CORVALLIS — Eric Moreland had 17 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks as Oregon State beat Stanford 81-72 on Thursday night.
Roberto Nelson added 21 points for the Beavers (9-6, 1-2 Pac-12), and freshman Hallice Cooke, making his first career start, had a career-high 16 points.
Chasson Randle scored 30 points and Dwight Powell added 13 points and 10 rebounds for Stanford (9-5, 0-2).
Moreland was back for his third game after a 12-game suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules. Already one of the best rebounders and shot blockers in school history, he was more active in driving to the hoop on Thursday.
“The first two were tough ones and I couldn’t help the team win as much as I wanted to. I just wanted to bounce back this game,” Moreland said. “I wanted to be aggressive.”
“It’s really nice to see his feel for the game coming back,” said Oregon State coach Craig Robinson.
The Beavers took a quick 12-6 lead behind seven points from Nelson, but Stanford clawed back to go ahead 13-12.
Midway through the first half, Angus Brandt’s massive rebound-dunk started the Beavers on a 10-0 run, and they went up 27-18. Brandt finished with 12 points.
The Beavers were ahead by as many as 10 before going into the break ahead 37-32.
In the second half, the Beavers quickly pushed the lead again to 10 points, but Stanford came within two points on three occasions.
The last was on a layup by Randle, who was fouled on the play, at the 2:59 mark. He made the free throw and made the score 68-66.
Cooke responded with a 3-pointer on the next possession for Oregon State.
“We closed the gap and it was just about getting a stop and we couldn’t get that tonight,” Randle said. “They scored 80-some points. That can’t be us.”
Robinson said the Beavers pulled out a close game they might have given away in the past — such as a four-overtime epic loss to Stanford two years ago at Corvallis.
“There is a level of toughness about this team that we haven’t had here in my previous five years,” he said.
Cooke, coming off a career-high 14 points against Utah, replaced Challe Barton in the lineup for Oregon State.
“I just tried to do the same thing I did coming off the bench. Let the game come to me,” Cooke said.
Robinson also opted to bring regular starter Devon Collier, averaging 16.4 points and 7.8 rebounds, off the bench against the Cardinal. He had four points and four rebounds.
Both teams entered the contest shooting nearly 50 percent from the floor. Stanford shot 41 percent on Thursday, compared to 47 percent for the Beavers.
“They defended well. We thought we had a couple of good looks that didn’t go, but you give them credit,” Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins said.
Both teams came into the contest looking for their first Pac-12 win. Oregon State dropped its first two games of conference play last week at Colorado and Utah. Stanford fell to California on Thursday in its conference opener.