Dexter Akanno converted a three-point play with eight seconds remaining Thursday night, allowing Oregon State to match last season’s Pac-12 Conference win total on opening day of league play with a surprising 66-65 victory over Washington in Corvallis, Ore.
Akanno’s heroics came after Washington’s Keion Brooks, the game’s leading scorer with 21 points, missed the second of two free throws with 14 seconds left, keeping the Huskies’ lead at 65-63.
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Akanno then penetrated the Washington defense and dropped in a layup as he was being fouled by Cole Bajema. The ensuing free throw gave Oregon State (4-4, 1-0) a one-point lead.
The Huskies (6-2, 0-1) had a shot at a win, but Brooks misfired on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, allowing the Beavers to match their conference win total from last season, when they went 1-19.
Entering the night on a four-game losing streak, Oregon State led most of the way as the result of an almost eight-minute scoring drought by the Huskies in the first half that turned a 9-6 Washington lead into a 27-9 deficit.
The Beavers still led 59-49 with 4:02 to play before Brooks dunked and added a free throw, then Bajema dropped in a layup to quickly cut the deficit in half.
After Glenn Taylor Jr. increased the Oregon State advantage to 61-54 with 3:17 to play with two free throws, Koren Johnson bombed in a 3-pointer, then stole the ball from Dzmitry Ryuny to set the stage for a Bajema three, making it a one-point game.
The Huskies weren’t done. Johnson dropped in a layup for a 62-61 lead at the 2:17 mark, and when Jamal Bey scored with 41 seconds left, Washington had a three-point advantage.
Taylor’s two free throws with 18 seconds to go got Oregon State back within one, and after Brooks missed his second of two foul shots four seconds later, Akanno took center stage.
Akanno finished with 13 points for the Beavers, one fewer than Ryuny, who had 14 to go with nine rebounds, five assists and five steals. Taylor chipped in with 10 points off the bench.
Bajema had 12 points and Johnson 11 to back Brooks for Washington, which saw a three-game winning streak snapped. Brooks also led the Huskies with seven rebounds.
–Field Level Media
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