CORVALLIS — Roberto Nelson tied a career high with 34 points and Oregon State pulled away from Chicago State in the second half Sunday for an 87-77 win.
Nelson scored 22 points in the second half and set a new career high with six 3-pointers. He has 12 3-pointers in the last three games.
Devon Collier added 25 points and eight rebounds for Oregon State (7-2).
Quinton Pippen, the nephew of former NBA great Scottie Pippen, had 13 points and seven rebounds for Chicago State (3-9).
Nelson, who shot 10 of 14 overall, has averaged better than 23 points in the past four games.
Nelson credits his recent success to his team’s post players, whom he says are scoring easily inside and drawing the defense away from him.
“The 3-point shots I’m getting are just wide-open,” said Nelson, who also had three rebounds and three steals.
With Oregon State scoring leader Ahmad Starks struggling for a second game, the Beavers were looking for someone to fill the void.
Starks, averaging 14.9 points coming in, was held scoreless.
“We needed somebody to step up there, and Roberto answered the challenge,” Oregon State coach Craig Robinson said.
Oregon State used a 7-0 run early in the second half to build on its eight-point halftime lead. Nelson scored the last five of that run at the free-throw line to put the Beavers ahead 57-41 with 15:46 left.
Nelson’s third 3-pointer in just more than two minutes made it 68-47 with 11:53 remaining.
The Beavers led by as many as 23 in the second half. Chicago State made a late run but got no closer than 10.
Nelson tied his career high in scoring on two free throws with 9 seconds left after missing two foul shots and a layup in the closing minutes.
Robinson said Nelson’s strong play is coming through patience.
“Instead of trying to dictate the game, I think he’s letting the game come to him,” Robinson said.
Oregon State made 29 of 61 shot attempts overall, while Chicago State was 31 of 70.
Chicago State, which also got nine points and 10 rebounds from Matt Ross, started fast, jumping out to a 13-6 lead. Oregon State came back to tie the game at 17 on a Joe Burton free throw and took its first lead at 18-17 on a Challe Barton foul shot.
The team traded the lead three times before the Beavers took the lead for good in the half on Olaf Schaftenaar’s first of two consecutive 3-pointers.
That started a 14-2 run that saw Oregon State go up 34-23.
The Beavers eventually led by as many as 13 in the first half and 44-36 at halftime.