Corvallis, Ore. -- Oregon State guard Roberto Nelson scored a career-high 36 points, but the Beavers fell short in a 78-73 loss to Coppin State on Sunday at Gill Coliseum.
Guard Sterling Smith scored 20 points and forward Arnold Fripp had 18 for Coppin State (1-1), which evened its record after opening the season with an 83-64 loss at Cal on Friday. Center Angus Brandt had 13 points and seven rebounds for Oregon State (0-1).
The Beavers led 10-7 after Nelson sank a jumper with 12:41 remaining in the opening period, but the Eagles surged ahead later in the half. Andre Armstrong, Christian Kessee and Fripp made 3-pointers in a span of 1:05, fueling a 9-0 run that put the Eagles up 22-13 with 6:48 to go. They extended the lead to 13 points with 2:12 left before taking a 36-26 lead into the locker room at the half.
Coppin State would have had a more commanding lead if not for Nelson, a 6-foot-4 senior who averaged 17.8 points per game last season. Nelson scored 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting in the first half, but the rest of his team was 2 of 12 from the field.
Nelson scored eight of his team's first 10 points to start the second half and drained a 3-pointer to cut the deficit to three with 15:39 to play. The Beavers got within two moments later, but the Eagles again extended the lead, going ahead 50-42 on a 3-pointer by Fripp.
Nelson made another 3-pointer to reduce the deficit to two with 8:12 to go and a jumper to cut it to one with 5:28 remaining, but the Eagles created a cushion with an 8-1 run and held on in the final minutes thanks in part to a 3-pointer by Smith with 45.6 seconds to play.