CLANK: Beavs lose in major upset

ROBERTO NELSON'S 36 POINTS NOT ENOUGH

THERE WAS A point midway through the first half when the Coppin State players looked fully focused and completely energized. They had just begun to build the lead, a crucial buffer that would last the rest of the game against Oregon State. The Beavers, meanwhile at that same point, just looked stunned.

Coppin State is a D-I school in basketball, but it sure felt like Oregon State's basketball team was following the football team's 2013 opener script -- simply substituting a loss to Eastern Washington at home on the Reser gridiron for a Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference foe on the home court at Gill.

Actually, this one was worse. Much worse. Eastern is ranked No. 3 in the FCS. Entering this year, the MEAC had gone 1-89 against the power conferences the last two seasons.

Then Sunday night happened.

Coppin State 78, Oregon State 73.

The Beavs missed starters Eric Moreland and Devon Collier, who are serving suspensions for violating team rules.

Ya think?

Roberto Nelson scored a career-high 36 points. But the Beavers shot 39 percent from the field and were 7-of-27 from 3-point range.

The Eagles, who led by as many as 13 points against the Beavs, lost 83-64 at California on Friday.

Nelson hit a layup with 5:02 left to pull the Beavers within 62-61 and it felt for a moment like Oregon State was readying to escape with a win. But Coppin State took control from then on.

Collier returns for Wednesday's game against Portland. Moreland won't return until he's served a 14-game suspension, a slate that encompasses the entire non-conference plus two Pac-12 games.

For the first 10 minutes on Sunday night, neither team could hit anything, with a number of badly missed shots.

But then Coppin State went on a 12-3 run to break a 10-all tie and they did it by drilling three straight 3-pointers. They led the Beavs 36-26 at the half, after OSU hit just 7-of-24 from the field, including 1-of-11 from 3-point range.

Nelson hit a layup and a long 3-pointer to close the gap to 39-36 for the Beavers with 15:31 left in the game but again, OSU couldn't keep its foot on the gas.

The Beavers pulled within 57-55 on Nelson's 3-pointer with 8:13 to go but just as they'd do again when it was later 62-61, Coppin State went on a run and Oregon State continued to miss open shots.

Angus Brandt, making his return to the court after missing most of last season with a torn ACL, scored 13 points. Victor Robbins chipped in 11 points for Oregon State.

But cheer up, Beaver fans. The football team reeled off six straight wins to become bowl eligible after their opening loss.

Oregon State next plays Portland on Wednesday at Gill, (TV: Pac-12 Networks, 6:00 p.m.)

NOTABLE NOTE:
CBS Sports pointed out after the game that it's another "bad" non-conference loss for OSU head man Craig Robinson. All the non-con teams listed below (except for Coppin State) that the Beavs lost to ended their seasons under .500:
2008: Howard, Yale, Montana State
2009: Sacramento State, Illinois-Chicago
2010: Seattle
2011: None
2012: None
2013: Coppin State

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