Utah (6-22) at Oregon State (15-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, March 1st, 10 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gill Coliseum (9,749) -- Corvallis, Oregon. Television: None. Home Record: Utah 6-9, Oregon State 10-5. Away Record: Utah 0-10, Oregon State 4-7. Neutral Record: Utah 0-3, Oregon State 1-1. Conference Record: Utah 3-13, Oregon State 5-11. Series Record: Utah leads, 12-8.
GAMES NOTES: The Oregon State Beavers will host the Utah Utes in a Pac-12 Conference matchup at Gill Coliseum with just two games remaining in the regular season for each squad.
Utah has struggled in its first year in the Pac-12. The Utes have put together just a 6-22 overall record and are currently better than only USC in league play with a 3-13 mark. The Utes did get a win their last time out, downing Stanford 58-57 last Saturday to snap a eight-game losing streak. Utah will close out the regular season on the road against Oregon on Saturday.
At one point this season Oregon State looked like a team that could make some noise in the Pac-12 but after holding a 15-8 record in early February, the Beavers have dropped off, falling in five straight games and are now just 5-11 in league play. The Beavers were narrowly edged out by in-state rival Oregon in their last game and will play host to Colorado in the regular-season finale this weekend.
The last time Oregon State got into the win column was against this same Utah squad. The Beavers dominated in a 76-58 decision but still trail by a 12-8 margin in the all-time series.
Utah watched a last-second attempt from Stanford miss as the Utes escaped last Saturday with the 58-57 win. The Utes overcame 17 turnovers by shooting 44.7 percent from the floor, while holding the Cardinal to just 36.8 percent.
The team's output in the game was not surprising as Utah is often a low scoring squad in averaging a meager 55.9 ppg. After losing John Watkins (15.6 ppg) in mid-January, Utah has struggled to find a replacement for the lead scorer. Jason Washburn (10.8 ppg, 6.3 rpg) is currently the only player averaging in double figures for the Utes. After scoring 17 points against Stanford, Washburn has now scored in double figures in four straight games. Chris Hines (9.7 ppg) has seen his scoring average rise since Watkins' departure by scoring in double figures in nine of 10 games including a game- high 19 points against Stanford.
Oregon State came up just short against Oregon, taking a 74-73 defeat at the hands of its rival on Sunday. A free throw from Oregon's Olu Ashaolu was the difference in a game in which the Beavers shot 45.6 percent from the floor, including an impressive 9-of-18 from three-point range.
Oregon State boasts of the Pac-12's top scorer in Jared Cunningham at 18.4 points per game. The junior guard had a pedestrian game by his standards against Oregon scoring 13 points but has still managed to score in double figures in 26 of 28 games this season. The offense was paced instead by Ahmad Starks (12.1 ppg) and Angus Brandt (9.3 ppg), who combined for 34 points with Starks having a team-high 18 points. Devon Collier (13.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg) is the team's second option but had only seven points despite a solid 11-rebound effort on the glass in the losing effort. Led by Cunningham, Oregon State has been a strong offensive squad, netting 79.6 points per game (leads the conference and is ninth in the nation).
Oregon State has a clear advantage in this matchup with Utah yet to get a win on the road this season (0-10). The Beavers' high-octane offense should roll up a ton of points en route to an easy victory here.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oregon State 80, Utah 65
03/01 10:34:21 ET