(Greg Wahl-Stephens / The Associated Press)
CORVALLIS — Mike Ladd had a career-high 23 points and Washington State held off Oregon State down the stretch Saturday afternoon for a 71-68 win.
Brock Motum added 20 points and 10 rebounds for the Cougars (11-9, 2-5 Pac-12), who won their first road game in five tries this season.
Ahmad Starks had 17 points and eight assists for Oregon State (11-9, 1-6). Starks was wide of the basket on a potential game-tying 3-pointer from the top of the arc in the closing seconds. That followed Washington State's DaVonte Lacy's two missed free throws and Starks' layup with 7.9 seconds left to cut the Cougars' advantage to one.
OSU's Royce Woolridge then made two foul shots, setting up Starks' final attempt.
Ladd's lay-in gave Washington State its first lead of the second half at 37-36 after the Cougars trailed by four at halftime. Oregon State came back with a 7-2 run, as Joe Burton's layup put the Beavers back up four.
Motum later hit his third 3-pointer of the second half to give the Cougars the lead for good, 54-51. Motum then made two free throws with 8:42 left after a technical foul on Oregon State coach Craig Robinson. That gave Motum 15 points in the second half and Washington State a five-point lead.
D.J. Shelton added a 3-pointer with 6:42 left to make it an 8-0 Cougars run. Oregon State closed within 63-60 on a deep 2-pointer by Starks with 3:57 left.
The Beavers got within two twice, the last time at 66-64 on Devon Collier's lay-in with 1:24 remaining. Woolridge scored the last seven points for the Cougars, including a free throw to make it 69-64 with 51 seconds left.
Washington State had a 39-27 rebounding edge, including 10 from D.J. Shelton. The Cougars shot 25 of 56 overall, while Oregon State was 26 of 55.
Ladd hit from outside to put Washington State up 11-7, the Cougars' biggest lead of the first half. Oregon State answered with an 8-0 run — including two Starks 3-pointers — to go up by four.
Ladd later hit a layup with 4:24 remaining to reach 17 points for the half and cut the Beavers' lead to 23-21. Roberto Nelson hit a deep 3-pointer in transition as time expired in the half to put Oregon State ahead 33-29. Ladd shot 7 of 8 in the first half, including one 3-pointer. His teammates were a combined 4 of 18.