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OSU not readying brooms yet

(The Register-Guard) — The blueprint for today's game has been in place for weeks. Oregon State just needs to make it work a second time.

The Beavers started the second half of the Pac-12 season last week against the Arizona schools, but face their first repeat opponent of the season at noon today when they take on Oregon in the Civil War at Matthew Knight Arena.

Oregon State defeated the Ducks 80-72 on Jan. 19 at Gill Coliseum in a game it led for the final 37:25 after a three-pointer by freshman point guard Hallice Cooke put the Beavers up 5-2.

The Beavers held Oregon's starters to just 25 points and were able to overcome 20 turnovers by shooting 45.1 percent from the field with seven three-pointers.

Still, the Beavers will need to be even better this time around, said Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, who remembered the first Civil War as a "knock-down, drag-out game."

"While we shot the ball well, there were a couple of individual players who didn't have their best games," he said. "So I'd like to see everybody have a great game and see how we look from there."

A win today for the Beavers would give them their second season sweep of the Civil War series since 1993. The other was in 2010.

It would also get them back to .500 in Pac-12 play. Oregon State enters the game at 13-10 overall and 5-6 in conference. The Ducks are 15-8 and 3-8. Both teams were swept by No. 2 Arizona and Arizona State last week.

"All these games are winnable, even the ones on the road, but this is going to be tough one," Robinson said. "They've got a lot play for, we've got a lot to play for. It should be an exciting matchup."

Robinson also said his team shouldn't be confused by Oregon's poor Pac-12 record.

"We're as cautious playing them as we would be if they were 8-3," he said. "They have a lot of weapons offensively. They have a lot of speed. They play different defenses so you have to be ready for their press, you have to be ready for their zone, you have to be ready for their man-to-man. But most important, they can shoot the ball really well, so they're never really out of games because any of four guys, five guys can light it up from three-point distance."

In the game back in January, Oregon State's man-to-man defense was effective against the Ducks, holding their two leading scorers -- Joseph Young (18.4 per game) and Mike Moser (12.6) to five and eight points, respectively.

"There's not going to be many times where you can hold all those guys to below their averages," Robinson said.

On the flip side, Robinson said he expects to see plenty of the Ducks' fullcourt press, which has become a go-to defense in tight games for Oregon, especially in recent weeks.

"It's very potent, and you have to be ready for it," Robinson said. "I think we will be."

One area the Beavers will have an advantage the Ducks can't match up with is height. Oregon State starts 6-10 forward Eric Moreland and 6-10 center Angus Brandt. Oregon starts no one taller than 6-8.

Moreland had 15 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks in the first game against Oregon, and Brandt had 14 points and five rebounds.

After today, the Beavers will finish the regular season with four of their last six games at home. A victory over the Ducks could go a long way for a team fighting to improve its résumé for a postseason bid.

"I think every game is a potential launching point for us," Robinson said. "We're piecing together wins here and there, but winning on the road at Oregon would be a nice way to get some momentum going down toward the end of the year."


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