Two things the Oregon State men's basketball program wanted badly were within arm's length on Thursday at Wells Fargo Arena -- one-time OSU commitment Jahii Carson and a road win over a team in the RPI top-50. Unfortunately for the Beavers, the former helped make sure they wouldn't have either. Carson, the Arizona State sophomore point guard who decommitted from OSU to stay close to home, had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists, and backcourt mate Jermaine Marshall added 25 points as Arizona State escaped with a 86-82 overtime win over the Beavers. Carson was a matchup nightmare, getting to the free throw line 18 times and converting 13 of them, a stat that didn't sit well with Oregon State coach Craig Robinson. "That guy shot 18 fouls shots," said Robinson in a subtle dig to the officiating. "I'm going to try not to get myself in trouble here." The victory helped ASU (17-6, 6-4 Pac-12) break a sixth-place tie with the Beavers (13-9, 5-5) in the conference standings and move into a tie with three other teams for third place. The loss was another frustrating lesson for steadily progressing Oregon State, which is just 1-4 on the road in Pac-12 play this season. "We learned that we can play hard as a team even when things aren’t going our way," center Angus Brandt said. "But the lesson to be learned is that every single player can make one less mistake. It’s that important when it comes down the stretch and everyone made one or two little mistakes that contributed in the end." The most glaring of those were the 15 turnovers OSU committed and the numerous shots it missed in the paint. The Beavers got 26 points from leading scorer Roberto Nelson (four 3-pointers), who finally found a rhythm after picking up two fouls in the first half and spending 10 minutes on the bench. "It's tough to find a rhythm when you’re sitting," Nelson said. "But they ran the offense really well and played well. It’s easy to come in and get into a rhythm when you have a team like this." Nelson entered the game averaging 24.3 points a game on the road this season, but he made just 1 of 3 field goals in the first half before breaking out to move into fifth place on OSU's all-time scoring list. Despite his first-half absence, Oregon State built a 29-26 halftime lead. Hallice Cooke and Brandt picked up the slack with six points apiece but the real story was Oregon State's defense, which held Arizona State to 12-of-30 shooting and just three points above its season low for a first half. Carson's four late free throws were the only thing that helped ASU claw back before halftime. ASU's bench did not score a point in the half while the Beavers' bench had eight. The momentum shifted quickly in the second half, however, when ASU opened with a 11-3 spurt, capped by back-to-back layups from Carson, who beat his man off the dribble going left both times. ASU center Jordan Bachynski (17 points, 12 rebounds) broke the conference's all-time blocked shots record with a block on OSU's Devon Collier with 27 seconds left in regulation and ASU leading by one point. It was Bachynski's 279th career block.
Former Beavers commit Jahii Carson leads Sun Devils to overtime win
Oregonian | Feb 7