The Beavers came out playing a little out of control, missing some easy fast break chances and turning the ball over. Mississippi Valley State did not play much better however. They were only really able to keep up by hitting three pointers, especially off of offensive boards. The Delta Devils were in a frenzy to get rebounds and they succeeded early with 8 in the first half. All the hustle was wasted with 12 turnovers in the first half though, and OSU was able to turn that into 17 Beaver points.
The real star of the game was Gary Payton II though as he scored the first 5 points and 8 of the first 10 for the Beavs. He would finish the half with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 4 steals at the half, securing his second consecutive double double before the break. Oregon State was unquestionably superior despite never really pulling away until the 4 minute mark.
In the second half the Beavers came out fired up and ready. They kept moving the score up although it was not really because of execution, it was mostly hustle. Payton II was really the linchpin of the whole run, with his hustle and rebounding. GPII was everywhere, making plays on defense, rebounding, a little scoring, and the most stunning tip jam since Jared Cunningham. He just hung in the air until he could throw it down, wowing the sparse crowd that was announced to be 3,656 (and I might have exclaimed in front of my computer as well). The Beavers rode that momentum to a 20+ point lead and despite some solid late game shooting from the Delta Devils the game was not in question.
Gary Payton II stole the show, as well as dominating the stat sheet. He was everywhere, the only part that was really in question before the season was his shooting, but even that looks pretty dang good. Sweet stroke and a quick release. If he can keep this going into Pac-12 play, he is going to turn a lot of heads. Especially if he keeps on throwing down highlight reel dunks. His final line was 75% shooting, 24 pts, 16 rebs (8 offensive boards) (all DI career highs), 2 assists, 4 steals, and 2 blocks.
Morris-Walker continues to be a solid defender, moving well side-to-side in the zones, although his shot was off today (0-5 from three) he did have some nice finishes in the lane. Victor Robbins however did not. He is improving, but his shooting stroke is still developing, and he struggles with touch around the rim. The potential is still there, but it looks the game is still moving fast around him.
Olaf Scfhaftenaar is seeing the game slow around him now though. He has made quite a jump this season, picking the right time for 3s and nailing them, showing some post moves, and there is some Roeland rising up in him. He has been great as a passer, seeing movement before it happens and putting on the money. He had an early pass that would have been a great back door pass to Jarmal Reid but Reid did not make the cut in time. He ended up tied for the team lead with 4 assists on the day.
Reid looks lost out there, he has a couple okay moments per game, but he had several times where he was going to the same spot as someone else on offense and kept rotating out of his zone on defense. It is not costing OSU in these early games, but those mistakes will hurt in close games in the Pac-12.
Malcolm Duvivier and Cheikh N’Diaye did not have a great impact, but also did not do any damage.
Daniel Gomis had a nice game especially down the stretch. He ended up with 11 pts, 6 rebs, and 5 blocks. He is a defensive presence in the lane with his long wingspan while he already stands at 6' 10". He tried some post moves too towards the end to mild success against much smaller opponents. Gomis might never be a star, but he can be a very productive defender.
Jordan Washington led the Delta Devils, with 17 points, and DeAngelo Prar had a 14 point, 10 rebound double double for Mississippi Valley St.
The Beavers continued to play hard for this game, with extremely active defense and a decent offense. This is a sentence that will be applicable to every game this season, and that is a positive.
Oregon St. improved to 4-2, and will next be in action Saturday night, at Portland of the West Coast Conference at 7 PM in the Chiles Center. The Pilots downed cross-town rival Portland St. 83-71 tonight to improve to 6-1 for the season. Mississsippi St. slipped to 1-7 for the season.