CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Angus Brandt scored a career-high 27 points as Oregon State withstood a late charge to defeat Towson 76-67 on Wednesday.
Oregon State (6-2) used a 17-3 run -- eight by Brandt -- to open up a 12-point lead at halftime at 41-29. The Beavers ran the lead to 21 at 55-34 with 10:27 left after Victor Robbins' layup.Towson (7-5) didn't go quietly though. They cut the lead to eight at 66-58 with 1:06 left on Mike Burwell's 3-pointer and again with 47 seconds left on Rafriel Guthrie's layup. But the Beavers made eight of their last nine free throws to secure the victory.Towson placed four players in double-figures, led by Burwell's 20. Jerrelle Benimon, who is on the Naismith Award watch list, had 11 points, 12 rebounds and five assists for the Tigers.Oregon State got 13 points and seven boards from Devon Collier in support.It was the fifth consecutive win at home for the Beavers, who played without leading scorer Roberto Nelson for most of the night.Nelson was ejected at the 11:50 mark in the first half after he and Marcus Damas got tangled up and fell to the floor. After a lengthy delay, officials determined Nelson threw a punch.Nelson, who had a string of 24 straight games in double figures snapped, was averaging 24.7 points per game. He scored four points Wednesday.The Tigers trailed 16-20 at Nelson's ejection, but tied the game at 20 before Oregon State went on a 10-0 run thanks in part to Towson missed shots, turnovers and a technical foul on Benimon for arguing.The Beavers led by as many as 16 in the half and were up by 12 at the break.Benimon hit his first field goal of the game with 17:40 remaining.The Tigers trailed by 20 in the second half, but Four McGlynn hit back-to-back 3-pointers to keep Towson close. McGlynn finished with 12 points.Benimon's drive and slam at the 5:10 mark made the score 61-52, but Challe Barton responded with a 3 for the Beavers.Towson began fouling Oregon State on every possession with about a minute left, but the Beavers made 10 of 12 free throws.As of Sunday, Nelson and Collier were the top scoring duo in the nation. Collier was averaging 22.7 on 69.4 percent shooting from the floor.Last year, Towson beat Oregon State 67-66 at Gill Coliseum on a last second overtime shot by Damas. That win was part of the largest season turnaround in NCAA history. The Tigers went 18-13 in 2012-13 after finishing 1-31 the previous year.The Tigers were voted by coaches and media as the preseason favorite for the Colonial Athletic Association.Benimon came into the game averaging 16.5 points, 10 rebounds and 4.3 assists, leading the Tigers in each category.He is the nation's returning rebounder from last season, when he averaged 11.2 boards per game and was named Honorable Mention All-American.