OSU’s Cunningham Pac-12 player of the week

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State junior guard Jared Cunningham was named Bank of the West Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Player of the Week for Jan. 23-29, commissioner Larry Scott announced on Monday, the second time he has won the award this season.

“It’s a great honor to be named the Pac-12 Player of the Week,” Cunningham said. “It was important for us to get a conference road win and it was extra special to do it in the Civil War against our rival. Our team has been working hard all season and we just keep fighting.”

Cunningham scored a game-high 27 points and added seven rebounds and three assists to lead the Beavers to a 76-71 come-from-behind win over intrastate rival Oregon on Sunday in Eugene and became just the 36th player in Oregon State history to score 1,000 career points.

With the Beavers trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half and by five at halftime, Cunningham put the team on his back in the second half when he scored 24 points, going 5-of-7 from the field and 12-of-15 from the free throw line, to help Oregon State snap a 13-game conference road losing streak. He had a steal in the game and now has at least one in 23 consecutive games dating back to last season, the fourth longest streak in school history.

It’s the second time this season he has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week after earning the honor for Nov. 13-20 games when he averaged 29.7 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.3 steals in wins over West Alabama, Hofstra and Texas. The last Oregon State player to earn conference player of the week two times in a season was David Lucas in 2005.

Cunningham leads the Pac-12 in scoring (18.2) and steals (2.8) and could become just the sixth player in history to lead the conference in both categories. The five players who accomplished it – Don Collins, Washington State; Gary Payton, Oregon State; Terrell Brandon, Oregon; Jason Terry, Arizona; James Harden, Arizona State – were all named Pac-12 Player of the Year that season.

It’s the 40th time an Oregon State player has been named Pac-12 Player of the Week (A.C. Green and Charlie Sitton shared it on March 12, 1984) and the first time since 1991-92 the Beavers received the honor three times in a season when Chad Scott won it twice and Scott Haskin once.