Oregon St. (3-0) at UC-Santa Barbara (1-1) / Thunderdome, Santa Barbara, CA / 2 PM PST / Big West TV Stream / KEJO 1240 AM / KEX 1190 AM
Oregon State completes their 2 game road trip with a visit to Santa Barbara, where the unbeaten Beavers will take on UC-Santa Barbara of the Big West Conference, in the Gauchos' home opener.
The timing this afternoon's game is odd, with the entire second half overlapping with the football game, hardly optimal, especially since this game, not being televised, can't be recorded.
The Beavers got off to a good start to the trip, downing Rice 77-69 Thursday night in Houston. Gary Payton II led the way, with a game high 19 points, a team high 7 assists, and a game high 6 steals. GP II is now just 3 games shy of his father's record of 37 consecutive games with at least one steal.
Malcolm Duvivier continued to have a solid early season, adding 14 points, and freshman Tres Tinkle came off the OSU bench to score 12 points.
It's the second consecutive home opener that Oregon State has been the guest at, as Rice also opened their home season against the Beavers after starting the season with a pair of road games. UCSB barely won their opener, 60-59 at Omaha last Friday, and then falling at Cal 85-67 Monday night.
The Gauchos were led against Cal by Michael Bryson, who had 23 points on 8 of 18 shooting, including 4 of 8 from 3 point range. Bryson didn't play against Omaha though, and John Green, who had 12 points against the Bears, led UCSB with a game high 22 points, as he became the Gauchos' volume shooter of choice, making 8 of 19 shots vs. the Mavericks.
The key as it has been in every game so far for Oregon State will probably be to keep their opponents at bay with a variety of defenses, and pick their opportunities on offense to find the mismatches that afford them an opportunity to take advantage.
The Beavers depth will also be tested, as Oregon State is playing their 3rd game in 5 days, in 3 different states, while the Gauchos have been off since Monday night. Coupled with the fact that UCSB goes deep onto their bench, it will need to be a talent and depth deal for Oregon State, with discipline and versatility on display, not an open gym type of game.
It's only the 5th time Oregon State and UCSB have met in basketball, and the only meeting since back in the 80's was last year's meeting in Corvallis, which the Beavers won 76-64 last Dec. 30 to even the series at 2-2. That game was a product of balance, with 6 players in double figures, all between 10 and 16.