CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Oregon State’s Roberto Nelson and Devon Collier entered the game as the top scoring duo in the nation, and the two combined for 44 points as Oregon State dominated Maryland Eastern Shore 98-66 Sunday.
Angus Brandt gave the Beavers some extra firepower, scoring 17 points. Nelson finished with 20 points while Collier added 24 and 12 rebounds.
Collier credited unselfish play for the Beavers’ success, and Nelson said Brandt would be crucial for Oregon State in Pac-12 play.
“Guys are going to key a little bit more on trying to stop Devon and I,” Nelson said.
The Hawks (2-5) were led by KyRee Jones, who sank five 3-pointers on his way to 21 points. Hakeem Baxter had 12 points and five rebounds, but coach Frankie Allen said the freshman guard needed x-rays after being fouled and falling on his wrist.
For the second straight game, the Beavers started quick. Oregon State led 9-2, and Brandt scored six points on layups during the run.
With a lead hovering near 10 points early in the first half, Oregon State had five substitutes on the floor, including three who didn’t play last season.
The Beavers went cold with about eight minutes left, missing seven shots in a row. Oregon State’s next points came nearly five minutes later.
Maryland Eastern Shore took advantage, and Isaac Smith hit two 3-pointers in a row to give the Hawks their first lead of the game, 31-30, at the 1:33 mark. Smith finished with 13 points.
The Beavers rebounded and took a 34-33 in the break.
Maryland Eastern Shore hung around, but midway through the second half, the Beavers went on a 15-0 run to break open the game.
“Their size wore us down . They were just a little bit too physical for us,” Allen said. “That second half, we didn’t get anything but a big spanking.”
Beavers coach Craig Robinson said his players were forcing passes, turning the ball over and missing open shots in the first half, and the second half was like a separate game.
“We limited our turnovers and started playing more aggressive on defense, and that was a big turnaround for us in the second half,” Collier said.
Oregon State came into the game leading the nation in field goal percentage at 55.6 percent. They shot just less than that, finishing at a 51.5 percent clip.
The Hawks shot 34 percent for the game.
Nelson, ranked second in the nation in scoring entering the game at 25.5 points, has notched double figures in 24 consecutive games.
Collier has scored 20 points or more in five consecutive games for the first time in his career and was averaging 22.4 points going into Sunday’s game.
Brandt, who tore his ACL in the fourth game last season, looked close to his usual self.
“He’s fighting some aches and pains that you get when you have not played in a year,” Robinson said. “His knee is fine. It’s just getting back into game-playing shape.”
The Beavers played once again without Eric Moreland, one of the best rebounders and shot blockers in school history. Moreland is suspended for the first 14 games of the season for an unspecified violation of team rules.
The Hawks have lost 22 consecutive road games and have not won a non-conference road game in their last 25 tries, a span of more than three years. Maryland Eastern Shore’s last win on the road versus a non-conference opponent was in November 2010 versus Navy.
Baxter entered the game leading the Hawks in scoring at 17 points per game and Allen hoped his injury wasn’t serious.
“He’s gotten off to a great start . He’s been instrumental in our team moving forward,” Allen said.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)