(UW Athletics release)
ORVALLIS, Ore. – Wyoming struggled from the field to open the second half opening the door for Oregon State in a 83-64 loss on Saturday afternoon inside Gill Coliseum in Corvallis, Ore. Senior guard Justin James nearly recorded a triple-double in the game with 18 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. He had a hand in two-thirds of the Cowboys baskets on the night. James’ nine assists were the most since JayDee Luster had nine against New Mexico on Jan. 16, 2010.
“Oregon State is a very good basketball team,” UW head coach Allen Edwards said. “As the game wore on our size hurt, but I was proud of the effort of our team. We didn’t always do the right thing on the court tonight, but I wasn’t displeased with that. What really hurt and I wasn’t pleased about was the shooting from the free throw line.”
Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle, the Pac-12’s leading returning scoring added 28 points and 11 rebounds to lead all players. The Beavers shot 52 percent from the field in the second half and held a 46-30 advantage in the paint, while out rebounding the shorthanded Cowboys 45-27.
“I told our guys I know we are down our two bigs, but we still have to compete.” Edwards said. “We have a lot of little things we have to get better at whether that is rebounding or 80/20 balls.”
James has recorded double-doubles in the first two games of the season. If he would have added one more assist, it would have been the first triple-double since Justin Williams against Utah on March 10, 2006, when he had 10 points, 15 rebounds and 12 blocks.
Sophomore Austin Mueller, who is replacing Hunter Thompson and Jordan Naughton in the post added a career-high eight points. Junior guard Jake Hendricks added a career-high 14 points. He hit four three pointers in the contest. Freshman forward Brandon Porter added 10 points in his first career start. Sophomore Hunter Maldonado, who is nursing an injury added 10 points on the night.
The Pokes shot 42 percent from the field and 30 percent from the three-point line. Oregon State shot 49 percent from the field for the game. Wyoming shot 45 percent from the free-point line going 9-of-20.
After the Pokes opened the game with a triple from Porter, the first points of his career, the Beavers went on a 7-0 run for a 7-3 advantage. The Pokes responded quickly though with a 6-0 run of their own to take a 9-7 lead with 16:19 left in the opening half.
The Beavers answered with a 19-2 run over seven minutes for a 26-11 advantage with 8:34 left in the frame. Wyoming struggled to put any offense together during that stretch with five turnovers.
The Pokes cut the lead to 10 points at 32-22 with 4:42 left in the first half. The Cowboys used an and-one play from James and a deep three pointer from Hendricks during the 6-0 run. Junior Lwal Dung would then cut it to eight points seconds later with a nice drop step in the paint for his first career points.
Wyoming continued to fight late in the half, as Oregon State led 41-32 into the break. Wyoming shot 44 percent from the field in the half. Wyoming had five turnovers in the first half with all of those coming in a two minute stretch.
The Beavers opened the second half on a 7-2 run to take a 48-34 lead three minutes into the half. Wyoming struggled opening the half 2-of-11 from the field, as the Beavers opened up a 58-39 advantage.
Oregon State added to the lead, as the Beavers hit 8-of-10 shots to build a 73-52 lead with under seven minute left in the half. OSU continued that momentum to finish off the 83-64 win over the Pokes, as Wyoming falls to 0-2 on the season.
The Pokes return to action and to the friendly confines of the Arena-Auditorium on Wednesday evening for a 7 p.m. start against Grambling State.