Oregon State Beats Elon, 65-55

Nov. 19, 2004

AP Sports Writer

RALEIGH, N.C. - Sasa Cuic scored 22 points - including a key steal andan ensuing three-point play in the second half - and Oregon State beat Elon65-55 Friday in the third-place game of the BCA Invitational.

Chris Stephens added 16 and reserve Marcel Jones had 10 for the Beavers(2-1), who never trailed after they scored 16 unanswered points late in theopening half.

Jackson Atoyebi finished with 19 of his 21 points after halftime for thePhoenix (1-2), and teammate Matt Nowlin scored 12.

Elon took a 17-14 lead on a layup by Chris Chalko with about eight minutesleft in the first half before falling apart. Stephens and Cuic made layups andKyle Jeffers had a putback to start the decisive run. Cuic added a 3-pointerand a steal.

Finally, a jumper from J.S. Nash completed the 16-0 spurt, giving OregonState a 30-17 lead that it never surrendered.

Midway through the second half, Atoyebi scored from the paint to bring Elonwithin three before Jones had a layup. Then it was Cuic's turn.

He had a steal and layup, and was fouled by Rasmi Gamble. The free throwcompleted the conventional three-point play, and Cuic later lobbed a crosscourtpass to Jones for an open 3.

That made it 51-42, and the Phoenix would get no closer than five the restof the way.

Atoyebi, who failed to make a shot a night earlier in a loss to No. 19 NorthCarolina State and scored only two points, struggled through a 1-for-4 firsthalf and had only two points in this one at the break. He got going after that,starting with a pair of free throws to start the second half.

He had a personal run of six consecutive points to bring Elon back from a13-point deficit.

But Atoyebi had no help from Scottie Rice, the second-leading scorer lastseason who also had only two points against the Wolfpack. Rice tripled thattotal against the Beavers and finally made a 3-pointer, snapping a run of eightstraight misses in the past two games by swishing one in with 27 seconds left.