In a game that was a series of runs, Oregon St. made the last one, using a 7-0 run at the end of the game to put away Oral Roberts, and improve to 3-0 for the season after the 55-42 win.
The Beavers jumped out fast to a 10-0 lead in the first 6 minutes of the game, and was up 12-3 at the 11:48 mark of the first half, but then went over 6 minutes with only a single free throw made, and lost the entire lead as the Golden Eagles ran off 12 straight points.
All but 1 3 pointer came on free throws, a problem compounded bu Oregon St. twice in a row fouling a shooter taking a 3 point shot. All 6 of the resulting free throws were good.
Jarmal Reid finally stopped the Oregon St. scoring drought, but neither team got anything going the rest of the half, which ended with Oral Roberts up only 20-18 at halftime. That's not a typo. The Golden Eagles made only 3 baskets from the floor in the entire first half, which saw the teams combine for 17 turnovers in the first 11 minutes.
The Beavers roared out of the locker room though, with a 12-0 run in just over 5 minutes, taking a 30-20 lead.
Part of the issue for Oregon St. was their inability to get Gary Payton II involved in the offense, as Payton managed only 2 points in the first half.
That changed in the second half, as several dunks energized the team, and the small crowd that was no where near the announced ticket distribution of 4,022.
Payton's ability to move without the ball led to some weak side dunk opportunities, and then a couple more came off of steals, equaling the best of his dad.
But with only one of Payton's dunks to interrupt a 9-2 Oral Roberts run, Oregon St. found themselves up only 3 points, 32-29 half way through the second half.
The Beavers responded with another 10-0 run though, with 2 of Payton's dunks and an Olaf Schaftenaar capping the run to make it a 13 point 42-29 game.
Oregon St. couldn't put the game away though, instead committing 3 consecutive turnovers, and another tie-up that due to the direction of the possession arrow, was the same as a turnover.
As a result, the Golden Eagles put together an 8-0 run, and it was suddenly a 5 point game with still over 5 minutes to go.
Schaftenaar sank a 3 with 4 minutes left, and Oregon St. began to work on the clock, but then lost Payton for the night to his 5th personal foul.
Oral Roberts pulled within 6 points on yet another pair of free throws (the Golden Eagles were 20 of 28 from the line for the game),
4 different Beavers combined for the game closing 7 point run though to close out the win.
Schaftenaar had a game and career high 12 points, with Payton's 10 the only other Oregon St. total in double digits.
Malcolm Duvivier came up 1 point short, with 9 total.
Bobby Word led Oral Roberts, with 11 points, and Korey Billbury added 10. But Obi Emegano, who had 65 points in the Golden Eagles' first 2 games, was held to only 7.
The two key stats of the game were points in the paint, which Oregon St. dominated 34-6, and even more importantly, winning the rebounding battle 33-32, this after being out-boarded 20-13 in the first half.
"We started to put a body on body in the second half, after trying more to operate in space early," Schaftenaar explained.
Much of the game was ugly basketball to say the least, but though the Beavers had multiple stretches of poor play, it was never an effort issue, as Coach Wayne Tinkle's troops continue to battle.
"The team has a long way to go, but gosh it's nice when we take the step in the right direction," Tinkle said.
Oral Robert dropped to 1-2 for the season. Both the Golden Eagles and the Beavers now head to Las Vegas, for different arms of the MGM Grand "Main Event" tournaments next Monday and Wednesday.