HOOPS: Beavs tip off season with a bang


THE OUTCOME WAS never in doubt, but the way the Beavers went about it raised a few eyebrows. Oregon State in their basketball season opener topped the century mark, ran roughshod in the paint to the tune of 48 inside points and all five starters scored in double figures. The end result was a 102-83 win over Niagara.

Oregon State didn't seem to miss Jared Cunningham much. The guard who left early for the NBA didn't leave the Beavs with a lack of scoring options --not in the first game of the 2012-13 season, anyway.

Roberto Nelson, taking the place of Cunningham, led the Beavs with 22 points, followed closely by Ahmad Starks and Angus Brandt with 18 apiece. a Starks has a career-best six triples and tied his career high with seven rebounds.

Eric Moreland notched a double-double, with 14 points and 13 rebounds. He also rejected five shots.

Joe Burton chipped in 10 points. Coming off the bench, Devon Collier added 14 for good measure.

None of the five starters played more than 30 minutes and Collier was on the court for only 22 minutes.

Oregon State forged an early lead and they were never seriously threatened but Niagara kept it close for most of the first half with an impressive shooting touch from beyond the arc. Towards the end of the first half, the Beavs drilled some threes of their own -- two consecutive treys coming from Nelson and Starks and opening up a sizable margin they wouldn't relinquish the rest of the way.

Oregon State notched a school-record four 100-point games last season (101 three times, 100 once). The 102 points on Friday night was the most in a game by a Beavers' team since 1997.

The Beavers return nest play on Sunday when they host New Mexico State at 6:30 p.m. The game will be televised nationally on ESPNU.

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