Dec 31 2011; Spokane, WA, USA; Oregon State Beavers guard Jared Cunningham (1) is fouled on his way to the basket by Washington State Cougars guard DaVonte Lacy (3) during the second half at the Spokane Arena. The Cougars would go onto win the close game by a final score of 81-76 over the Ducks. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-US PRESSWIRE

Oregon State wins Civil War

The rising Oregon Ducks were defeated in their own court against their bitter rivals in the Civil War, and this result has knocked down their stock in the conference race. The Oregon State Beavers won 76-71, and star Jared Cunningham put up 24 points in the second half and finished with seven rebounds and three assists (27 points overall). Devoe Joseph led the way for the Oregon Ducks with 26 points, seven boards, and three assists on an eight for sixteen performance (5 of 9 from three).

After a one for seven first half that yielded just three points, Cunningham went off in the second half and hit 71.4% of his shots after the first half. The Ducks were leading 28-23 at half-time, but they blew the game in a disappointing loss at home.

The usually efficient Garrett Sim leads the conference in offensive win shares, but he was far from his best on Sunday. Sim was 2 for 11 and 1 for 6 from three, but he did add eight rebounds. The team turned over the ball a season-high 23 times, and that ugly Washington-esque play doesn’t bode well in a home game against a rival. Sim was one of the culprits and had three turnovers (+4 EFF, which is actually well below-average).

The Ducks bench combined for four turnovers, and Olu Ashaolu was the biggest offender with four slip-ups in the game. He added four blocks, and his performance was similar to starter Tony Woods’s (four blocks and four turnovers).  Carlos Emory had two steals, ten rebounds, and 11 points in a tidy display off the bench and was the only useful player coming off of the sideline (+17 EFF). Emory would have been better had he made one of the four three-pointers he attempted, and fellow bench-mate Jonathan Lloyd went 0-3 from beyond the arc to overshadow his solid four assists.

The Beavers averaged .97 points per possession, while the Ducks averaged .91 points per play. They had a 45.7 ORB% compared to a 29.4% mark for the Beavers, but turnovers overshadowed their advantage in rebounding. Oregon turned the ball over on about a quarter of their possessions and about 5% more often than the Ducks. That all adds up in a fast-paced game with 78 possessions, and the Ducks paid the price for their sloppiness.

On the bright side, the player with the most turnovers in the game did not play for the Oregon Ducks. Despite the 15 points, Ahmad Starks had a game-high six turnovers. He had two steals himself, and he did enough damage from beyond the arc (4 for 8) to make people forget about a 1 for 6 performance on two-pointers. Starks played a game-high 39 minutes, but he was subpar overall.

Devon Collier is the other star on the Beavers, and his 13 points don’t properly showcase his efficient day. Collier went 5 for 7 overall and was a key, efficient cog for Oregon State (+10 EFF). Roberto Nelson, however, was the anti-Collier and was inefficient and ineffective coming from the bench. Nelson received 23 minutes of playing time and had three steals to cancel out three turnovers. However, he missed all three of his three-point attempts and shot 29% from the floor overall (+5 EFF).

The Oregon Ducks have to bounce back after this disappointing Civil War loss in the Matt Court, and there is no time to mourn a bitter loss to a bitter rival. The Ducks have an easy game against Utah next, but they will have to travel to Colorado to face a solid basketball squad. Oregon State was the more efficient team, and turnovers certainly haunted the Ducks and caused them to lose. They can’t afford to get sloppy at this stage of the season, and a game against Utah is just what this team needs.

MVP: Jared Cunningham

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Tags: Ahmad Starks Basketball Carlos Emory Civil War Devoe Joseph Devon Collier Garrett Sim Jared Cunningham Jonathan Lloyd Olu Ashaolu Oregon State Beavers Roberto Nelson Tony Woods Washington Huskies

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