Men's Basketball takes three-game winning streak to Arizona State Friday

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Jan. 2, 2002

CORVALLIS, Ore. -

THE NEXT GAME: Oregon State (8-4, 1-1 Pac-10) dives back into Pac-10 Conference action Fri., Jan. 4 at the Arizona State Sun Devils (7-4, 0-2). Tipoff is at 5:30 p.m. PST from ASU's Wells Fargo Arena.

ODD SCHEDULE: The Pac-10 moved this week's games to Friday and Sunday to avoid playing during Thursday's Rose Bowl. The back-to-back games with the Arizona schools are due to the rebirth of the Pac-10 Conference Tournament. The Arizona schools were originally scheduled to play in Oregon the last week of the regular season in March, but those games were forced to December to make room for the tournament.

FG PERCENTAGE DEFENSE IMPROVES: Oregon State has allowed its last six opponents to shoot a combined .387 from the field. For the season, OSU's foes are shooting a paltry .402.

ON TARGET DURING WIN STREAK: Oregon State has shot .510 from the field during its current three-game win streak. Freshman guard Joe See has hit .688 (11-16/7-12 3-pt) during the streak, followed by Floyd North III at .625 (5-8), Philip Ricci at .613 (19-31), Adam Masten at .579 (11-19/6-9 3 pt.), and J.S. Nash at .529 (9-17).

SHOOTING PERCENTAGE CLIMBS: Oregon State has improved to .476 from the field for the season, and has eclipsed the .500 mark twice in the last three games.

1,500 MILESTONE: Oregon State earned its 1,500 NCAA recognized men's basketball victory in the New Year's Day triumph over Lehigh. OSU has the most victories of any conference institution.

INSIDE SCORING IMPROVING: Oregon State enters game 13 of the season with 26 percent of its field goals coming from three-point range, compared to 34 percent last year, and 29 percent in 2000.

TOUGHER ON THE BOARDS: Oregon State still is a minus-1.5 in rebounding margin for the season, but the team has made strides in recent games. The Beavers have outrebounded three of their last four opponents by an average of 3.9 per outing. The only team in the four-game stretch to outmuscle OSU was Arizona State (37-24).

FREE THROW PARADE: Oregon State has attempted 65 free throws over the last three games, converting 48. During the same time, OSU's opponents have just 32 tries, making 20.

THREE-POINT ACCURACY: Oregon State has hit 22-46 (.478) from three-point range over the last three games, led by Adam Masten's 6-for-9 (.667) and Joe See's 7-for-12 (.583) efforts.

OSU VS. ASU: Oregon State ended a five-game Arizona State win streak with its 62-57 victory Dec. 22 at Ralph Miller Court in Gill Coliseum. Adam Masten scored 15 points to lead the Beavers, with Philip Ricci adding 14. Chad Prewitt led all scorers with 18. The Beavers led by as many as 14 points in the second half before letting the lead slip away and trailed 49-47 with 7:15 left. Adam Masten went 6-for-6 from the free throw line over the last 32 seconds to help OSU to its initial victory of the season. OSU has lost three straight to ASU at the Wells Fargo Arena, including last year's narrow 61-59 setback. Alton Mason hit a running jumper with five seconds remaining, proving to be the game's difference. Adam Masten had previously tied the game with a three-pointer at the 39-second mark.

JUST PLAIN '2': Senior guard Brandon Payton will wear jersey number '2' for the remainder of the season. Payton wore '02' the first six games in honor of his brother Gary Payton (#20), but the number has been declared ineligible by the NCAA (Sect. 5, Art. 12).

DOUBLE-DOUBLE CLUB: Junior forward Philip Ricci has already recorded four double-doubles this season. He is the first Beaver to have more than two in one season since Mustapha Hoff achieved seven in 1995.Philip Ricci, 15 pts, 10 reb. vs. Texas Philip Ricci, 17 points, 11 reb. vs. San Diego Philip Ricci, 23 pts, 10 reb at Cal PolyPhilip Ricci, 24 pts, 11 reb vs. IPFW

A FULL BENCH: Head coach Ritchie McKay has many options this year when he turns to his bench, unlike last season. He has 14 'active' players for most games. McKay didn't have a game where he had more than nine available players in 2000-2001, and at times during the year had only seven.

STARTING STREAKS: OSU players Adam Masten and Brian Jackson have started 42 consecutive games each entering this Monday's game. For Jackson, he has started 94 percent (62 of 66) of his career college games.

HOOPS RECRUITS ADDED: Ritchie McKay and his staff signed three athletes to national letters of intent during the early signing period. Joining the program for the 2002-2003 season are Kerbrell Brown (6-7, F) from Dodge City Community College in Kansas, Kevin Field (6-10, C) from Wilson High School in Tacoma, Wash., and Justin Holt (6-6, F) from Lincoln High School in Tacoma. The program has one remaining scholarship to offer during the late signing period April 10-May 15. A quick glance at the projected roster for next year (as of Nov. 15) includes four seniors, two juniors, seven sophomores, and two freshmen.

HEAD COACH RITCHIE McKAY: Ritchie McKay is in his second year at Oregon State, and is in his sixth overall as a head coach. McKay's record stands at 79-76, which includes an injury riddled 2001 season at OSU (10-20) and the first year of college basketball in 15 years at Portland State University (9-17). McKay spent two years at PSU and finished with a record of 24-29, then led Colorado State University for two of the program's most successful years ever, leaving with a mark of 37-23.

TOP EIGHT QUALIFY: For the first time since the 1989-90 season, the Pacific-10 Conference will hold a postseason tournament. The top eight teams from regular season play will qualify for the March 7-9 event at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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