Men's Basketball Opens Exhibition Season with a Victory

Nov. 4, 2001

CORVALLIS, ORE. - Philip Ricci led four Beavers in double figures with 18 points as the Oregon State University men's basketball team opened the 2001-2002 season with a 86-67 victory over EA Sports in an exhibition game at Gill Coliseum. EA Sports is a team made up of former Division I players.

Ricci was one of eight individuals who made their OSU debut Sunday. A total of 12 players appeared in the game, three more than at any one time last season.

'Overall I'm pleased with our performance,' second-year OSU head coach Ritchie McKay said. 'We have a lot of work to do, but I think we're ahead of schedule in many areas.'

The Beavers opened up a 19-point halftime lead thanks to hitting .563 from the field. The game began with Brandon Payton and Brian Jackson each hitting threes within the first minute of action. The Beavers pushed the lead to as many as 21 points three times in the opening stanza.

Oregon State extended the lead to 27 points with 9:04 left in the contest and cruised to the victory.

Ricci added nine rebounds to an impressive night that saw him hit 7 of 12 field goal attempts. Jackson added 15, hitting 6 of 8 from the floor, including 3 of 5 three-point field goal attempts. Payton scored 14 points, and Floyd North III added 12. North was perfect from the field on six attempts, including three dunks.

'We don't have to play guys 35 minutes every game, and that is certainly a luxury for this program this year,' McKay added. 'This team has depth, we have guys who can come off the bench and play.'

The Beavers conclude their exhibition season Thursday at home against Athletes-In-Action, before regular season play begins Nov. 17 at home against Northern Colorado.

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