Beavers Look for Third Consecutive Victory Thursday in Los Angeles

Jan. 27, 2003

Corvallis, Ore. -

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SERIES: USC leads the overall series 54-51, according to Pac-10 Conference records. The Trojans have won two straight and six of the last seven. The Beavers haven't won at the Sports Arena since an 83-81 overtime victory during the 1994-95 season (7 straight losses). The last two at the Arena haven't been close, with OSU losing by an average of 30 points (73-47, 79-45). This series dates back to the 1924-25 season. The two schools concluded the regular season at the Sports Arena last year (March 2). Sam Clancy and Errick Craven each scored 20 points in the 79-45 victory. The Beavers, in what would be Ritchie McKay's last game as the OSU coach, shot just .298 from the field. Philip Ricci was the only Beaver in double figures with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Clancy had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the Trojans' 64-51 win last season in Corvallis (Jan. 31); Jimmie Haywood scored 14 for the Beavers.

BEAVER DEFENSE TOUGH OF LATE: Four of Oregon State's last five opponents have failed to reach the 41 percent mark from the field. Washington shot .338 (25-74), Washington State was at .266 (17-64) last Thursday, Stanford hit .400 (20-50) Jan. 9, and Oregon was at .409 (27-66) Jan. 18. For the season, OSU is first in the league for field goal percentage defense at .408.

THREE IN A ROW? If Oregon State wins at USC Thursday it would be the school's first three-game win streak within Pac-10 Conference action since the 1998-99 club defeated Arizona, Arizona State, and Oregon at Gill Coliseum.

FRESHMEN IN THE PAC-10: Beaver point guard Lamar Hurd entered the week leading the Pac-10 Conference for average minutes played by a freshman at 32.6 per game. Hurd has played at least 30 minutes in every contest this season, except at California where he fouled out after playing 21 minutes. Arizona State's Ike Diogu is second in the conference at 30.6, Richard Midgley of California is third at 24.6, the Huskies' Mike Jensen is fourth at 21.9, and teammate Nate Robinson is fifth at 21.6.

RICCI CONTINUES HIS STELLAR PLAY: Beaver senior forward Philip Ricci continues to make a case for being the school's first all-conference selection since Deaundra Tanner in 1999. Ricci entered the week fifth in the conference for scoring (17.4), second for rebounding (8.8), eighth for field goal percentage (.561), and seventh for blocked shots (1.3). He is tied for first in the Pac-10 for active players with double-doubles with 13 -- Luke Walton (Arizona) has 13.

THESE GUYS WOULD MAKE A GOOD TEAM: Five Pac-10 Conference players have scored in double figures in every game entering Saturday's tilts. Beaver senior Philip Ricci is joined by fellow conference mates Ike Diogu of Arizona State, Joe Shipp and Brian Wethers of California, and Luke Ridnour of Oregon.

RETURN TO SENDER: Oregon State enters this week second in the Pac-10 Conference for blocked shots, averaging 4.00 per game (ASU 4.8). The Beavers are on pace to register 108 rejections this season, which would be the most since the 1992-93 team had 111. Oregon State had nine blocked shots vs. Washington last Saturday, one shy of the school record.

BLOCK OUT! Oregon State enters this week needing to improve at keeping the opposition off the boards. The Beavers have allowed 52 offensive rebounds over the last three games; thus the opposition in those three games has attempted an average of 13 more field goal attempts. USC, Thursday's opponent, is second in the Pac-10 for offensive boards averaging 15.4.

PUT THEM IN THE BOOK: Unlike recent seasons, Oregon State has been consistent with its starting lineup. Beaver head coach Jay John has used the same five players to start the game for the last 14 contests (Ricci, Jackson, North, Haywood, Hurd).

LOOK INSIDE FIRST: Oregon State's perimeter players are looking for the big guys inside first for the most part. The Beavers are on pace to attempt 387 three-point field goals for the season, a number that would be the lowest since the 1994-95 team had 343 attempts.

OKAY, ENOUGH OF THE CAREER BESTS ALREADY! Seven individuals have achieved career-highs for points vs. Oregon State this season. Dwayne Williams (Idaho) 23 points; Eugene Jeter (Portland) 20 points; Tony Champion (Sacramento State) 16 points; Gilson DeJesus (Kansas State) 21 points; Matt Lottich (Stanford) 23 points; Joe Shipp (California) 35 points, and Luke Ridnour (Oregon) 28 points. DeJesus, Lottich, Shipp, and Ridnour combined for a staggering 16 of 23 (.696) from three-point range.

THREE RECRUITS SIGNED: First-year head coach Jay John signed three individuals to national letters of intent during the early signing period in November. Joining the Beavers for the 2003-2004 season will be Liam Hughes (7-2, C) from Modesto Christian High School in California, Kyle Jeffers (6-8, F), from Montgomery High School in Santa Rosa, Cal., and Jeffree Williams (6-9, F) from Roosevelt High School in Portland, Ore. John and his staff have two scholarships remaining to award during the late signing period, April 16-May 15.

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