Coppin State defeats Oregon State 78-73

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — Sterling Smith says Coppin State's first victory against a Pac-12 team was only a start.

Smith had a career-high 21 points and Coppin State defeated Oregon State 78-73 on Sunday to snap a streak of 16 losses to Pac-12 foes.

"Give us a couple more weeks to reach our potential," the sophomore guard said.

The Eagles, who led by as many as 13 points, were playing without leading scorer Michael Murray because of a broken bone in his right hand. He led Coppin State with 12.4 points and 8.9 rebounds last season.

"Mike was definitely one of our top scorers and rebounders, and we're missing him now," Smith said. "It's tough, but somebody has to step up and fill his shoes."

Roberto Nelson had a career-high 36 points for the Beavers, who were playing their season opener. The junior guard has scored in double figures in 18 straight games dating back to last season.

Nelson hit a layup with 5:02 left to pull the Beavers within 62-61, but the Eagles wouldn't let them closer until Nelson again made a layup that narrowed the lead to 70-68 with 1:10 left. Smith answered with a 3-pointer for Coppin State to stifle the rally.

Nelson was disappointed with his play, saying he should have distributed the ball more. But coach Craig Robinson said Oregon State was never able to follow its game plan to go inside early.

"We got off to a mediocre start, and I don't think it was effort at all," Robinson said.

The Beavers were without Devon Collier and Eric Moreland, who are serving suspensions for violating team rules.

Moreland's suspension was for 14 regular season games while Collier's suspension was only for one, so he'll return Wednesday against Portland. Coach Craig Robinson has never given the reason for the discipline.

Moreland averaged 9.4 points and 10.6 rebounds last season while Collier averaged 12.6 points and six rebounds.

Coppin State was coming off an 83-64 loss at California in their season opener on Friday.

Both teams struggled offensively to start, and the score was knotted at 10 midway through the first half. Coppin State went ahead 22-13 following three straight 3-pointers from Andre Armstrong, Christian Kessee and Arnold Fripp.

The Eagles stretched the lead to 31-20 on Smith's layup with 2:05 to go in the half and went into the break ahead 36-26.

The Beavers fought to make up ground in the second half. Nelson hit a layup and a long 3-pointer to close the gap to 39-36 for the Beavers with 15:31 left in the game.

Olaf Schaftenaar's 3-pointer for the Beavers got them as close as 45-42, but Fripp answered with a jumper and his own 3 to extend Coppin State's lead to 50-42.

The Beavers pulled within 57-55 on Nelson's 3-pointer with 8:13 to go, but this time it was Smith who scored on a layup and a 3 to keep the Eagles in front.

Fripp finished with 17 points and nine rebounds for Coppin State.

"It's a big win, especially because of the fact that I've got a young team," Eagles coach Ron Mitchell said. "And to be able to come out here on this road trip and see them just keep their composure down the stretch, I just thought that was so important as far as what we are trying to accomplish with the road schedule that we have."

The game marked the return of Oregon State senior center Angus Brandt, who missed nearly all of last season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Daniel Gomis played in his first regular season game for the Beavers after missing his first two seasons because of complications from a broken leg.

Nelson said this loss was on the players.

"I really feel that coach prepared us for this game," he said. "We were just running around and playing in the wrong spots."