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Beavers knock off No. 20 Huskies
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Beavers knock off No. 20 Huskies

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This is how the Oregon State men's basketball team gets its groove back.

The Beavers had lost six of seven games and on paper it didn't look good with No. 20 Washington in town on Thursday evening.

Maybe the start of the second half of the Pacific-10 Conference season signaled a new beginning.

Maybe the Beavers were tired of losing.

Whatever the reason, the Beavers came away with a 68-56 win that will leave basketball fans outside of Corvallis scratching their heads.

It was no surprise to the Beavers, however.

"We believe, but we just weren't showing it on the court," Omari Johnson said. "This one did kind of boost our confidence and let us know we can play the way we can always."

To win this one the Beavers (9-12, 4-6) had to play from start to finish.

Coach Craig Robinson said they put in the work during the week and it finally translated to the floor for a full game.

"They worked and then they worked hard the entire game, which has been our hardest thing to do all season, is have a sustained effort for 40 minutes," Robinson said. "So it was really nice to see that for them."

The Beavers used a 2-3 zone to slow down the Huskies (15-6, 7-3) on offense, outrebounded UW by 15 and hit 24 of 38 free throws to Washington's 9 of 19.

The Beavers were determined not to repeat the second half disaster of the first meeting, when the Huskies turned a tight game at halftime into a 31-point blowout.

The Beavers never let the Huskies get on a run. It stayed close throughout.

Johnson had a big rebound basket for a 58-52 lead, but UW's Isaiah Thomas was fouled on a 3-point try and hit two of three free throws.

That's when Calvin Haynes took over.

He started off by hitting a free throw.

With one minute, 48 seconds left he drove the lane, tossed in a layup and drew a foul. Haynes hit the free throw and seconds later came up with a steal and another free throw.

It was 63-54 and the Huskies were on the ropes.

The crowd of 5,783 was intense, booing every perceived slight by the officials and getting on Venoy Overton after a minor scuffle under the basket.

"They were a little dead in the beginning," Johnson said. "But when we started showing that we could play with this team, they started getting into it."

Jared Cunningham was 13 of 17 from the free-throw line and led all scorers with 19. Haynes added 11.

Johnson had 11 rebounds, Devon Collier nine, Joe Burton eight and Haynes seven.

Thomas, UW's point guard and leading scorer, had nine points on 2 of 11 shooting and had seven turnovers.

Ahmad Starks was partly responsible for keeping Thomas under wraps.

Starks got his first Pac-10 start and responded with eight points and solid defense.

"It was good for him," Haynes said. "Good for his confidence. We know what he can do and now the world's going to see it and that's a good thing for us because he's another person who can put the ball in the basket, so that takes a lot of pressure off guys who are already scoring in the offense."

It was the perfect start to the second half of the Pac-10 season.

"Starting the second half with a ranked team, this kind of sets up the whole rest of the half of the Pac-10," Johnson said. "We just want to come out and (not) celebrate too much but be happy that we won and got our groove back."

Oregon State 68, (20) Washington 56

WASHINGTON (15-6) - Bryan-Amaning 5-12 2-6 12, Holiday 2-8 0-0 4, N'Diaye 0-0 0-4 0, Thomas 2-11 4-5 9, Suggs 5-12 3-4 18, Overton 2-6 0-0 4, Wilcox 1-3 0-0 3, Ross 1-4 0-0 2, Gant 2-6 0-0 4. Totals 20-62 9-19 56.

OREGON ST. (9-12) - Burton 2-6 0-0 4, Collier 4-6 1-2 9, Brandt 2-5 3-6 7, Cunningham 3-7 13-17 19, Starks 3-9 1-2 8, McShane 0-0 0-0 0, Brown 0-0 0-0 0, Haynes 4-8 3-5 11, Johnson 2-4 1-4 6, Wallace 0-0 0-0 0, Nelson 1-3 2-2 4. Totals 21-48 24-38 68.

Halftime-Tied 32-32. 3-Point Goals-Washington 7-29 (Suggs 5-11, Wilcox 1-3, Thomas 1-6, Overton 0-1, Gant 0-2, Ross 0-3, Holiday 0-3), Oregon St. 2-7 (Johnson 1-2, Starks 1-3, Cunningham 0-1, Haynes 0-1). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Washington 32 (Bryan-Amaning 10), Oregon St. 47 (Johnson 11). Assists-Washington 12 (Thomas 6), Oregon St. 14 (Burton 5). Total Fouls-Washington 25, Oregon St. 18. Technical-Oregon St. Bench. A-5,783.

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