Oregon State at UCLA

Time: 7 p.m. 

Where: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles

Coaches: Wayne Tinkle, 1st year at OSU (16-7 at OSU, 174-98 overall); Steve Alford, 2nd year at UCLA (42-19 at UCLA and 427-225 overall)

On air: The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks; Radio on KEX-AM 1190 (Portland) and KEJO-AM 1240 (Corvallis); Live stats on oregonstate.statbroadcast.com

Records: Oregon State (16-7, 7-4 Pac-12); UCLA (14-10, 6-5)

Projected starters: Oregon State: G Gary Payton II (12.7 ppg, 8.0 rpg), G Malcolm Duvivier (9.9 ppg, 3.5 apg), G Langston Morris-Walker (9.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg), F Olaf Schaftenaar (8.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg), F Daniel Gomis (4.0 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

UCLA: F Tony Parker (16.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg), F Kevon Looney (12.3 ppg, 10 rpg), G Norman Powell (16.2 ppg, 4.7 rpg), G Bryce Alford (15.4 ppg, 5.4 apg), G Isaac Hamilton (10.3 ppg, 3.7 rpg)

Line: UCLA by nine points

The script: Stifling defense continues to power OSU’s surprising campaign. Last week, the Beavers held Washington State and Washington to a combined 34-for-93 shooting (36.6 percent). They are now 14-0 at home for the first time in program history.

Road games, though, have proven far trickier. OSU is 2-7 away from Corvallis this season, including 1-4 in road Pac-12 contests.

Beat both UCLA and USC this week, and the Beavers should stake a claim firmly in the NCAA tournament discussion. Splitting the road swing would put them at or near the bubble entering a Feb. 19 home matchup against No. 11 Utah.

The Bruins, who fell Jan. 22 at OSU by 11 points, have labored through inconsistencies this season. After falling to both Oregon schools, they rattled off wins over Utah, Colorado and Stanford. Momentum then halted Saturday with a 64-62 loss at California.

Opposing player to watch: Kevon Looney. The former five-star recruit is the nation’s only freshman averaging a double-double. His 12 double-doubles this season lead freshmen nationally and rank second in the Pac-12.

Looney, who had 10 points and 11 rebounds last month in Corvallis, has scored in double figures in seven of the Bruins’ past nine games. At this point, DraftExpress.com and NBADraft.net project him to go No. 10 and No. 7, respectively, in June’s NBA Draft.

Did you know: The Bruins are 11-1 in Pauley Pavilion this season, posting a 27-3 record at home in two seasons under Alford.

Key stat: The Beavers are 7-0 in Pac-12 play when holding opponents under 40 percent shooting. They are 0-4 when opponents shoot better than 40 percent.

Series: Sunday marks the 128th meeting between OSU and UCLA. The Bruins lead the series 90-37, including a commanding 50-7 advantage in Los Angeles. The Beavers haven’t beaten the Bruins in L.A. since Feb. 1, 2003. OSU’s other road wins in the series were in 1924, 1958, 1981, 1984, 1986 and 1988.

They said it: “I’m proud of them for getting that momentum. Now we just have to learn how to take this on the road.” — Tinkle

Note: Tinkle has yet to offer an update on forward Victor Robbins, who was cited early Sunday for DUI. Robbins is eight games into a 10-game suspension for violating athletic department policy.

The links:

Watch video of Alford discussing the Oregon schools

Apathy is plaguing college hoops fans, and UCLA supporters are no outliers

OSU center Cheikh N’diaye is making a case for an expanded role

The “Big Fella” has the Beavers believing and overachieving

The Beavers have used a familiar formula to march into the record books

OSU came in at No. 4 in The Oregonian’s Pac-12 hoops power rankings this week

The Beavers lead the Pac-12 in three statistical categories

— Connor Letourneau
[email protected]
503-221-8168; @ConnOregonian

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