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Feb 8, 2024 12:03 am

Strong at home, Oregon State takes on Washington State

Jordan Pope

To say Oregon State is a different team at home would be an understatement.

Washington State is keenly aware entering Thursday night’s Pacific-12 Conference matchup in Corvallis, Ore.

The Beavers (11-11, 3-8 Pac-12) are tied for last in the conference, but they’re 11-2 at Gill Coliseum — including an 83-80 home upset of then-No. 9 Arizona on Jan. 25 as Jordan Pope scored a career-high 31 points, including a 3-pointer at the final buzzer.

“Coming back home … it was all about bringing the fight to them,” Beavers coach Wayne Tinkle said of beating the Wildcats. “They’re a talented team, obviously.”

The same can be said about the Cougars (16-6, 7-4), who are tied for second in the Pac-12 with Oregon, just a game behind Arizona.

Washington State is coming off a 90-87 overtime victory Saturday at rival Washington.

Guard Myles Rice assisted on the tying basket with four seconds remaining in regulation and made a decisive 3-pointer in the extra session. Rice earned his second consecutive Pac-12 Freshman of the Week honor and fifth this season.

Rice ranks second on the Cougars in scoring (15.7 points per game) and leads them in assists (3.7 apg). Isaac Jones tops the Cougars in scoring (15.8) and rebounds (7.8 rpg).

“We’ve been in a lot of tight ones on the road,” Cougars coach Kyle Smith said, “so I just like the fact we hung in there and gave ourselves a chance.”

To highlight the Beavers’ home-road split, they lost 82-54 on Saturday at USC, with whom they are tied at the bottom of the conference standings.

Washington State and Oregon State met Jan. 4 in Pullman, Wash., with the host Cougars rallying from a five-point deficit early in the second half to prevail 65-58. Oscar Cluff scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds off the bench.

Pope scored 20 for the Beavers, who played without the injured Dexter Akanno. Akanno is third on the team in scoring at 10.9 points per game, behind only Pope (17.5) and forward Tyler Bilodeau (13.6).

–Field Level Media

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