CORVALLIS, Ore. – Jared Cunningham, Angus Brandt and Devon Collier combined to make 26-of-32 field goal attempts and Kevin McShane scored Oregon State’s 100th point of the night in his 100th career game to lead the Beavers past TCU, 101-81, in the quarterfinals of the College Basketball Invitational presented by Zebra Pen.
The Beavers (21-14) now move to the CBI Final Four, where they will play the Washington State Cougars for the fourth time this season, hosting the Pac-12 rivals Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Gill Coliseum in quest of its second tournament title (2009).
“It feels really good to watch this team play,” Oregon State head coach Craig Robinson said. “This was an incredibly unselfish game by our team; any number of guys could have posted numbers tonight, and Jared Cunningham was almost flawless.”
Oregon State shot 65 percent from the field for the second consecutive game to win for the sixth time in their last seven outings. Cunningham led the Beavers with 27 points, Brandt tallied a career-high 22 points and Collier added 19. Eric Moreland cleaned up the boards with 10 rebounds and blocked two shots to give him a school-record matching 68 for the season to equal Scott Haskin.
The Beavers’ offense was at times equally flawless, ending the game with 58 points in the paint. The team hit the 100-point mark for the fourth time this season, a school record.
“I can’t ever remember a team I have coached or been a part of in any way having 58 points in the paint,” Robinson said.
TCU rallied from a 25-point first half deficit to cut the lead to 13 at 73-60 at the 11:03 mark and had a chance to trim the lead further, but a turnover and then a Brandt dunk restored order for the Beavers who went on a 17-9 run to build a 90-69 lead. Brandt then scored eight consecutive points, including two three-point field goals, which were followed by McShane slamming home the 100th point on a breakaway dunk. Daniel Jones added a free throw for the final point.
“I was feeling pretty good tonight; I felt fresh after a couple of days off,” Brandt said.
The Beavers opened the game on a blistering pace, hitting 68.2 percent in the first half to build a 53-34 advantage at the break. OSU led 6-0, and after the gap was closed to 9-6 on a three by TCU’s Hank Thorns, the Beavers made a 12-2 run to take command at 21-8. Brandt then scored seven consecutive points to push the lead to 36-20 as OSU seized control of the contest.
TCU (18-15), out of the Mountain West Conference, was led by Kyan Anderson’s 16 points. The Frogs were playing without head coach Jim Christian, who left the team to tend to a family emergency.
The Beavers return to action Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Washington State Cougars (17-16), a 61-41 winner over Wyoming Monday night in Pullman. The two teams have already played three times, with WSU winning the two regular season contests, but the Beavers knocked the Cougars out of the Pac-12 Tournament earlier this month at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, 69-64. It will be the first time OSU and WSU have met four times in the same season since 1963.
“I want to make a point to thank `Beaver Nation’ for their support tonight,” Robinson added. “It would have been real easy for people to stay at home on a Monday night; and I want to especially thank the students who took time out of their final exams to be here.”