Beavs hit 20-win milestone with tourney win

Posted Mar 15, 2012

OREGON STATE (20-14) took all the drama out of it early. The Beavs opened their first round CBI game against Western Illinois on a 16-2 run, cruising to an easy 80-59 victory. OSU hit 20 wins for the 25th time in program history, but things figure to get tougher from here on out in tourney play.

Jared Cunningham scored 22 points against Western Illinois, grabbed eight rebounds and dished five assists to lead the Beavs. But he had plenty of help. Four Beavers scored in double-digits in the win.

Ahmad Starks went for 16 points, Devon Collier added 12 and Angus Brandt chipped in 10 for Oregon State.

Oregon State shot the roundball at a torrid pace, hitting 62.5 percent of its shots in the first twenty minutes, and then connecting on 68.2 percent in the second half.

OSU reached 20 wins in a season for the 25th time in school history but it was the first time since 1989-90, when the Gary Payton-led Beavs went 22-7. That also was the last time the Beavers were selected to play in the Big Dance.

Inside was where it was at on Wednesday.

Oregon State owned the boards, earning a 37-15 rebounding edge. OSU outscored the Leathernecks 42-20 on points in the paint to overcome what was perhaps the only disappointing part of their night -- 23 turnovers.

TCU (18-14) is next up for the Beavs on Monday in Corvallis.

The game will be televised on HDNet.

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