Oregon State Downs Siena 69-67

Nov. 17, 2004

By Keith Parsons
AP Sports Writer

Raleigh, N.C. (AP) - Sasa Cuic's three-point play with four seconds left gave Oregon State a 69-67 victory over Siena on Wednesday in the first round of the BCA Invitational.

The Beavers (1-0) advance to play East Carolina, which beat Pepperdine earlier in the day.

Cuic, a freshman, finished with 17 points, and none were bigger than the final three. After J.S. Nash brought Oregon State within one with a jumper, Siena point guard Kojo Mensah dribbled the ball off his foot for a turnover, giving the Beavers a chance.

They called timeout with 10 seconds left, and Nash started the final play by working a pick-and-roll with Cuic. When the defense went with Nash, he quickly passed to Cuic, who drove the basket and made a layup as he was fouled by Antoine Jordan.

Cuic converted the free throw to make it 69-67, and Mensah's 3-pointer just before the buzzer bounced off the rim.

Nash added 15 points for Oregon State and Chris Stephens scored 12.

Michael Haddix bounced back from a rough first half to lead the Saints (0-1) with 26 points.

They trailed 47-38 early in the second half before Haddix found his range. He made his last six shots, including jumpers from close range on three consecutive possessions to give Siena a 54-51 lead.

The margin grew to eight on Haddix's layup over Jim Hanchett, and Brent Sniezyk made a free throw to put the Saints ahead 62-53.

But the Beavers eventually closed to 65-64 on a free throw by Nash, two from Chris Stephens and a layup by Kyle Jeffers. Mensah scored with an acrobatic move in the paint to make it 67-64, before Nash's jumper set up the final sequence.

Oregon State was playing without starter David Lucas and top reserve Angelo Tsagarakis, both out with injuries. Also, transfer Nick DeWitz isn't eligible until Dec. 11.