Just four days after they had upset an impressive Colorado Buffaloes team on the road, the Oregon State Beavers couldn’t repeat their effort against the Buffs in the 2013 Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, losing in the first round by a score of 74-68.
Fueled by the efforts of Spencer Dinwiddie and Xavier Johnson, Colorado was able to convert 39.9 percent of their shots from the field while nailing 23 free throws that would be integral in icing the game for the Bufffaloes. In fact, all of Colorado’s final 15 point were from the free throw line, as the Beavers continued to make things interesting until the very end.
Leading the way for Oregon State was Roberto Nelson, who racked up 20 points on the night. He was joined by Eric Moreland and Devon Collier in double-figures in the Beavers’ opening round loss.
Here is what to love and hate from last night’s contest.
Fighting Until the Very End
There was a point in the game last night where things began to look bleak for Oregon State. While they had kept pace with the Buffaloes throughout the entire game, the Beavers saw the point margin between the two teams increase towards the latter stages of the first half.
Oregon State came up short against Colorado. (Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star)
At one point down by 11 after Andre Roberson hit two free throws with 2:43 left to play, many would not hold Oregon State at fault if they began to lessen their press and give the Buffaloes a bigger cushion.
That would not be the case, however, as these Beavers would not go down without a fight.
After a three by Ahmad Starks to cut Colorado’s lead to eight, Oregon State kept pushing back at the Buffaloes en route to drawing within six points of their foes with just 1:55 to go. Now revitalized and putting Colorado at the line, Oregon State kept nailing shots and trimming away at their deficit, even drawing the score to 65-60 with 1:42 left to play.
Unfortunately for the Beavers, Colorado was able to put the game away at the line despite all of the late-game efforts being put on by the men from Corvallis.
Though they would cut the Buffaloes’ lead to four with nine seconds to play, their comeback was just a little too late, as Colorado hit their final two free throws with seven seconds left to seal the game.
Plenty of Promise
The only player to graduate from Oregon State’s roster this year was Joe Burton. If that doesn’t tell you something about the amount of promise there is for this Beavers team next year, I don’t know what will.
Returning four of their five starters, Oregon State should be primed for a decent run in Pac-12 play in 2013-2014.
While this is looking quite a bit ahead, it’s never too early to realize that another year of Moreland, Starks, Nelson, and Collier isn’t exactly a bad thing at all.
One and Done
Conference tournaments are great because they offer teams all around the nation a shot at the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament despite their regular season records.
Joe Burton’s career at OSU came to an end on Wednesday. (Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star)
No matter whether a team has won just one game or all of them, anybody has a shot at advancing to the premiere college basketball tournament. And while the Beavers were not really ever considered to be tournament material (they had just four wins in the Pac-12 over the course of the season), anything could have been possible had the Beavers beat Colorado.
There is now no doubt that Oregon State’s season is likely over, although they could be invited to the CBI.
The End for Burton
There are some players that you never want to see done with a certain program. Oregon State recently had one of those players in the form of Joe Burton, the first member of his tribe to ever play a sport at a collegiate Division I level.
A fan favorite throughout his career, Burton finished his tenure with the program as the only player to ever reach the 1,000 points and 700 rebounds mark in Oregon State history.
From the way he developed a consistent hook shot that dazzled fans and pissed off opponents to the turquoise uniforms he inspired, Burton was a key figure of the Beavers’ basketball program in recent years.
While it is tough losing a player of his caliber, it’s even harder losing an individual as respectable as him.
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