Beavers open up second half of Pac-12 play with victory
CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) Joe Burton says he doesn't pay much attention to his stats. The Oregon State senior post is concerned only about the wins.
Burton filled up the box score Wednesday night, helping the Beavers pull away from Utah in the second half for an 82-64 win.
Burton finished with 17 points, seven rebounds and 10 assists as Oregon State (12-11, 2-8 Pac-12) recorded its highest point total in a conference game this season against a Utah team that was allowing only 60.9 points per game.
Burton has found his stride in the middle of the conference season, averaging about 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists the past three games.
"I just like to get the win. I just try to do what's best for the team and do whatever I can," said Burton, who clogs the lane at 6-foot-7 and 295 pounds. "I just take what's given, I give (teammates) the right pass and they make the shot. I'm thankful for them making the shot."
Burton, averaging a team-high 3.3 assists coming in, is on pace to become the first non-guard in school history to lead Oregon State in that category three straight seasons.
Roberto Nelson added 26 points and five rebounds for the Beavers.
Brandon Taylor had a season-high 21 points and six assists, and Jarred DuBois scored 20 points, for Utah (10-12, 2-8), who felt they'd missed an opportunity.
"Look forward to the next game, look forward to the next practice and the next play. And move on," Taylor said.
Oregon State bumped its nine-point halftime lead to 18 less than 7 minutes into the second half. The Beavers scored eight straight points, the last two on a Challe Barton lay-in off a Burton assist with 13:20 left, to make it 47-29. Utah came back with a 12-2 run, the last five points by Taylor, to close within 49-41.
Nelson, who had his third straight game of 20 points or more, scored the next five points to give Oregon State a 13-point lead with 8:52 remaining. The Utes got no closer than nine from there, and the Beavers pushed their lead to 18 in the closing minutes.
Oregon State shot 26 of 57 overall, while Utah was 20 of 56. The Beavers had a 41-33 rebounding edge, led by Eric Moreland, who had 15 to go with nine points and four blocks.
Nelson, who was 7 of 10 from the field, had 12 points at halftime and helped the Beavers close out the Utes with 14 more in the second half.
"The screens I was getting, it just made those easy shots for me," Nelson said.
The game was tight throughout the first 7 minutes, with five ties and no lead bigger than three points. Oregon State later scored 10 straight points, with Barton's three-point play giving the Beavers a 22-12 lead.
Utah answered with an 11-1 run to tie the game again, with Glen Dean and Jordan Loveridge scoring three points apiece in that stretch. Nelson made nine straight free throws in the final 5 minutes of the half to help Oregon State lead 34-25 at the break.