CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Angus Brandt scored a career-high 27 points to lead Oregon State to a 76-67 win over Towson on Wednesday.
Devon Collier added 13 points for the Beavers (6-2), who played without leading scorer Roberto Nelson for most of the night.
“It was really a team effort and a toughness win. . It’s the kind of win we might not have had last season,” said Beavers Coach Craig Robinson.
“(Brandt) had one of his best games ever. I was watching the old Angus,” Robinson said, referring to Brandt missing most of last season after a season-ending ACL tear in the fourth game.
Mike Burwell led Towson (7-5) with 20 points, while Marcus Damas added 14.
The Tigers Jerrelle Benimon, who is on the Naismith Award watch list, had only one point in the first half, but finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and five assists.
Nelson was ejected at the 11:50 mark in the first half after he and Damas got tangled up and fell to the floor. After a lengthy delay, officials determined Nelson threw a punch.
“I don’t think it was intentional,” Damas said.
“There was no punch thrown on my part,” Nelson said, adding that the grappling started during an overly physical box out by Damas.
Nelson, who had a string of 24 straight games in double figures snapped, was averaging 24.7 points per game. He scored four points Wednesday.
“We got the win, and that’s what I care most about,” Nelson said.
Robinson said he wasn’t sure if Nelson would miss any additional time, since he had never had a player with a flagrant-2 foul at Oregon State.
The Tigers trailed 20-16 at Nelson’s ejection, but tied the game at 20 before Oregon State went on a 10-0 run thanks in part to Towson missed shots, turnovers and a technical foul on Benimon for arguing.
The Beavers led by as many as 16 in the half and were up 41-29 at the break.
Benimon hit his first field goal of the game with 17:40 remaining.
The Tigers trailed by 20 in the second half, but Four McGlynn hit back-to-back 3-pointers to keep Towson close. McGlynn finished with 12 points.
Benimon’s drive and slam at the 5:10 mark made the score 61-52, but Challe Barton responded with a trey for the Beavers.
Towson began fouling Oregon State on every possession with about a minute left, but the Beavers made 10 of 12 free throws.
“I like the way we fought back a little bit, but we didn’t guard well enough to beat a good club like them,” said Tigers Coach Pat Skerry.
As of Sunday, Nelson and Collier were the top scoring duo in the nation. Collier was averaging 22.7 on 69.4 percent shooting from the floor.
The Beavers won for the fifth consecutive time at home. Their only loss of the season at Gill Coliseum was the season opener, which Collier missed due to a suspension.
Eric Moreland, one of the best rebounders and shot blockers in Oregon State history, is suspended for the first 14 games of the season.
Last year, Towson beat Oregon State 67-66 at Gill Coliseum on a last second overtime shot by Damas.
That win was part of the largest season turnaround in NCAA history. The Tigers went 18-13 in 2012-13 after finishing 1-31 the previous year.
The Tigers were voted by coaches and media as the preseason favorite for the Colonial Athletic Association.
“I do think playing some difficult teams is going to help us when we get into conference play, but we’re not ready quite yet,” Skerry said.
Benimon came into the game averaging 16.5 points, 10 rebounds and 4.3 assists, leading the Tigers in each category.
He is the nation’s returning rebounder from last season, when he averaged 11.2 boards per game and was named Honorable Mention All-American.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)