Beavers Aim for Upset of Washington

Feb. 11, 2005

Corvallis -

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UPCOMING: The Oregon State men's basketball team (13-9 overall, 5-6 Pacific-10 Conference), on a modest yet important two-game winning streak, looks to finish a key three-game homestand with an upset over #11 Washington (20-3, 10-2) on Sunday (Feb. 13) at 1 p.m. in Gill Coliseum. The Beavers surpassed their 2003-04 win total with Thursday's win against Washington State. One more will give OSU its most wins since the 1991-92 season.

ON THE AIR: The Washington game can be heard live on the Beaver Radio Network (which includes 15 stations throughout the Northwest), with Mike Parker calling the action. Games can also be heard on the internet by Yahoo! Sports college broadcast subscribers by going to www.osubeavers.com and following the links. The Washington game will be televised nationally on FSN, with Barry Tompkins and Dan Belluomini on the call.

THE SERIES: Oregon State is 133-141 all-time against Washington. The Huskies have won three straight in the series, including a 108-68 pounding in Seattle earlier this year. In the last five games played in Corvallis, OSU has won three times. The Beavers have won seven of the last 11 games, regardless of site.

LAST MEETING: OSU lost at Washington, 108-68, on Jan. 15, but it will be remembered more for the game that Jay John left at halftime, as he was taken to the hospital due to a hypertensive event. It was a good game for a while, as it was tied 22-22 with less than nine minutes to play in the first half. But, the Huskies then went on a 24-0 run. Without John on the sidelines in the second half, UW kept building its lead. Nick DeWitz scored 17 points for the Beavers.

LOOKING BACK: After being held to a season-low 19 points at halftime and trailing by two points, the Beavers put together an enormous second half, shooting 58.8% and more than doubling the first-half output to post a 58-51 victory over Washington State on Thursday at Gill Coliseum. The Beavers began the second half on a 20-3 run to take a 39-24 lead with 12:55 to play. Although OSU got only one more field goal the rest of the way, the Beavers hit 17-of-23 free throws in the final 11 minutes and held off the Cougars. David Lucas had his second double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, Nick DeWitz added 15 points and J.S. Nash was 9-for-9 from the foul line with 11 points. OSU has beaten WSU seven straight times in Gill Coliseum.

INJURY UPDATE: Jim Hanchett underwent season-ending shoulder surgery on Thursday. The procedure was successful. He suffered an initial injury during football season and it got progressively worse. The senior forward, a crowd favorite with his energetic play and tough post defense, appeared in 19 games and averaged 2.5 points, 2.6 rebounds and 12.4 minutes ... Angelo Tsagarakis is already redshirting the season due to a shoulder injury.

HONORS CANDIDATES: Throughout the Pac-10 season, the Beavers have had a pair of standouts in forwards David Lucas and Nick DeWitz. Lucas, an All-Pac-10 player a year ago, has led the Beavers (or tied for the lead) in scoring in nine conference games and is averaging 17.5 points (fifth in the Pac-10). DeWitz has led the Beavers (or tied for the lead) in scoring in three conference games and is averaging 13.7 points (15th in the Pac-10). Only one other player has led the Beavers in scoring during a Pac-10 contest (Chris Stephens, who tied with Lucas vs. Arizona). Lucas and DeWitz are the only two OSU players averaging double-figure points in conference play. Neither was available to Oregon State at the start of the season -- DeWitz missed six games while waiting to become eligible under NCAA transfer rules, and Lucas missed 10 games due to preseason surgery on his right big toe.

HOME SWEET HOME: OSU is 9-1 at Gill Coliseum (5-1 in Pac-10 play). The Beavers won their first seven home games, their best start at home since 1990-91, when they won their first nine. The Beavers are averaging 78.3 points, while opponents are averaging 69.0 points. OSU is shooting 47.7% from the field, 39.0% on three-pointers and 73.0% from the foul line in home contests. Opponents are at 44.9%, 33.7% and 65.1%, respectively.

PAC-10 ROAD WOES: The Beavers have lost eight straight Pac-10 road games dating back to last year, and have only one win in the last 17 such games (at Washington State in 2004). The Beavers, 0-5 on the road in the Pac-10 this season, are averaging 61.6 points and shooting 38.4% from the field. The four opponents have averaged 80.8 points and are shooting 51.3%. OSU has been outrebounded in four of the five games, and the rebound margin for the five games is -11.2.

VICTORY INDICATORS: If OSU can make the following happen, it will probably mean a good result. The Beavers are 4-0 when the opponent shoots below 39.9% from the field ... 4-0 when shooting 80% or better from the foul line ... 5-1 when scoring 80 or more points ... 9-2 when outrebounding the opponent ... 10-2 when committing fewer turnovers than the opponent ... 10-2 when leading at the half.

IT'S BEEN A WHILE: OSU's 10-3 start after 13 games was its best since 1989-90, the last time the Beavers played in the NCAA Tournament ... OSU started 2-0 in the Pac-10 for the first time since 1992-93 ... OSU posted back-to-back home wins against Oregon for the first time since 1993 and 1994 ... OSU won its Pac-10 opener for the first time since 1994-95 ... OSU swept the Los Angeles schools at Gill Coliseum for the first time since 1998-99 ... OSU had back-to-back home crowds of better than 10,000 for the first time since January 1999 (both times were against Arizona and Oregon) ... OSU's 22-point win over Arizona State was the largest margin of victory against a Pac-10 team since 2001-02 ... OSU's six-game winning streak was its best since early 2002-03.

EVERYONE CONTRIBUTES: OSU's depth has been very good this season, as the Beaver bench has outscored the opponents' bench 14 of 22 times, with OSU posting a 9-5 record in those games. The Beaver reserves are averaging 23.9 points per game, with a season high of 44 points against Sacramento State. A total of 11 OSU players are averaging at least 9.8 minutes per game of playing time, although the bench has grown shorter in Pac-10 play (only eight are averaging double-figure minutes in league play). The depth has come in handy, as only three Beavers have appeared in all 22 games, and only four have appeared in at least 21 games. No player has started every game. OSU has utilized 11 different starting lineups, including six different lineups in 11 Pac-10 games. Lamar Hurd is the only OSU player to start all 11 Pac-10 games.

FREE THROWS ARE GOOD: OSU has outshot the opponent at the free throw line in 18 of 22 games. And, several free throw shooters have had impressive streaks this season, and have hit for an excellent percentage. Chris Stephens leads the Pac-10 in free throw percentage at 92.6% (50-for-54). He made 22 straight earlier this season and is working on a current streak of 15. Jason Fontenet and Sasa Cuic are tied for seventh and 10th in the Pac-10, respectively. Fontenet is 46-for-56 (.821), including a streak of 13 straight at one point. Cuic made 30 straight earlier this season to tie an OSU record, and he is 69-for-86 (.802). David Lucas is making 81.4% of his free throws (he just hasn't played enough to qualify for the Pac-10 stats). As a team, the Beavers are shooting 72.7% from the stripe, which is not far off the school record of 75.0% set in 1965-66.

A TALE OF TWO HALVES: In nine of the 11 Pac-10 games, OSU has scored more points in the second half than the first. OSU has led at halftime in only three of 11 Pac-10 contests (vs. ASU, vs. ARIZ, vs. ORE). But, of those eight halftime deficits, OSU has come back to win three times (vs. UCLA, vs. USC, vs. WSU). All of this goes against a non-conference trend that saw nearly the opposite occur. The Beavers led at halftime nine of 11 times (but were outscored in the second half seven of 11 times).

COACH JOHN'S HEALTH: OSU Coach Jay John did not return to the sidelines after halftime of the Jan. 15 Washington game because he felt chest pains and a shortness of breath. He was taken to the UW Medical Center, where he was diagnosed with hypertension, which is basically an event of high blood pressure. He was released from the hospital a day later, but doctors ordered him to rest for a few days while further tests were conducted and his medication took hold. He missed the Jan. 20 Arizona State game, but returned two days later against Arizona. Through exercise, a new diet and blood pressure medication, he is expected to be fine.

IT'S AWESOME, BABY: Following OSU's sweep of the L.A. schools, Jay John was named National Coach of the Week on Jan. 3 by Dick Vitale on espn.com.

A SHARP-DRESSED MAN: OSU assistant coach Brian Loyd is ranked #6 among the nation's assistant coaches on collegeinsider.com's 'FPI' -- the Fashion Power Index that rates the best-dressed coaches.

BAD STRETCHES: In each of OSU's Pac-10 losses, you can look back at one or two runs by the opponent that made the difference ... • at Oregon: The Ducks went on a 14-4 spurt at the end of the first half, going up by 10 points. The Beavers got no closer than seven the rest of the way. • at Washington State: The Cougars began the game with a 15-1 lead. OSU was within five midway through the second half, but WSU responded with a 12-1 run. • at Washington: The Huskies went on a 24-0 streak during the first half, turning a close game into a blowout. • vs. Arizona: The Wildcats erased a 15-point first-half OSU lead with a 21-6 run. In the second half, the Wildcats used a 16-5 advantage to erase a one-point Beaver lead. • at Stanford: The Cardinal used a 10-0 spurt near the start of the second half to take an 18-point lead, its largest of the game. • at California: The Golden Bears used a 20-0 run, which then turned into a 29-2 run, to go ahead 42-20 late in the first half.

BIG LEADS THAT DISAPPEAR: One area of concern is that the Beavers have taken a double-digit lead in 15 games, but have let the opponent back in by either giving up most of the lead, or the entire lead, 12 times. OSU won nine of those 12 games, but surrendered a 15-point lead to Arizona and 13-point leads to both East Carolina and Georgia in losses.

DOWN TO THE LAST SECOND: Four of the first seven games were decided by three points or less. Here's a closer look at this year's last-second finishes:• Siena (W 69-67): Sasa Cuic completes a conventional three-point play with four seconds remaining. Siena's Kojo Mensah narrowly misses a three-point attempt at the buzzer... • East Carolina (L 62-64): Chris Stephens and Sasa Cuic miss three-point attempts in the last three seconds... • Portland (W 66-63): Kenny Hooks blocks a Darren Cooper three-point attempt at the buzzer... • Georgia (L 74-76 OT):With 1.6 seconds left in overtime, J.S. Nash throws a perfect length-of-the-court pass to Nick DeWitz, but his hurried, under-pressure lay-up attempt just misses.

FREQUENT-FLYER MILES: It's believed that this is the first time in the history of the program that OSU has made two separate non-postseason trips to an East Coast time zone locale (Raleigh, N.C., and Atlanta). The Beavers hit all four time zones in the non-conference season alone after the trip to Boise State (Mountain) and Prairie View A&M (Central).

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOR: The Beavers have three players who hail from overseas, and another that had to cross the U.S.' northern border to get to OSU. There are three Europeans -- Sasa Cuic (Croatia), Angelo Tsagarakis (France) and Liam Hughes (England) -- while Derek Potter is from British Columbia. Another player, Jim Hanchett, served a two-year mission in Brazil and lived briefly in Germany.

THE NEW CLASS: Head coach Jay John signed three student-athletes to national letters of intent during the early signing period (Nov. 10-17). Joining the program for 2005-06 will be guards Josh Tarver (6-3, Jesuit HS, Portland, OR) and Wesley Washington (6-3, Compton CC, Compton, CA), and power forward Calvin Hampton (6-9, New Hampton Prep School, NH). Tarver's brother Zach is a true freshman receiver on the OSU football team and his oldest brother Shon was a standout guard at UCLA (1991-94).

BEAVERS IN THE NBA: Two former Beavers are currently in the National Basketball Association. NBA all-star Gary Payton is in his 15th year in the league and first with the Boston Celtics, and Brent Barry is in his 10th year in the league and first with the San Antonio Spurs. A total of 26 former Beavers have played in the NBA. Five Beavers are in the newly reformed ABA: Jimmie Haywood (Bellevue), Brian Jackson (Arkansas), Charles McKinney (Portland), Brandon Payton (Portland) and Deaundra Tanner (Utah). Jackson was recently named to the ABA All-Star Game.

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