It actually seemed like a hot summer night in November in Corvalis, Oregon as Oregon State hosted Hofstra in a regional round TicketCity Legends Classic game. The game was close throughout, but the Beavers held off the Pride 82-72 in a game that ended early after midnight New York time. As I followed the game on the WRHU and Oregon State TV feeds, a lot of things stood out, both good and bad.
- Hofstra had good balance. Four players scored in double figures with Mike Moore leading the way with sixteen points, David Imes had fifteen and seven rebounds and Nathaniel Lester and Shemiye McLendon each had twelve points. Steve Mejia added nine points.
- The Pride shot well from the field, shooting 48 percent and were 5 of 10 from beyond the arc.
- McLendon was particularly huge off the bench. With Lester in foul trouble in the first half, McLendon kept them in the game.
- Despite scoring nine points, Mejia again struggled. He had five turnovers with no assists and was 0 for 3 from the foul line. The air ball on an one and one attempt with 6:52 left with Hofstra down 62-60 was a crucial moment in the game.
- Dwan McMillan again had a good game off the bench, playing twenty five minutes and managing to anger the Corvalis faithful with his tenacious play.
- The best team in free throw shooting in the CAA last season again struggled from the line. The Pride shot 19 of 30 from the line. Lester and Mejia were a combined 0 for 5 and Mike Moore, the second best FT shooter in the CAA last season was 5 for 8. Definite room for improvement.
- A bigger concern though is the assists to turnover ratio. The team that led the CAA last season in assists to turnover ratio had fifteen turnovers and seven assists. It starts with Mejia, who needs to play like he did at Rhode Island.
- The Pride held their own on the boards vs. Oregon State. The Beavers barely out rebounded the Pride 31-30. Definitely an improvement so far from last season.
- Hofstra's bench outscored Oregon State's 20-9.
- Still, Lester and Moussa Kone fouled out for the Pride and the bench got a little thin at the end. I am hoping we might see Bryant Crowder soon.
- Oregon State has a pretty good team. They have a stud in Jared Cunningham. He put in thirty five points against the Pride. He went to the free throw line SEVENTEEN times. That's Jenkinsesque.
- But it's not a solo act for the Beavers. Devon Collier gave the Pride fits, scoring twenty five points. Also, Jared Burton had an unusual double double with eleven assists and ten rebounds.
- However, Oregon State could work on their free throw shooting as well. 26 of 40 is nothing to write home about.
- As noted, the game was close throughout. The lead changed five times. Oregon State's largest lead was ten points and that was with 1:10 left in the game (and of course the final score). There was no shame in this loss for the Pride.
It was a good test for the Pride and though the final score doesn't indicate they passed the test, they played well. As noted, there are things to improve on and the next chance for improvement is Saturday vs. Saint Francis. The only way to find out if they improve is to Pack the Mack and see the game live for yourselves.