Eugene, OR (Sports Network) - The most contested rivalry in college basketball adds another chapter on Thursday night, as the Oregon State Beavers make the short trip instate to take on the 24th-ranked Oregon Ducks in a Pac-12 tilt at the Matthew Knight Arena.
This marks the 339th all-time meeting between these two rivals, the most games any two teams have played against each other in NCAA history. Oregon State holds a 184-154 series advantage, although Oregon holds the edge in Eugene, 86-71. It is the Ducks seeking the regular-season sweep after posting a 79-66 win in Corvallis on Jan. 6.
Dana Altman picked up his 600th career win with last weekend's 77-66 win over Stanford. With the victory, Oregon has won four of the last five games, maintaining pace with both Arizona and UCLA in the race for the Pac-12 crown. The Wildcats and Bruins both played on Wednesday night, with Arizona holding a half game lead over the Ducks heading into Thursday's action, while the Bruins are now a half game behind Oregon.
Craig Robinson's Beavers are a potent offensive squad, but that hasn't exactly led them to a stellar campaign. In fact, Oregon State is just 13-15 on the season, as a solid non-conference run has been wasted, as OSU has gone just 3-12 in league play, good for just 11th in the conference standings. Oregon State enters this contest with a three-game losing streak in tow, following last weekend's 60-59 heart-breaking defeat at the hands of California.
Despite putting up just 59 points in the loss to California this past weekend, Oregon State hasn't had trouble at the offensive end on a regular basis, coming in averaging 72.7 ppg. Roberto Nelson has led the charge and is one of the Pac-12's scorers at 17.3 ppg (fifth in the conference). Devon Collier is next in line at 12.9 ppg, followed by Joe Burton (11.7 ppg), Ahmad Starks (11.2 ppg) and Eric Moreland (9.3 ppg). A 6-foot-10 sophomore, Moreland ranks second in the conference in rebounding (10.6 rpg).
OSU really struggled against the Golden Bears, converting just 34.5 percent from the floor, including 30.8 percent from behind the arc (4-of-13). Burton just missed a double-double in the loss, netting a team-high 15 points to go with nine rebounds. Collier added 13 points off the bench, while Nelson struggled (3-of-11 from the floor) to net 10 points. Moreland chipped in eight points, but made a bigger impact on the glass with a game-high 14 boards.
Carlos Emory led the way with 19 points, Johnathan Loyd and Arsalan Kazemi finished with 15 points apiece and E.J. Singler chipped in 12 points, as Oregon topped Stanford at home in an 11-point victory. Loyd, who continues to start with Dominic Artis out due to injury, just missed a double-double, dishing out nine assists. The Ducks shot a solid .484 from the floor, held a 35-25 edge in rebounding and forced the Cardinal into 17 turnovers.
The Ducks have played well at both ends of the floor and hold a +9.5 scoring margin as a result, averaging 72.0 ppg, while limiting foes to just 62.5 ppg. Oregon also holds a solid +7.4 rebounding advantage, grabbing 38.2 boards per game. Artis has been out for the last nine games, but the team has been able to make up for his 10.2 ppg, with three other Ducks averaging double digits in scoring. Singler is shooting under 40 percent from the floor, but still leads the team in scoring at 11.6 ppg. Damyean Dotson and Emory are close behind with 11.3 and 10.8 ppg, respectively.