Oregon State returns home to Corvallis on Thursday, looking to end a skid against a Washington Huskies team that had its own brief winning streak snapped.
The Beavers (8-7, 4-5 Pac-12) put together a three-game run with wins over Arizona State, USC and Oregon. But in a road swing through Los Angeles last week, they dropped games to USC and UCLA.
“Defensively we really fought,” Oregon State coach Wayne Tinkle said in his postgame press conference following the Beavers’ 57-52 loss at UCLA on Jan. 30. “We needed to bring that same fight a little bit more offensively and we just couldn’t do it.”
Oregon State has struggled in its half-court offense, shooting just 43.8 percent on 2-point field-goal attempts. At UCLA, the Beavers shot above their season average, making 48.1 percent, but committed 15 turnovers.
Against USC, Oregon State shot just 36.8 percent from 2-point range. Despite missing 40 shots overall, the Beavers couldn’t come up with follow-up opportunities and were outrebounded, 48-30.
With Oregon State facing a Washington zone defense that works to force long-range shots but that has struggled keeping opponents away from the offensive glass, second-chance opportunities could prove vital for the Beavers on Thursday.
The Huskies (3-12, 2-8) saw their first modest winning streak of the season snapped at two games in a 77-62 blowout loss to Washington State on Jan. 31. The Cougars outrebounded the Huskies, 48-28, with 19 of their boards coming on offense.
Washington’s own offense, which appeared to turn a corner after games of 76, 84 and 83 points, regressed with a 38.2 percent performance in the loss.
“There were moments in the game when the ball stopped. It didn’t move,” said Huskies coach Mike Hopkins in his postgame press conference. “Player movement wasn’t there. A little disappointing for sure.”
Like Oregon State, Washington has struggled to score on the interior. The Huskies are shooting 46.9 percent from 2-point range and commit unforced turnovers on 11.7 percent of possessions per KenPom.com metrics.
Washington’s offensive production comes primarily from the backcourt. Quade Green at 15.7 points per game is the leading scorer, and the only Husky averaging in double figures on the season.
Oregon State’s backcourt duo of Ethan Thompson and Jarod Lucas set the Beavers’ offensive pace at 16.3 and 12.7 points per game, while forward Warith Alatishe — the team’s leading rebounder at 8.2 per game — has produced three of his five highest-scoring games in Pac-12 play.
–Field Level Media