Oregon St obliterated a dreadfully overmatched Grambling squad Monday night, and the Beavers added some record book entries in the process, on their way to a 71-43 win.
The win was never in doubt, which may be why only a miniscule crowd of only 3,553 showed up to see history made, as the only suspense of the game came as time began to wind down as Gary Payton II worked to become only the second Oregon St. player to ever post a triple double, joining his father, who had the only other such line 26 years ago, going for 20 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists against Portland.
With double digit points and rebounds already on the stat sheet, due to a couple of blown layups earlier in the game, a miss by Tanner Sanders and a foul that prevented Justin Stangel from getting the historic basket lent some urgency to the quest for history.
Finally, with just under 3 minutes left, Payton found Victor Robbins down on the baseline, and a reverse layin made it a 40 point, 71-31 lead, capped Robins' game high 22 point night, and got the younger Payton into the rare Oregon St. territory apparently reserved only for Paytons.
"It means a lot to me," Payton said. "I had a hint in the second half that I was close, and I want to thank Coach Tinkle and my teammates for achieving such a special honor."
The final line was a game high 12 rebounds, 10 points, and 10 assists, which was 4 more than the entire Grambling team managed. For a while, there was even murmuring about the possibility of a quadruple double, as Payton also had a career high 6 steals.
It took Oregon St. a little while to get rolling, as it took 2 minutes before Malcolm Duvivier's 3 pointer got the Beavers going, but that was about the end of uncertainty about the outcome, if there ever was any, against a team that hasn't beaten a Division I opponent from outside their home South West Athletic Conference since 2010.
The Beavers opened 7-0, 15-2, and 23-4 leads, then finished the first half with an 18-0 run while shutting the Tigers out for nearly 9 minutes, taking a 41-9 lead to the locker room. The single digit first half points allowed is the lowest for Oregon St. in the shot clock era, and is believed to be the only single digit first half by a Division I team this century.
It wasn't a total surprise, given that Grambling has been held to 15 points in the first half twice previously, but it did say something about the Oregon St. defense, which leads the Pac-12 in scoring defense, as Grambling had 18 turnovers against only 1 assist before the break.
The second half started with more of the same, as after Grambling finally got to double digits, Duvivier ran off 5 straight points, as the Beavers, who were 25 point favorites, opened the lead to 35 points, going up 46-11.
Robins had 8 straight OSU points as the Beavers twice opened 38 point leads, and free throws by Payton and Duvivier produced another 38 point lead after the under 12 minute media time out.
Jarmal Reid opened the first 40 point lead of the night, with a dunk off the 16th steal of the night by the Beaver defense, but then suffered the one concerning moment of the evening, injuring his right knee making another steal on the ensuing possession midway in the second half. The severity of Reid's injury wasn't immediately known, but he left and did not return the rest of the way.
Payton pushed the advantage to 42 points, making it 64-22, and Robins opened the largest lead of the evening, 44 points with just under 8 minutes to go.
Grambling went on an 8-2 run as Oregon St. began to insert walkons, but coach Wayne Tinkle kept Robbins in with Payton in an effort to create the special father-son moment, and it finally paid off.
"I never want to embarrass an opponent, but this was such a special moment for GP," Tinkle said. "I would have pulled him out of the game if it wasn't for his father. This is something a father and son can share. The fact that it was a team statistic that he needed at the end, an assist, I was okay with it. I hope (Grambling) Coach (Shawn) Walker understands the moment."
The Tigers then went on a 12-0 run over the last 2:45 of the game against a lineup of 5 Beaver walkons, as Mark Gray got 8 of his team high 14 points, and actually put the spread into some danger.
Time ran out on the Tiger rally though, and Oregon St. improved to 7-2, while Grambling dropped to 2-6.
Duvivier was the third Beaver in double digits, with 14 points, and Reid came up just short, with 8 points before his injury.
Richard Freeman was the only Tiger in double digits besides Gray, with 10 points off the bench. Grambling's leading scorer, A'Torri Shine, was shut out.
The Tigers made only 9 baskets from the floor in the game, and only 2 in the first half. Over half their points came at the free throw line, where Grambling was 23 of 28.
The Beavers best stat besides Payton's historic triple was hitting 8 of 19 3 pointers, 42%, after hitting 6 of their first 8.
Oregon St. will be back in action Thursday night, again at 7 PM at Gill Coliseum, when the Beavers will host DePaul (6-3), while Grambling continues their brief northwest tour on Wednesday night, with a visit to 17th ranked and still unbeaten Washington (8-0). Good luck with that!