Beavs serve up perfect Super Bowl appetizer

HALLICE COOKE: MR. THREE

LOOKING FOR THE the perfect appetizer before the Super Bowl? Look no further. Oregon State (12-8, 4-4 Pac-12) hosts UCLA (17-4, 6-2) in a critical matchup for the Beavs. It's a desperately needed win if they want to improve their postseason standing. The two teams meet at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday at Gill Coliseum.

The game will be televised on ESPNU.

If Oregon State defeats UCLA, they will improve to 13-8 overall and 5-4 in the Pac-12. It would also:

• Be the first time Oregon State was above .500 through nine Pac-12 games since the 1999 team also started 5-4.

• Be the first time Oregon State swept USC and UCLA in back-to-back visits to Corvallis since 1989-1990 (the L.A. schools didn't play in Corvallis last year).

• Be the first time Oregon State defeated UCLA in back-to-back visits to Corvallis since 2004-05 (UCLA didn't play in Corvallis last year).

Last time out, Oregon State bested USC in a nailbiter. The game before that, they let one slip away against Washington. Beating UCLA would be big.

Roberto Nelson needs 34 points to move into fifth on Oregon State's all-time scoring list. Nelson has scored 20-plus points in six consecutive games.

Angus Brandt has scored in double figures in a career-best six straight games.

Devon Collier is averaging 15.3 points over the past three games after averaging just 6.4 points in the previous five.

Nelson (22.3), Collier (14.5) and Brandt (12.5) combine to average more points (49.3) than any three teammates in the Pac-12.

Eric Moreland, a double-double threat every time he's out on the floor, needs 12 blocked shots to become Oregon State's career leader.

Hallice Cooke is second in the Pac-12 and tied for sixth in the nation in three-point field goal percentage (.522).

Langston Morris-Walker leads the Pac-12 in three-point field goal percentage in league games (.643).

The Beavers have outrebounded seven of their eight Pac-12 opponents.

Oregon State and UCLA will meet for the 125th time with the Bruins holding an 89-35 advantage, including a 37-26 edge in games played in Corvallis. The Beavers won at Gill Coliseum two years ago, 87-84, to snap a 13-game losing streak in the series. The win was the first for Craig Robinson against UCLA and gave him victories against every team in the Pac-12.

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