Oregon St. cruised past Corban 86-62 for their second win of the season Tuesday night at Gill Coliseum. It's the first 2-0 start to the regular season for the Beavers since 2000.
The game wasn't expected to be close, and it wasn't for long. After the teams traded 3 pointers to start, Oregon St. went on an 11-2 run, and gradually pulled away from there.
It was a 10 point margin by the middle of the first half, and never dropped into single digits again, though a pair of Corban 3s wrapped around a pair of free throws by Daniel Gomis, who was playing for the first time this season, after suffering a shoulder injury that was expected to keep him out for another week or so, made it a 10 point game 4 minutes before half time.
But a 10-1 run by Oregon St. opened a 48-29 lead as the teams went to the locker room.
Oregon St. shot 59% from the floor, while holding Corban to 40% in the first 20 minutes, but it was on the boards where the bigger Beavers really controlled the game, out-rebounding the Warriors 22-6 in the first half, after a 10-2 start. Oregon St. would eventually hold a 37-24 edge, despite using a "small" lineup several times in the second half.
Olaf Schaftenaar buried a 3 pointer to open the second half, and open a 22 point lead.
The Beavers couldn't really pull much further ahead though. Oregon St. opened 23 point leads on 5 different occasions, but the Warriors cut the deficit to 17 points with less than 7 minutes to go.
That was as close as Corban would come though, and Oregon St. finally extended the lead to 24 on a Tanner Sanders 3 pointer with less than 3 minutes to go, and a dunk and a pair of free throws by Gary Payton II opened the largest lead of the game, 26 points at 86-60.
Oregon St. coach Wayne Tinkle then got to finish the last minute and a half of the game with 5 of his walkons on the court.
Payton finished with a co-team high 16 points, one of 5 Beavers in double figures, and also a game high 9 rebounds. Payton also had a game high 4 assists.
Langston Morris-Walker also had 16 points for Oregon St., his second consecutive game in double digits for the first time in his collegiate career.
It was also a DI career high for both Payton and Morris-Walker.
Schaftenaar and Victor Robbins both added 11 point efforts, and Jarmal Reid again came off the bench for a double figure night, with 10 points, his second career double digit game.
The Beavers just missed having 6 players in double digits, as Malcolm Duvivier had 8 points.
Corban was led by Jordan Carter, who had a game high 18 points, all in the second half. No other Warrior was in double figures.
The Oregon St. defense shut out both Carter and Cyrus Ward in the first half, and though Carter erupted in the second half, Ward finished with just 4 points. That's notable given the pair came into the game averaging a combined 37.5 points per game for the Warriors, who were off to a 3-1 start to their season.
It was a solid, balanced effort by Oregon St., in front of a creatively counted turnout announced to be just over 3,600. But caution should be exercised in reading too much into the outcome, given the level of competition.
Corban, an NAIA team that was filling in a gap in the Oregon St. schedule after Alcorn St. cancelled their originally scheduled visit to Gill, is not a bad team, and is well coached by Steve Masten, the father of former Oregon St. star Adam Masten. The elder Masten has a lot of wins at the high school and small college level around western Oregon, and has the Warriors playing pretty soundly.
But Corban was overmatched, especially in the front court, and is simply from a different level than even low-end Division I ball, though it would be interesting to watch the Warriors play with the injection of a couple of decent sized post players.
There are some good things to take from the first 2 counting games of the season though, and the obvious one is Payton II has hops. He blocked 3 shots in the first half, which was the game high, and gives him 6 for the season, and had some impressive dunks, as well as being the game's leading rebounder, and co-leading in steals.
The other thing that jumped out to me, especially after years of Craig Robinson ball, was how rarely anyone on the floor seemed to be surprised at something that happened. Robinson's teams were notorious for having players jack up shots that seemed to take teammates totally by surprise, and resulted in no chance at an offensive rebound.
And the reoccuring defensive breakdowns when opponents were willing to make a 3rd or 4th pass often involved no one seemingly knowing who was supposed to be where on the defense in such situations. It frequently negated a lot of hard work and hustle, for no reason other than a lack of communication.
Under Tinkle, I saw very little of that. Sure, there were some errant passes, and some other miscues, but the team never seemed confused.
And even against an out-manned opponent, the 86 points is notable, given that this is not and will not be an up-tempo team. Shooting that only dropped down to 57% for the game had a lot to do with that.
Tinkle's guys will run on occasion, but they will be rare occasions, and those hoping for run and gun basketball should look elsewhere. It not Bennett ball, but its also clear that one of the top commandments of Tinkle ball is "Thou shall not be out of control."
Even after a Payton steal that led to a break-out layin by Morris-Walker early in the second half, Tinkle took a time out to lecture LMW at some length about some of the details of the play. Coach also capped the teaching moment with an "atta boy" though.
And what Tinkle is getting out of Reid and Robbins is already far more than what Robinson was ever able to extract.
I sense this young Oregon St. team that doesn't have a lot of talent or all that much size will get beat in a lot of games this year, but I don't think they will "lose" many, in that they probably won't contribute to their own demise.
Oregon St. concludes their season opening home stand Friday night at 6 PM, when the Beavers host Oral Roberts, before heading to Las Vegas for the MGM Grand Main Event tournament next Monday and Wednesday.