OSU comeback falls just short

Beavers rally from 17 down, but miss Final Four berth
Staff Report

How close were the Oregon State Beavers to reaching the Final Four Monday?

About three minutes, a few missed free throws and some defensive rebounds.

The 12th-seeded Oregon State men's basketball team rallied from a 17-point deficit in the second half to tie second-seeded Houston with 3:48 left, but the Cougars hit a 3-pointer with 3:21 left - after one of their 19 offensive rebounds, and the Beavers could not hit another basket until five seconds remained on the way to a 67-61 loss in the Midwest Regional final. The Beavers, who had been shooting 88 percent at the free-throw line, hit just 11 of 20 attempts in the game and were outrebounded 41-29.

Overall, Houston had 62 field-goal attempts to just 47 for the Beavers.

Maurice Calloo had 13 points off the bench to lead OSU. Ethan Thompson scored 11 points on 3-of-12 shooting. No other Oregon State player reached double figures.

Houston, which led 34-17 at halftime, reached its first Final Four since 1984.

Oregon State has not been to the Final Four since 1963.

Having scored a season-low of 17 points in the first half, and with Thompson scoring just one point, the Beavers made their rally behind a shifting zone defense, and reached 38 points in just 10 minutes. But, they still trailed by 14. Then, the game turned and the Beavers cut the deficit to 52-48 with 6:29 left on a tip-in by Roman Silva.

After trading baskets, Gianni Hunt hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 55 with 3:438 left.

The Beavers, though, got off just four field-goal attempts for the remainder of the game, with Thompson making a lay-up to cut the deficit to 64-58, and Calloo hit a 3-pointer with five seconds left for the final score.

Houston made nine of 12 free-throw attempts in the final three minutes.

Oregon State finished at 20-13 on the season, having reached the Elite 8 for the first time since 1984. The team won the Pac-12 Conference Tournament as well.



Ducks close out season

Oregon struggles with USC's length and drops 82-68 decision in Sweet 16
Staff Report

Oregon's run into the Sweet 16 ended in a disappointing decision to conference rival USC Sunday afternoon.

The Oregon Ducks tied with USC for the regular-season Pac-12 Conference title in March, but the difference in the two teams couldn’t have been more apparent in the first half of their game Sunday.

Facing off for the second time this season, USC hammered Oregon 41-26 in the first half, and rolled to an 82-68 win in the Sweet 16.

Eugene Omoruyi and Chris Duarte were superlative for Oregon, but the Ducks otherwise struggled with USC’s mix of length on defense and hot three-point shooting.

The Ducks (21-7) trailed by as many as 21 points in the second half before rallying to within nine. But ultimately the deficit was too much to overcome, despite 28 points and 10 rebounds from Omoruyi and 21 points from Duarte.

“Our ball movement against the zone that first half was not good,” UO coach Dana Altman said. “I let the guys down; I didn’t have ‘em ready for that zone. I thought I did. But their length and athleticism really bothered us.”

The Ducks led 17-16 midway through the first half, but USC’s offense and Oregon’s lack of attack on the offensive end doomed the outcome.

Beavers drop key soccer test

Washington rolls through Corvallis with a 2-1 win
Staff Report

Fourth-ranked Oregon State’s men’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 decision to sixth-ranked Washington, losing on its home field for the first time this season.

OSU got its goal in the 27th minute as Mouhameth Thiam scored for the third time this season off combined assists from Tsiki Ntsabeleng and Tyrone Mondi. That cut the Huskies lead in half, but the Beavers were unable to score again and dropped to 7-2 on the season, 4-2 in Pac-12 play.

The loss evened the season series between the teams. 

OSU returns to action Saturday at California.

“Obviously we are disappointed with the result,” said Oregon State head coach Terry Boss. “With as talented as this group is, you expect to get a result every time you step on the field, even against the top teams in the nation like Washington. We started slow today. The response was good – we could have hung our head after going down 2-0. We created enough chances to take the game, but we didn’t.”

 The Beavers nearly netted an early goal, as Joel Walker curled a shot just outside the post two minutes into the contest. Washington opened the scoring in the 10th minute, finding the net on a scramble in the box following a corner kick. The Huskies added another in the 21st.

It looked like Oregon State might pull one back in the 23rd, when Adrian Crespo played a nice cross to the back post that narrowly missed the head of Walker. Thiam got the Beavers on the scoreboard in the 27th, converting from a tight angle after Mondi played him down the left side of the box.

Ntsabeleng forced a save from the right side of the box in the 33rd minute. 

Mondi nearly leveled things right at the start of the second half, as he took aim from a tight angle less than 20 seconds into the second period. The midfielder had another chance in the 62nd minute, but again the Husky keeper was up to the challenge.

Walker found himself in on goal in the 67th, but the Washington goalie came up with another stop. Oregon State continued to press forward in the closing portion of the match, but was unable to even the score as the Huskies took the victory.

Oregon heads to Sweet 16 again

Ducks power through Georgia 57-50, get to final 16 four tournies in a row
Staff Report

A key foul helped move the Oregon Ducks into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight time.

Leading 50-48 in a heated battle with Georgia, the Bulldogs scored to tie the game, but the basket was called off due to a foul that had been called prior to the shot but wasn't whistled immediately due to the official having an issue with her facial mask. On the inbounds pass, sophomore Sedona Prince got a blocked shot, grabbed the rebound and that led to a basket by sophomore Nyara Sabally and the Ducks cruised to a 57-50 win.

The victory moved the Ducks into the Sweet 16 for the fourth consecutive trip to the tournament, a run interrupted due to the Covid pandemic last year.

Sophomore Sedona Prince had 22 points and four blocks, and Sabally added 15 points to lead sixth-seeded Oregon, which improved to 15-8 on the season. 

Third-seeded Georgia led 17-10 early in the second quarter, but Oregon rallied behind a pair of three-point shots and reached halftime tied at 27. 

Sabally hit three consecutive baskets for Oregon after the Bulldogs rallied from a 40-33 deficit to tied the game at 48.

Oregon will play second-seed Louisville (25-3) Saturday. 

OSU's tourney runs out

Beavers go cold in first half, fall to top seed South Carolina
Staff Report

Oregon State played top-seeded South Carolina evenly for one quarter Tuesday night in their second round match-up in the NCAA Tournament.

But, the second quarter drained all the magic of the Beavers' season and they fell to the Gamecocks 59-42, ending their season.

OSU led 13-12 in the final seconds of the first quarter, but SC got a lay-up before the buzzer, then outscored the Beavers 16-5 in the second quarter for a 30-18 at the half. By the end of three quarters, the Gamecocks led 53-29.

Oregon State, which beat Florida State on Sunday, closed it season at 12-8.

Sophomore Taylor Jones led Oregon State with 13 points and four rebounds, and senior Aleah Goodman added 10 points, six assists and four rebounds. The Beavers, one of the nations best three-point shooting teams, hit just 3 of 19 attempts, and were outrebounded 50-32.

"You have to give credit to South Carolina," said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck. "They were disruptive all game, and they closed gaps quickly defensively. We needed shots to go down, and it just wasn't our day shooting the basketball. I couldn't be more proud of our team for what they have overcome this year. They have been an absolute joy to coach - it's one of those season that you just don't want to end. I couldn't be more grateful to be a part of this group."

South Carolina advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 24-4 record.



OSU President resigns over LSU scandal

The fallout from Les Miles and the LSU football program continues
Associated Press

Oregon State University president F. King Alexander has resigned amid backlash related to his role in the sexual misconduct saga at Louisiana State University, where he previously served as president.

The OSU board of trustees met and accepted his resignation Tuesday. The move is effective as of April 1. Last week, the board voted to place Alexander on probation.

"When the Board of Trustees adjourned last week, we believed it was possible for President Alexander to repair the broken confidence and trust in his ability to lead OSU," board chair Rani Borkar said in a statement. "After listening to and hearing important input from diverse members of our community and reflecting on our own values and experiences, we now know that rebuilding trust is no longer possible."

An independent investigation released earlier this month into allegations of sexual misconduct at LSU found a "serious institutional failure" and detailed systemic failures by LSU to appropriately report incidents of athletics-related sexual misconduct and abuse.

Former LSU athletic director Joe Alleva recommended in 2013 that Les Miles be fired as head coach of the football program after accusations of inappropriate behavior with female student workers, according to the report, which revealed that Alexander knew of the allegations against Miles when he was hired as president in 2013.

Alexander left LSU at the end of 2019 and started in his role at OSU in July 2020.

After Alexander was placed on probation last week, calls for his termination escalated, including a vote from the OSU faculty senate on Thursday asking for Alexander and several members of the board of trustees to resign.

According to the investigative report, which was handled by Husch Blackwell, Alleva sent an email on June 21, 2013, to LSU's legal counsel and Alexander. Alleva wrote, "one more time I want us to think about which scenario is worse for LSU. Explaining why we let him go or explaining why we let him stay."

According to the Corvallis Gazette-Times, Alexander has said that he was advised by attorneys not to fire Miles and that he was unable to dismiss him because the LSU governing board had made the decision to retain Miles before Alexander took office.

Portland names Legans head coach

Eastern Washington coach moves to Portland after tourney run
Staff Report

The University of Portland has hired Shantay Legans as men's basketball head coach, Vice President for Athletics Scott Leykam announced on Monday.

Legans, 39, comes to The Bluff after 12 years at Eastern Washington University, where he helped lead the Eagles to five of its seven all-time postseason appearances.

In his four years as head coach, he compiled the best overall (.605) and conference (.726) winning percentages in school history. As head coach, he also guided the Eagles to an NCAA Tournament appearance, Big Sky Coach of the Year honor and two conference championships. Legans also serves on the NCAA Rules Committee and's Eracism Committee for promoting equality and inclusion in collegiate athletics.

"It is an honor to welcome Shantay to the University of Portland family," Leykam said. "In the interview process, we shared the strong belief that the University of Portland very much has the potential to be successful in men's basketball and we're excited to realize that potential together. We were especially impressed with his ability to install a strong team culture, emphasize the importance of academic success and develop his student-athletes both on and off the floor. We're extremely glad he is on board and look forward to working with him to provide the program with the resources needed to take the important next steps."

"My family and I couldn't be more excited about this opportunity at the University of Portland," Legans said. "Through the process, I had a chance to get to know Scott, Jason and Father Mark, as well as members of the Board of Regents, and get a feel for their vision for the future of the UP men's basketball program. Not only did our philosophies and values align, but I could feel the university's support and commitment to winning in every conversation. That made my family and I feel very comfortable, and it became very clear to us how special a place Portland is, both the university and the community as a whole. This place has massive potential, and I am so incredibly honored and humbled to have been chosen to lead the Pilots into the next chapter. We are going to win here, and I can't wait to get to Portland and get to work!"

 Eastern Washington lost to Kansas 93-84 Saturday in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

At Eastern Washington, Legans was a very impressive 75-49 (.605) overall and 53-20 in the Big Sky Conference (.726). Legans' .726 conference winning percentage is the best in the Big Sky in the last 30 years and second best all-time among coaches with at least four years in the league. Including Big Sky Conference Tournament games (7-2), Legans is 60-22 versus Big Sky Conference competition for a .732 winning percentage.

The Eagles won 12 or more conference games and finished in third place or higher in each of his four seasons. His four-year total of 53 wins is the best all-time at EWU in 34 seasons in the league, as Eastern has won at least 10 league games for the eighth-straight season. That only happened six times before in EWU's first 26 seasons as a member of NCAA Division I.

In his final season at Eastern Washington, Legans piloted the Eagles to their third NCAA Tournament appearance in school history. The Eagles reached the NCAAs after reeling off three convincing victories in the Big Sky Tournament by an average of almost 15 points per game. The Eagles, who won 13 of their last 15 games, finished their magical season with a 16-8 record, including a 12-3 mark and second place finish in the Big Sky. Four of the Eagles eight losses came against Power 5 opposition, including one possession defeats at Arizona and Washington State.

The Eagles dominated Big Sky postseason honors with Tanner Groves being named Player of the Year, Kim Aiken Jr. Defensive Player of the Year and Tyler Robertson Big Sky Reserve of the Year.

Legans is one of 25 finalists for the 2021 Skip Prosser Man of the Year Award which goes to a coach who not only achieves success on the court but who displays moral integrity off the floor. Legans is also among the 25 finalists for the Ben Jobe Award presented to the top NCAA Division I minority coach. Both awards will be announced by on April 1.

Ducks power through first round

Oregon's first-half explosion leads to 67-47 win over South Dakota
Staff Report

Oregon bolted to a 34-9 lead after two quarters, including a 19-0 run, and cruised to a 67-47 win over South Dakota in the NCAA women's basketball tournament Monday in San Antonio, Texas.

Senior Erin Boley hit nine of 13 shots from the field and led the sixth-seeded Ducks with 22 points in the battle with the 11th seeded Coyotes.

Oregon shot 60 percent from the field for the game, including six of 12 from 3-point territory.

Nyara Sabally added 17 points and five rebounds for the Ducks, who will play third-seeded Georgia on Wednesday.


Ducks fly into Sweet 16

Oregon throttles No 2 seed Iowa 95-80 in NCAA Tourney
Staff Report

Oregon reached the Sweet 16 of the NCAA men's basketball tournament for the fourth time in its last five tries with a dominating performance against Iowa Monday morning, destroying the Hawkeyes 95-80.

Seeded seventh, Oregon scored its most points ever in a tournament game led by Chris Duarte with 23 points and seven assists. LJ Figeroa went for 21, Will Richardson had 19 and Eugene Omoruyi added 17 points, six rebounds and five assists.

With the game tied 46-all, Oregon ended the first half on a 10-0 run and never trailed thereafter.

Luka Garza led Iowa with 36 points and nine rebounds, but only one other starter scored.

Oregon's starters won the battle of assists against Iowa's 21-10.

The Ducks hadn't played in 10 days after losing in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament last week, then advancing to the second round due to a no-contest Covid protocol win against VCU Saturday.


OSU women begin tourney run

Beavers beat Florida State 83-59 to earn game with No. 1 South Carolina
Staff Report

The Oregon State women’s basketball team punched its ticket to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 83-59 win over Florida State Sunday evening in San Marcos, Texas.

“This team is playing incredible basketball right now,” said Oregon State head coach Scott Rueck. “It felt like we were able to shake the cob-webs off in the first quarter, and then settle in and play like we are capable of. The rebounding was a big part of this game – I’m glad we didn’t give them second opportunities. This group competes like crazy and they are just continuing to get better and better.”

With the win, the Beavers will now take on No. 1-seeded South Carolina in the second round on Tuesday.

Senior Aleah Goodman went for 24 points, five rebounds and five assists, as she continued her stellar campaign. Taylor Jones went for 18 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, while freshman Sasha Goforth recorded 14 points on 5-for-7 shooting from the floor.

Talia von Oelhoffen tallied seven points in her NCAA Tournament debut, and Jelena Mitrovic pulled down seven boards.

As a team, Oregon State shot 55.2 percent from the floor, compared to 35.5 percent for Florida State. The Beavers also held a 43-26 advantage on the glass.

The teams traded punches early on, as the Beavers took a 10-9 edge into the first media timeout. After a quarter of play, the two sides were level at 16.

Oregon State exploded in the second quarter, using an 18-3 run to go in front 36-22. The Beavers headed to the break in front 41-27. Goodman had 14 points in the opening 20 minutes, while Jones went to the locker room with 11.


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