoring offense (61.6). But the Beavs can't let them heat up from outside. And Western Illinois figures to shoot more from three-point land than they customarily have this season.

Opposing offenses have drilled the Beavers from outside, shooting 38.7 percent from the 3-point line. OSU ranks 327 out of 338 Division I programs in three-pointers allowed.

The Leathernecks, primarily behind Ceola Clark and Jack Houpt, have shot 39 percent from downtown this season -- which ranks 20th nationally.

OREGON STATE POSES a challenge for any team, however. The Beavs are both athletic and deep.

Averaging double digits in scoring are Jared Cunningham (17.7), Devon Collier (13.2), and Ahmad Starks (12.2).

Eric Moreland leads the team in rebounding (6.6 per game) and blocks (61).

Joe Burton leads the team in assists (94).

Cunningham has a conference-leading 84 steals (2.8 per game) on the year.

NOTABLE NOTE:
Craig Robinson met Western Illinois in his first season at Brown. Robinson led Brown to a win, 63-59, in the Texas-Corpus Christi Tournament.

This will be the first visit to a postseason tournament for the Leathernecks since the 1980-81 season.

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