Oregon State coach Craig Robinson put extra
pressure on Jared Cunningham last week, telling his star guard it
is up to him to lead the Beavers.
Cunningham responded Sunday against Oregon, though not right
Cunningham scored 27 points, 24 of them in the second half, to
lead Oregon State to a 76-71 victory over the Ducks.
"I told Jared, `Our best player will help us win games on the
road,"' Robinson said. "So not only did he have the pressure he
was putting on himself, but I put that added pressure."
Cunningham, who was 1 for 7 in the first half, hit 5 of 7 shots
after the break and was 6 for 8 from the free-throw line in the
final two minutes.
Cunningham was 12 for 15 from the line overall. He also had a
team-high seven rebounds for the Beavers.
"I think I responded well," Cunningham said. "In the first
half, I got two early fouls, so I just encouraged my teammates to
keep it going and pick it up. Once the second half hit, I was a new
person. I wanted to come out and just play hard. Coach gave me that
freedom to play, and I took advantage of it."
The win ended a 12-game losing streak in Pac-12 road games for
the Beavers (14-7, 4-5), who beat Oregon at home for only the
second time in 19 games in the state rivalry known as the Civil
"We haven't won here very often," Robinson said. "It's hard
to win here. . I'm still nervous coming down here."
Ahmad Starks added 15 points, Devon Collier 13 and Joe Burton 10
for the Beavers.
Devoe Joseph scored 26 points and E.J. Singler added 16 for
Oregon (15-6, 6-3), which had a season-high 23 turnovers.
Trailing 73-70 in the final minute, the Ducks had a chance for a tie but Singler missed a 3-pointer and Oregon turned the ball over
after getting the rebound.
"The second half was not one of our better efforts," Oregon
coach Dana Altman said. "Our turnovers disappointed me most. We
had some awful turnovers."
Oregon State trailed 28-23 at halftime and 45-39 with 13:11 left
to play. But Oregon jumped out to a 36-27 lead three minutes into
the second half, but the Beavers responded with a 12-3 run to tie
it at 39 with 13:50 to play. Cunningham had seven points during
that stretch, including one of his three 3-pointers.
"We came out with more energy in the second half and just
grinded out until the end," Cunningham said.
Joseph, who was 8 for 16 from the field and 5 for 9 from the
3-point line, drained back-to-back 3s as the Ducks regained the
Oregon State answered with an 11-0 run, taking the lead for good
on Starks' 3-pointer with 11:46 remaining.
After shooting 28 percent from the floor in the first half, the
Beavers made 57 percent in the second half to finish at 42 percent
for the game.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)