TEMPE, AZ - Riding high off a home sweep of the Los Angeles schools, Oregon State came into Wednesday night's game at Arizona State full of confidence. But a hot start by the Sun Devils put some early pressure on the Beavers, and the visitors were never able to come back to make it a game.
Wayne Tinkle's team did come out of the gates ready to play. Refreshed after taking a lot of time off in the days leading into the game, they jumped out to a 7-3 advantage. Olaf Schaftenaar found Gary Payton II on a backdoor cut on the opening possession, leading to a thunderous dunk that brought the large amount of orange and black clad fans to their feet. Two minutes later it was Payton again, this time knocking down a three-pointer on a nice find by Malcolm Duviver to put Oregon State up by four. That would be its largest lead of the game.
"We watched a tremendous player tonight in Gary Payton," Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek said. "He really is extraordinary in how he impacts the game in so many different ways."