Maryland's biggest weakness -- the lack of a defensive presence inside -- has reared its ugly head. The Terps had no answer for Devon Collier and Roberto Nelson on the inside, who scored 29 and 31 points, respectively, and fall to 1-2 on the year.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama were both in attendance for the game, as the First Lady's brother Craig Robinson is the head coach of Oregon State.
It was an ugly game at the start, with both offenses struggling to find the hoop -- just six points were scored in the first three-and-a-half minutes. Then, Maryland started to get their groove together. Dez Wells hit a jumper, Jake Layman slammed home an offensive board and the first media timeout broke up what looked to be a Maryland run.
Maryland didn't care, however, as Charles Mitchell took the lead on his first possession in on a Charles Mitchell Special -- the offensive rebound and putback. After an Oregon State response, Layman hit a three-pointer from the corner off a floating pass from Nick Faust to make it 11-8.
A few possessions later, Roddy Peters drove into the lane, juking out a defender before finding Shaq Cleare for a ferocious slam dunk. Later in the half, he made a similar play in the lane, this time finding Mitchell with a no-look pass for the dunk.
Peters looked excellent in the game, and could have the starting point guard job sooner than expected. Coach Turgeon called him out on halftime as the only player who looked aggressive on the offensive end.
Maryland struggled quite a bit in the first half, as dealing with Oregon State's height and quickness proved to be tougher than first anticipated -- particularly that of seniors Devon Collier and Roberto Nelson. Collier scored 11 points in the first half, while Nelson had 16.
Smotrycz hit one of two free throws with three seconds left in the first half, tying the game up at 38-38 before the break. Dez Wells sank a three pointer as time expired which was originally counted as a made bucket, but the referees conferred and took the basket off the board.
Oregon State started the second half on a 8-0 run, but Maryland was able to break the streak when Dez Wells scored on a jumper after two offensive rebounds. Oregon State responded with a bucket and foul, and started to pull away early in the second half, moving the ball inside and forcing fouls on Maryland's weak defensive interior.
Charles Mitchell showed his usual enthusiasm on the offensive end, grabbing multiple offensive rebounds and putting the ball in the hoop, but had another very poor display on defense, getting bullied in the paint and picking up foul after foul.
Maryland started to get their offensive flow back together nearly midway through the second half, as Jake Layman hit a three pointer, Evan Smotrycz scored a bucket and Dez Wells converted an and-one to cut the Beaver lead to 61-55 at the under-12 media timeout.
Coming out of the break, Peters put on another offensive showcase, driving to the lane and making a nice move for the sweet layup. Oregon State was called for travelling on the other end, and Maryland was able to draw a foul two possessions later. Nick Faust missed the front end of the one-and-one, giving the Beavers the opportunity to expand their lead to six points. Smotrycz hit a three-pointer on the next possession, cutting the lead to three with under ten minutes to play.
Collier responded with another sweet move inside for two, but Layman hit a contested three to make it 65-63 Oregon State. Peters stole the ball on the next possession, but a questionable call by the officials gave the ball to the Beavers after it deflected out of bounds.
After a short Beaver run, the Terps brought it back within four on Nick Faust's corner three pointer and Charles Mitchell's bucket inside on another pass from Peters. Oregon State responded with a pair of free throws, and Wells drove inside for an impressive bucket off a spin move to cut it back to four. Nelson made another fantastic play inside to make it 76-70 at the under-four timeout.
Smotrycz hit another three to cut the lead to three, but Oregon State responded with yet another bucket to pull it back to five. The transfer from Michigan hit two free throws with two-and-a-half minutes remaining, making it 78-75 Oregon State.
Collier made it back inside for yet another score, bringing him up to 27 points on the day, and after a pair of turnovers Wells made it to the line for a pair of free throws. He made both, cutting the score to 80-77 with 90 seconds to play. Collier made an unbelievable behind the back layup to bring the lead back up to five, but two more free throws from Wells made it 82-79. Two free throws from Nelson made the score 84-79, and Wells drove in once again for a bucket, making it 84-81. Nelson made an incredible fadeaway late in the shot clock to make it 86-81, and Faust gave the ball away to seal it.
Faust's usual trouble showed up again -- he shot poorly from the floor (and often) and gave the ball away in critical moments.
This will be a tough loss for Maryland to handle, but it's important to remember Oregon State is no "cupcake." They are a power conference, Division I basketball team, and if you give them an opportunity, they will exploit it.